A Remarkable Gift for a Remarkable Man: the James Legge Tablet

Join V&A Curator and Conservators to discover the story behind a magnificent silver tablet commissioned in 1867 by 79 members of the Chinese community in Hong Kong for James Legge (1815–1897), Scottish missionary, teacher, and giant in Sinology.

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+44 (0)20 7942 2000
  • Thursday, 26 October 2023

  • V&A South Kensington

    Cromwell Road
    London, SW7 2RL

  • Hochhauser Auditorium

  • Free event

A Remarkable Gift for a Remarkable Man: the James Legge Tablet photo

James Legge arrived in Hong Kong in 1843 just after the British colony had been established. He made a significant contribution to the Hong Kong society not only as a missionary but also a friend to the Chinese community. In the academic world, he was known for translating monumental volumes of Chinese Classics into English, a task seemed almost impossible even today. This silver tablet was made when Legge first left Hong Kong. Its substantial scale, unusual shape and sophisticated quality suggest a gift most exquisite.

The back of the tablet is inscribed the names of 79 patrons, many are members of a rising Chinese elite class in Hong Kong in the late nineteenth century. Join curator Dr Xiaoxin Li, conservators Robert Mitchell and Philip Kevin to uncover stories behind the design, production, and conservation of this intriguing object, on display at the V&A for the first time.