A Fine Chinese trousse with case
Trousse’s or eating sets were commonly used by the Chinese, especially the Manchu since the 18th century. During the reign of emperor Qianlong (1735-1796) the Manchu were forbidden to eat pre-cut meat because of the strict Manchu tradition of eating in the rough outdoors. Being able to cut flesh straight from the animal was considered as an important tradition. During the late 18th and 19th century many people wore eating sets of a wide variety in quality.
China, 19th century or older
Materials: Hardwood,Steel, Brass, Ivory (Elephas Maximus), Paktong, Silk.
A very fine example of a Chinese trousse or eating set containing a very well made knife, ivory chopsticks and a wooden case with paktong fittings.
The eating sets were commonly worn by the Chinese and vary in quality.
This example has a knife with long stretched blade. The handle is made of ivory. The handle consists of two ivory slabs revited together and decorated with paktong fittings. The pommel is made of paktong (Berlin silver). The blade shows a fine cutting edge and spine and is decorated with Manchu script. The old patinated ivory chopsticks are in round form and fit in the scabbard. The scabbard is made of lovely patinated hardwood with Paktong fittings. The scabbard has one suspension ring.
An antique embroidered fan case was used to fit in this trousse, according to Henri Moser, this was used often to carry the utensils in a fashionable way. The case shows a variety of auspicious symbols, floral motives and precious objects.
A fine example of a Chinese trousse with good age. The combination with the fan case makes it a very nice ensemble.
Condition: Good condition, minimal signs of use, some minor loose on the brass wire on the case. The ivory slabs have some cracks due to age and use, a small piece of wood is missing from the scabbard.
Total length: 38cm
Henri Moser: Henri Moser’s Collections: Catalogue of Oriental Arms and Armour, Charlottenfels, Switzerland, Published Karl W. Hiersemann, Leipzig 1912. Plate XXXII.
Copyright by Peter Andeweg – 2020
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