United Kingdom


Antique 19th Century Chinese Export solid silver vase on stand, impressive and exceptionally fine, of baluster form, the body showing a compendium of the finest techniques and styles used in Chinese Export Silver; the body decorated with four sharp medallions on each side depicting various designs and themes, depicting densely populated village scene with a vacant shield cartooche, surrounded by buildings and trees, the others depicting chrysanthemum flowers in bloom, perched birds on a blossoming cherry tree and two dragons playing in water and amongst clouds, around engraved with stylized cross-key boarders, the handle realistically modelled as cherry tree branches, vase affixed with a screw to a carved bamboo pedestal stand.

The decoration is extremely crisp and detailed, the vase demonstrates almost all the patterns and decorative techniques used in Chinese Export silver, such as engraved stylized foliage, bamboo leaves, animals, applied floral handles and the most popular and sought after village scenes depicting nobility.

Hallmarked with Chinese export silver marks, Maker CW, Cum Wo is one of the first Chinese export silversmiths known active in Hong Kong since 1860. He had a shop in Queen's Road, where many silversmiths were based, but the superb quality of his works and the attention to details made him stand out among the others.

As many silversmiths of the time, he didn't deal just in silver, but also in ceramic, gold and other.
CW was one of the first to decorate high Victorian shapes with traditional Chinese motifs such as dragons and bamboo leaves creating dramatic and unusual effects.

In the early 20th Century he was a pioneer in producing cocktail shakers decorated with Chinese motifs, particularly prunus blossoms. He managed to keep up with the changing fashion and as scholar Adrien Von Ferscht highlighted, he 'was one of the few silversmiths who knew when enough decoration was enough' (see A. Von Ferscht, Chinese Export Silver 1785-1940, 4th edition 2015). In fact, especially in the early 20th Century CW mostly adopted plain and polished shapes finely decorated with Chinese motifs.

The firm also created miniature tea sets and doll's house furniture, which were very much in demand among the wealthy English families.. For more information and examples of his work please see A. Von Ferscht, Chinese Export Silver 1785-1940, 4th edition 2015, page 220).


In Excellent Condition - No Damage.


Height (with stand): 42cm
Width: 14cm
Weight: 1210g

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Location China
Designer / Brand Cum Wo
Period c. 1890
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Condition pre-owned