Antique Chinese 17th Century Ming Dynasty Copper Hand Warmer By Zhang Mingqi

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Very rare antique Chinese 17th century,Ming dynasty, small hand warmer with cover signed by Zhang Mingqi (張鳴崎). Made of copper alloy in the oval cushion form, set with a conforming swing handle, the slightly domed cover cast is finely hand pierced with an intricate pattern(trelliswork) with a surface patinated to a warm honey-brown tone.

The flat base is incised with the maker's mark, Zhang Mingqi, in Zhuanshu script as a square seal.

Most hand warmers with the Zhang Mingqi signature that have appeared on the market bear the Zhang Mingqi signature in the form of a narrow rectangular form. This handwarmer is signed with the authentic and proper 17th century Zhang Mingqi mark in the form of a square seal and the Zhuanshu script.

This signature type is only found on the original 17th century handwarmers made by Zhang Mingqi.

A related warmer made by Zhang Mingqi with a cover pierced with a similar pattern is in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) collection.

Please see the link below:

On October 7, 2014, Sotheby's Hong Kong sold a bronze handwarmer signed by Zhang Mingqi in the "Later Chinese Bronzes from the Collection of Ulrich Hausmann" auction.

Lot 3317.

Estimate: 80,000 – 100,000 HKD

Lot Sold: 1,780,000 HKD

Please see the link below:

We will also provide the buyer with photocopies of the pages from the mentioned references together with a certificate of authenticity.

Zhang Mingq

A native of Jiaxing in Zhejiang Province, Zhang Mingqi was regarded as one of the four greatest craftsmen of the late Ming dynasty. While the other three specialized in crafts, including bamboo carving, Yixing pottery, shell carving, and inlay, Zhang was the most well-known producer of handwarmers of the late Ming dynasty. Due to his mastery, he was nicknamed Zhanglu, meaning "Handwarmer ''.

CONDITION: In very good condition. Almost invisible minor dents to the cover and some age-related wear. No cracks, repairs, or restoration.

Please see all 12 photos in the listing since they are part of the object's condition description.


Overall length: 9.5 cm (3.74 inches).

Width: 8 cm (3.15 inches).

Height, including handle: 8cm (3.15 inches).

WEIGHT: 464 grams.

PROVENANCE: From an old Canadian Collection of Oriental Art.

Item Details

Reference #:
Antiques (approx100yrs)
17th century
(Width x Height X Depth)
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