Above: Collection of Chinese name seals, also known as “chops,” at the K.S. Lo Gallery

Two Small Museums of Note: Tea Museum and Chop Museum

Just a short walk from The Upper House, Hong Kong Park contains two fascinating small museums.

The Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware

This white colonnaded building once served as the office and home of the Commander of the British Armed Forces in Hong Kong. Completed in 1846, it survives as the oldest Greek Revival structure in the city. The museum opened in early 1984, with the core of its impressive holdings coming from a single donor, Dr. Lo Kwee-Seong, whose fortune from a soybean-beverage company enabled him to indulge his fascination with tea, its preparation and the wares used in serving it. Some objects collected by Lo date from the Tang Dynasty (618 to 907). My favorites were a series of 12 dainty cups representing the Flowers of the Months from the Kangxi period (1654 to 1722) of the Qing Dynasty. The gift shop is exceptionally well-stocked.

K.S. Lo Gallery

Close to The Flagstaff House, this gallery houses an extraordinary collection of Chinese name seals, or “chops,” donated by a foundation established by Dr. Lo Kwee-Seong. Chops serve in China and other Asian cultures as signatures, but, topped with intricately carved figures, they are also regarded as minor works of art. This collection comprises seals from the Ming Dynasty to the 20th century and includes works carved by famous Qing artists, such as the Eight Masters of Xiling. The most remarkable piece in the collection is a stone seal carved by Cheng Sui (1607-1692) of the late Ming and early Qing periods.

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Above: Collection of Chinese name seals, also known as “chops,” at the K.S. Lo Gallery

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