Inventory no.: 2009

Chinese Export Silver Tea Set by Cumshing


Three-piece Silver Tea Set by Cumshing

Guangdong, China

circa 1870

length of teapot: 23.5cm, height of teapot: 16.2cm; weight of teapot: 691g

weight of all three pieces combined: 1,261g

Each piece of this three-piece Chinese export silver tea set by the Guangdong or Canton maker Cumshing is of spherical form and sits on low, flaring feet shaped and engraved as lotus leaves. Each piece is decorated with applied swirling dragons, amid stylised clouds. Both sides of each piece is embellished with a round disc to denote the pearl that the dragons chase.

Both the sugar bowl and creamer have gilded interiors.

Each piece has bamboo-form handles, with the tea pot having two original ivory insulators in its handle.

Each piece is stamped to the base with ‘CS’ and a Chinese ideogram which translates as ‘Bo’. The latter mark probably indicates the individual craftsman.

The set is in excellent condition. There are no dents, splits or repairs. The decoration on each piece is very crisp and shows little sign of wear from polishing. Each piece sits flatly and solids on its legs.

See Chan (2005, p. 72) for a related standing cup and cover that has similar applied dragon decoration and which is similarly stamped ‘CS’.


Chan, D.P.L.,

Chinese Export Silver: The Chan Collection, published in conjunction with the Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore, 2005.

Kernan, J.D.,

The Chait Collection of Chinese Export Silver, Ralph M. Chait Galleries, 1985.

Forbes, H.A.C.

et al, Chinese Export Silver 1785-1885, Museum of the American China Trade, 1975.

Marlowe, A.J.,

Chinese Export Silver, John Sparks, 1990.


 UK art market

Inventory no.: 2009