Traditional Cold Processed Copper Wares in Xinjiang

Location: Octagonal Street of Tibetan Museum in North Park

The cold processed copper wares (lengzatongqi) are exquisite utensils made of manually hammered copper plate under room temperature. The ductility of copper featured the product with its delicacy.

Over one thousand years from West Han Dynasty (206BC - 24AD) to Tang Dynasty (618 – 907AD), Kashgar, Xinjiang Autonomous Region, was town on the key path way from Monglian Plateau to Pamir Plateau in the Silk Road. For generations, blacksmiths and bronze craftsmen thereof mingled the essence of western and Chinese culture and inherited the essential traditional craftsmanship of ethnic groups in Xinjiang. Hence, they became the messenger of culture along Silk Road and made Kashgar and Hotan regions the home of copper craftsmanship products that best preserved and widely used.

These copper wares reached their peak in 18th century, and thanks to their shapes and textures with the cultural smack of Middle Asia and the west, and represented the cultural heritages of Silk Road.

These copper wares are usually made of red copper, brass and tin. They are cold processed to the shapes desired and then engraved, carved or gilded with patterns, and polished to finish. Most of these copper wares are utensils used as containers or drink wares. There are various in names, e.g., pots, bowls, plates, cans, bottles, pots and so on.

The over 300 copper wares preserved in the museum are collected from Kashgar, Hotan, Ili and other places. They cover a time span of 500 years from Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1663AD) to modern time.

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