Chinese Export Silver & Far East Trade Information

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Re: Chinese Export Silver & Far East Trade Information

Postby dognose » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:04 am

CHEH YEE WO

217, South Bridge Road, Singapore

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A good idea is afforded of what hives of industry the native shops are by paying a visit to the premises of Messrs. Cheh Yee Wo, gold and silver smiths. For twelve years this firm has carried on business at No. 217, South Bridge Road, and the manager, Mr. Cheh Yee Cheong, is an eminently practical man. With a staff of about twenty men constantly employed, the firm have a large output of highly finished articles. The head office is in Kuala Lumpor, and there is a branch in Canton. Mr. Cheh Seng Tong, father of the present proprietor, was the founder. Mr. Cheh Yee Wo was born in the Straits Settlements and takes a great interest in the affairs of the colony. He is a member of the Chinese Reading Room and of the Chinese Y.M.C.A.

Source: Twentieth Century Impressions of British Malaya - Arnold Wright - 1908

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Re: Chinese Export Silver & Far East Trade Information

Postby dognose » Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:40 am

F. GRAHLERT & Co.

Bangkok

Mr. F. Grahlert came to Bangkok some eighteen years ago as jeweller to his Majesty the King. A few years later he started business on his own account, his shop, which is in close proximity to the royal palaces, being the first of its kind opened in the city. He still enjoys the patronage of his Majesty the King; for the firm are jewellers to the Court by special appointment, and are constantly being entrusted with the execution of importantant commissions by their Majesties the King and Queen of Siam and his Royal Highness the Crown Prince. The company employ upwards of fifty native craftsmen, who are highly skilled in the art of fashioning gold and silver into articles of most artistic and delicate design, and their work is very justly and naturally is held in the highest favour. The firm's premises would well repay an inspection; their stock is a large and varied one, and is effectively and tastefully displayed. Whether the articles are of Oriental or European design, their quality can be guaranteed.

Source: Twentieth Century Impressions of Siam - Arnold Wright - 1908

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Re: Chinese Export Silver & Far East Trade Information

Postby dognose » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:51 am

S. TISSEMAN & Co.

Bangkok

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S. Tisseman & Co. - Siam - 1906


Perhaps to be indentified with the above: The marriage of Mr. Samuel Tisseman to Miss Margaret Beatrice Long, at Bangkok, took place on the 27th January, in the church of the Holy Rosary and at the British Consulate.

Source: The Straits Times - 7th February 1902

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Re: Chinese Export Silver & Far East Trade Information

Postby dognose » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:19 am

G. OTOMUNE & Co.

Raffles Place, Singapore

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One of the oldest firms engaged in the Japanese curio trade in Singapore is Messrs. G. Otomune & Co., whose headquarters are at Osaka, Japan, where they have been established for nearly a century. It was about thirteen years ago that Mr. T. Tahara was sent from Japan to found a branch in Singapore. A small beginning was made in the firm's present premises in Raffles Place, and by the careful selection of goods, courtesy, and attention to details, the business developed steadily, and Mr. Tahara, after seeing the branch firmly established, he was able to return to Japan at the end of five years, and is now the manager of Messrs. Otomune's Headquarters. The business at the present time is divided into two departments, wholesale and retail, which are stocked with all descriptions of Japanese glass, silver, copper, bronze, and porcelain ware and laquer goods. The firm's customers include large numbers of the passengers passing through the port and the most prominent residents of Singapore and the Federated Malay States. The manager is Mr. K. Kaidzu, who has held the position for about eight years. He is a native of Osaka, and, after being educated at the Osaka Higher Commercial School, he entered Messrs. Otomune's service at headquarters. He remained there for two years and then came to Singapore.

Source: Twentieth Century Impressions of British Malaya - Arnold Wright - 1908

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Re: Chinese Export Silver & Far East Trade Information

Postby dognose » Thu May 03, 2012 8:05 am

P. ORR & SONS

Sule Pagoda Road, Rangoon

Although the main business of P. Orr & Sons was Madras based, they did have for many years a branch in Rangoon.

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P. Orr & Sons - Rangoon - 1903

The Rangoon branch, I believe, closed after being looted by Japanese troops when they occupied Burma during WWII. It is said that just prior to the invasion, the store manager selected the finest pieces from the stock and walked, carrying the stock on his back, all the way to the Orr's Head Office in Madras. After hostilities ceased Orr's were represented in Burma by an agency only.

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P. Orr & Sons - Rangoon - 1914

It is also said that it was in the workshops of the Rangoon Branch of Orr's that some of the development of the 'Oyster' watch movement took place for Rolex.

The Rangoon workshops produced their own version of 'Swami' silver depicting scenes from the Jataka tales.

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Re: Chinese Export Silver & Far East Trade Information

Postby dognose » Mon May 14, 2012 4:08 am

ING WO

Lower Bazaar,Hong Kong

Example of the mark attributed to Ing Wo:

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Re: Chinese Export Silver & Far East Trade Information

Postby rauls » Sat May 26, 2012 1:07 pm

Nanking Store (南京商店)
Late 19c ~ 1930s
444 Szechuen Road, Shanghai

It possibly has no relationship with Nanking Jewelry in Nanking.

The following marks have been used:
NK
NANKING
NANKING STORE
京南 - usually with the 'NK' mark together

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Note:
Nanking is the Wade-Giles romanization style of the Chinese word "南京", in Pinyin, it should be "Nanjing". "南京" means "the south capital". The Chinese mark was "京南" because the Chinese scripts wrote from top to bottom and then right to left. "Szechuen" is also the Wade-Giles, spells as "Sichuan" in Pinyin now. Szechuen/Sichuan Road is still existed as a major commercial street in Hongkou district of Shanghai. The other important road in Hongkou is Broadway Road (Daming Road currently), several companies and stores opened here such as Tuck Chang.
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Re: Chinese Export Silver & Far East Trade Information

Postby dognose » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:04 pm

YAMATO & Co.

41, High Street, Singapore

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Messrs. Yamato & Co., curio dealers, have the distinction of being under the patronage of T.R.H. the Duke and Dutchess of Connaught. At their spacious premises, 41, High Street, they display a very fine collection of Japanese goods. The proprietor is Mr. S. Nagano, who came to the colony in 1897. Having a wide experience in curios before leaving Japan, he has contractors for the supply of furniture, etc., to the Japanese Navy and the fleet of the Nippon Kaisha.

Source: Twentieth Century Impressions of British Malaya - Arnold Wright - 1908

Perhaps to be indentified with Yamato Brothers & Co. of Kobe, Japan?

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Re: Chinese Export Silver & Far East Trade Information

Postby dognose » Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:32 am

LEVY HERMANOS

Singapore

(For details of the other branches of Levy Hermanos, see earlier post)

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Almost everyone who travels East for the first time is tempted to purchase articles of Oriental jewellery, either for personal use or for presents, by reason of their comparative cheapness. In every Eastern port, therefore, there are firms who make special arrangements to supply these goods, and Messrs. Levy Hermanos are prominent among them. The head office of the firm is in Paris, where it was founded thirty-five years ago. So great has been its growth that it now embraces most of the countries of the Far East, having branches at Manilla, Iloilo (Philippines), Hongkong, Shanghai, Tientsin, Port Arthur, Kharbin, Bombay, and Singapore. The Singapore branch was opened in 1904, and is under the management of Messrs. F. Dreyfus and B. Engelke. They deal in jewellery and all descriptions of gold and silverware, both of European and Eastern manufacture. They also make jewellery to order, and import every kind of precious stone from Europe, India, and Ceylon. They are agents for the well-known Omega watch, the Aspirator Company (vacuum cleaner), and the International Talking Machine Company, and they have on show fresh novelties by almost every mail. In addition to a large resident and travelling European clientele they do an extensive business with Rajas of the native states, and they keep their own staff of workmen, including specially trained watchmakers. At Singapore, special features are musical instruments of all descriptions and ornamental statuary, and in addition they represent the makers of the Renault Freres and Braier motor-car, Ste. Trefle a Quatre Feuilles, which twice won the Gordon-Bennett Cup (1904-5) as well as the reliability trials in India last year. The authorised capital of the firm is ten million francs.

Source: Twentieth Century Impressions of British Malaya - Arnold Wright - 1908

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Re: Chinese Export Silver & Far East Trade Information

Postby dognose » Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:53 pm

MITSUI BUSSAN KAISHA

Tientsin


THE HOUSE OF MITSUI

Among the world's greatest commercial houses there are few, if any, that excel in history, wealth, or manifold interests the celebrated house of Mitsui. In the marts of men there is none that commands more confidence and respect; its integrity is like that of the Bank of England; its resources are enormous and its story is unique. During the compilation of these articles on the business activity of Hong Kong the writer had the pleasure of an interview with the genial and courteous manager of Messrs. Mitsui and Co.'s local branch, Mr. Seijiro Tanaka, who has been with the firm some ten years, and from whom was received the following information regarding its rise and development, which, although more suited to a volume on Japan, well merits the attention we give to it here, on account of the prominent position which the respective branches occupy, and the influence they exert in the ports forming the subject of the present publication. Apart therefrom, the records of the house will, we trust, be found not only interesting and useful to those having dealings with it in any of its numerous departments, but to everyone who would learn something of Japanese enterprise, as manifested by the foremost mercantile undertaking in the land of the Rising Sun.
The Mitsui families, originating from the famous Fujiwara clan, can be traced from Takashige Mitsui, titled the "Echigonokami," who lived as the feudal lord of Namadzuye castle in the 15th century toward the fall of the Ashikaga Shoguns. Takashige was succeeded by Takatsugu; but Takayasu the son of Takatsugu moved to Matsuzaka, also in Ise, where he settled as a private citizen, laying the foundation of the present Mitsui firm. In the middle of the 16th century, Sokubei Takatoshi, the son of Takayasu, became a merchant, entering upon altogether a new career. His son, Toshisada, moved the firm to Kioto, and also started a dry-goods store, the present Mitsui-Gofukuten in Tokio. It was not, however, till the time of Hachirobei Takatoshi that the business of the firm was fully extended so as to lay the foundation for the present flourishing state of the Mitsui House. Takatoshi invented and introduced the system of cash-retailing; further, he organised the system for the collection and remittance of money, and also the carriers' business, and this, be it remembered, when economic science was but in a very rudimentary condition, when monetary transactions were almost unknown in the country. In 1687 the Mitsuis, represented by Takatoshi, were especially appointed by the Tokugawa Government as its purveyor and public exchange controller, and were given in recognition of these services an estate in Yedo. In 1723, observing the verbal will of Takatoshi, his son Hachirobei Takahira laid down in writing the Family Rules so valuable to the history of the Mitsui House, by which he and his five brothers pledged themselves to form a collective body of partners, working with a collective capital. This agreement drawn up by Hachirobei Takahira is the very same Family Rules upon which the whole undertaking of the Mitsuis is worked to-day.
With the restoration of the Meiji Era, an important epoch was opened in the historv of the firm. While the new Government under the direct control of the Crown was in process of consolidation, the Mitsuis acted as its principal financing agents, and it was in a great measure due to this that the country was enabled to bridge over a great crisis with which it was then threatened from within and without. As the rewards for these financial and other public aids they rendered to the country. Baron Hachiroemon Mitsui, the present head of the house, was created a peer, and other members or partners were all given various kinds of titles.
After rendering a vigorous aid toward the State and thereby passing through a financial strain, the Mitsuis now applied themselves with new energy and vigour to the reform and amelioration of their business undertaking: somewhat on the model of Western procedure.
In 1876 the old Exchange House was transformed into a bank on a joint-stock system; this was the first private bank established in Japan. In the same year a new, yet a most important undertaking was organised for the purpose of general trading, and more particularly for that of foreign trade. The firm well-known as Mitsui Bussan Kaisha in the East, and as Mitsui and Co. in Europe and America, is the outcome of this enterprise. In 1889 the house acquired from the Government the concession of the Miike Coal Mines, and accordingly Mitsui Kozan Kaisha (the Mining Department) was established in order to control this and many other mines owned by the firm.
The sphere of influence which the Mitsuis possess in the economical world of Japan is so vast and extensive that it would be difficult to give anything like a comprehensive survey of it. The undertakings of the Mitsuis are, however, divisible into four distinct departments, namely, Mitsui Ginko (Banking Department)? Mitsui Bussan Kaisha (Foreign and Domestic Trading Department), Mitsui Kozan Kaisha (Mining Department), and Mitsui Gofukuten (Dry-goods Department).
They are solely owned by the eleven partners of Mitsui conjointly, who assume an unlimited responsibility for the liabilities of the above-mentioned four companies. They comprise nearly every branch of business and enterprise in the commercial and industrial worlds of Japan—Banking, Mining, Home Commerce, Foreign Trade, Shipping, Fisheries, Agency Business, Warehouse Business, Retail Trade, Iron and Engineering Works.

MITSUI BUSSAN KAISHA

It is in this department that the power and resources of the firm are put forth to their fullest extent, and by which the name of Mitsui is principally known to the western nations. The Mitsuis, while engaged in banking and other business for more than two centuries, were constantly projecting to extend their hands to the foreign trade especially in those parts of the world very little known to Japan, Thus in 1876 Mitsui Bussan Kaisha, or Mitsui and Co. as it is styled in Europe and America, in its present form was first established,. Takenosuke and Yonosuke Mitsui representing the family interests at that time, assisted by an able staff. Since that year the Company's business has been extended in every direction so as to produce its present flourishing condition.
The Mitsui Bussan Kaisha engages in almost every kind of export and import trade, having branches in nearly every part of the world, the aggregate amount of business transacted for a year being nearly Yen. 90,000,000, out of which the amount of foreign trade alone figures at Yen 70,000,000—that is, one-seventh of the whole foreign trade of Japan.
The principal articles of the Company's export trade are coal, cotton yarn, raw silk, habutai, rice, cotton cloth, copper, silver, camphor, coral, cement, timber, railway sleepers, sulphur, matches, etc.
The principal imports of the Company are steamers, warships, ordnance locomotives, steel bridges, electrical machines, cotton wool, cotton cloth, woollen cloth, rice, raw and refined sugar, indigo, beans, bean-cakes, malt, paper, canned meats, wheat, flour, opium, leaf tobacco, drugs, raw materials for artificial manure, steel materials, pig iron, iron materials, wires, lead, tin, zinc, machinery of all kinds, railway materials and equipment, etc.
The Company represents several well-known English, European and American firms in Japan, and some in China and Corea as well. Among them we may mention the following:—American Bridge Co., Ltd., New York; Carnegie Steel Co., Ltd., Pittsburg; General Electric Co., Ltd., New York; Vickers Sons and Maxim, Ltd.. Barrow-in-Furness; John Musgrave and Sons, Ltd., Bolton; Mather and Platt, Ltd., Manchester; Belliss and Morcum, Ltd., London; Platt Brothers and Co., Ltd., Oldham.
The Company also acts as agents in Japan for the undermentioned insurance Companies, viz. :—The Atlas, the British America, the Guardian, the Palatine, and the Royal Exchange. And in India, the Straits Settlements, China and Japan, viz. :—The Meiji Fire and Tokio Marine.
The Company owns a fleet of seven efficient steamers, all 100 A 1, of gross tonnage aggregating over 20,000 tons. They are almost exclusively engaged for the transportation of the Company's own merchandise to and from Shanghai, Hong Kong, the Philippines, the Straits Settlements, Rangoon, Java, China, and other eastern ports.
Branches And Representat1ves.—In Japan: Yokohama, Yokosuka, Nagoya, Osaka, Kobe, Maizuru, Kure, Moji, Nagasaki, Miike, Kuchinotsu, Karatsu, Sasebo, Wakamatsu, Kishima, Hakodate, Sapporo, Taipei, Tainan. Abroad: London, New York, Hamburg, San Francisco, Sydney, Manila, Bombay, Amoy, Hong Kong, Canton, Sourabaya, Shanghai, Hankow, Chefoo, Tientsin, Port Arthur, Chemulpo, Seoul, Newchang, Dalny.


Source: Seaports of the Far East, Historical and Descriptive, Commercial and Industrial Facts, Figures,& Resources - A.Macmillan - 1907

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Mitsui Bussan Kaisha - Tientsin - 1888

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Mitsui Bussan Kaisha - Tientsin - 1888

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The Shanghai premises of Mitsui Bussan Kaisha. Image taken in 1908.

Mitsui Bussan Kaisha were a general Japanese trading company (総合商社 sōgō shōsha) founded in 1876.

They are still in business today, now styled Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

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Re: Chinese Export Silver & Far East Trade Information

Postby dognose » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:06 pm

YANG CHING HO

Shanghai

A newspaper article that gives the latest date for the work of Yang Ching Ho:

Modern Hair Styles Ruin Silver Shop

The westernisation of Chinese woman was blamed as the chief factor in the depression that caused the closure recently of the Yang Ching Ho Silversmith Shop, in one of the biggest silversmiths' shops in Shanghai.

Silver ornaments, it was pointed out, are no longer wanted as Chinese women of today have no love for the beauty of their hair from the conservative Chinese point of view. Instead of the time-honoured fashion of a knot, Chinese women now have bobbed hair, many with permanent waves through artificial methods.

Thus all the ornaments made of silver that used to decorate the knot have been shelved, and business of local silversmith shops becomes exceedingly dull.

In view of these circumstances, the Yang Ching Ho Silversmith Shop, at a recent shareholders' meeting, decided to suspend business. In a notice put up at the door, it is announced that all those who have placed orders with the shop should call at the shop within ten days for their goods.


Source: The Straits Times - 4th July 1937

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Re: Chinese Export Silver & Far East Trade Information

Postby dognose » Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:35 am

KWONG CHEONG LOONG

59, High Street, Singapore

DEATHS

NG. - On July 26, 1939 at No.22, Butterworth Lane, Singapore, Mr. Ng Khin Foong, 52 years, founder of Chop Kwong Cheong Loong, goldsmith of No.59, High Street, Singapore. He is survived by his widow, 5 sons, Messrs. Ng Yook Fah and Ng Yook Lin and Masters Yook Wee, Yook Kim and Yook Loong. Five daughters and several grand-children. The funeral will take place on Saturday, July 29, 1939. The cortege leaving the residence at 1 p.m. for the private burial ground in Holland Road.


Source: The Straits Times - 28th July 1939

This appears to be a seperate business from that of Kwong Hing Loong & Co., who were located at Nos. 47, 48, and 49, High Street, Singapore. (see above post)

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Re: Chinese Export Silver & Far East Trade Information

Postby dognose » Sat Sep 08, 2012 3:55 pm

POH KONG CHYE

62, South Bridge Road, Singapore

Probably the longest lasting silversmiths in Singapore with a 107 year old history.

In 1929 they advertised the following:

POH KONG CHYE

Electro Platers and Gilders, Gold and Silversmiths

No. 62, South Bridge Road, Singapore. Phone 7772

Extension:- The Singapore Electro Plating Works, No.23-3, Coleman Street. Phone 4197

We Specialise in:-
(1) The Electro depositing of Gold, Silver, Nickel, Copper and Brass on to any metal for all trades.
(2) Polishing, Finishing, Burnishing and Repairing of all types of Gold, Silver and Metal Wares.
(3) Bronzing, Oxydising, Antique Silvering, Mercurial Gilding and Lacquering.
(4) Modern Process for Heavy Depositing of Gold and Silver on Jewellery and Table Wares.
(5) Re-Silvering and Cleaning of old, and tarnished Silver, or E.P.N.S. Wares, at moderate charge only.
(6) All work is done on our premises, and under the supervision of a highly trained expert electro-plater, Mr Ng Seak Khuan, who has experience in this line for over a QUARTER OF A CENTURY.


Poh Kong Chye were established in 1897, they went into receivership in 2004.

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Re: Chinese Export Silver & Far East Trade Information

Postby dognose » Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:29 pm

CHONG AH TEONG

99, South Bridge Road, Singapore

Chong Ah Teong, a goldsmith of 99, South Bridge Road, has been robbed of $15 worth of gold by his coolie, Mok Chow, who has absconded.

Source: The Straits Times - 8th April 1913

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Re: Chinese Export Silver & Far East Trade Information

Postby dognose » Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:47 am

WAI-KEE 惠記珠寶有限公司

Shop 104, 1/F Prince's Building, 10 Chater Road, Hongkong 香港遮打道10號太子大廈1字樓104-105室

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1940

Image
1960's


Established at Hong Kong in 1885 and still in business today.

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Re: Chinese Export Silver & Far East Trade Information

Postby dognose » Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:20 pm

H.M. GRUNBERG

588, Victoria Street, Singapore

Advertised in 1884:

H.M. GRUNBERG

GOLDSMITH and JEWELLER

Begs to inform the Ladies and Gentlemen of Singapore that he is prepared to execute orders for making and repairing jewellery of all kinds.

All orders left at No. 588, Victoria Street, next house to the Bible Depository, will be punctually and carefully attended to.


Source: The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser - 6th December 1884

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Re: Chinese Export Silver & Far East Trade Information

Postby dognose » Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:02 am

ADOLF KUNKE

81, Brass Bassa Road, Singapore

Adolf Kunke was a practical goldsmith, jeweller and engraver, who had arrived in Singapore by 1893, he had previously worked at Paris and Vienna. His first premises were noted as 81, Brass Bassa Road, but by 1896 he was noted as being located at 15, Battery Road, Singapore.

In 1897 Adolf Kunke left Singapore bound for Europe, but in Columbo he was arrested and deported back to Singapore, where he stood trial on charges of criminal misappropriation of diamonds and sovereigns, and two charges of misappropriation of money, he was found not guilty of the first charge, but guilty of the second charges, and sentenced to twelve months rigorous imprisonment.

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Re: Chinese Export Silver & Far East Trade Information

Postby dognose » Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:32 am

THAI NAKON

79 Prachathipatai Rd.
Baan Panthom
Phra Nakon, Bangkok 10200
Thailand

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The oldest established manufacturer of nielloware and silverware still surviving in Thailand (Siam), having been founded in 1932.

In 1946 H.M. King Ananda, Rama VIII, granted the Royal Garuda to Thai Nakon, and took it into His Royal Patronage. H.M. King Bhumipol, Rama IX, the present King, continues to patronize the firm. Thai Nakon are also Silversmiths to the Royal Court and the Royal Thai Government.

They produce full lines of holloware, flatware, giftware, jewellery, and trophies.

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One of the marks used by Thai Nakon.

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Re: Chinese Export Silver & Far East Trade Information

Postby dognose » Mon Dec 24, 2012 7:30 am

CHOW TAI FOOK

Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Co. Ltd.
38/F, New World Tower
16-18, Queen's Road
Hong Kong

Image Image Image

It's not a name that's very familiar in the west, but the world's largest jewellery business, as far as sales go, is that of the Hong Kong based firm of Chow Tai Fook. The business was established in 1929 in the former Portuguese colony of Macau by the goldsmith Chow Chi Yuen who named his business Chow Tai Fook, that roughly translates as good fortune.

Today the company has a incredible 1,700 outlets in Asia, nearly all in China, but also in Macau, Singapore,Taiwan, Malaysia, and fifty stores in Hong Kong alone, a figure that is only exceeded by Signet Jewelers (Kay Jewelers in the U.S. and H. Samuel in the UK) who have just over 1,800. Chow Tai Fook employ over 17,000 staff and also own a refinery and a diamond polishing facility in South Africa.

One of the marks used by Chow Tai Fook:

Image

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Re: Chinese Export Silver & Far East Trade Information

Postby dognose » Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:19 pm

AGAPITO FRANCISCO

769, Magdalena, Manila

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Agapito Francisco - Manila - 1922

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