Three-piece silver tea set by Cumshing
China, 19th century
A three-piece silver tea set, consisting of a teapot, a sugar bowl with matching tongs and a cream jug. All three pieces are in the shape of a length of bamboo, with the stalk and leaves in relief and bent to form handles and a spout. The bamboo ornament that decorates the flat lid of the teapot can be unscrewed for cleaning. All three pieces are marked with the initials CS for Cum Shing and a Chinese hallmark. The interior of both the sugar bowl and the cream jug is gilded.
The renowned Cantonese silversmith Cumshing often aimed to create an object that was both traditionally Chinese
and theatrical. The firm Cumshing of Old China Street, Canton was active from 1775 to 1895, becoming one of the best-known Cantonese retail silversmiths of the 19th century. Cumshing is one of the earliest of the identified Canton silversmiths. Various pieces by Cumshing are in the Chait collection of Chinese export silver, including a mug with a very similar bamboo-form handle.
- Kernan, J.D. The Chait Collection of Chinese Export Silver, New York 1985, no. 12, p. 31