Leeching Chinese Export Silver Cup, ca. 1870
I brought a cup that I had purchased about 50 years ago in an antique shop in Georgetown, District of Columbia. It was a present for my soon-to-be husband. I paid about $50. And I was told it was Vietnamese. It was the first antique I ever bought, but I knew my husband-to-be was interested in antiques, so... It just appealed to me-- the artistic design, the dragon handle. I just liked it.
Well, what you've brought today is a really interesting and unusual example of a Chinese export silver cup by Leeching in Guangdong, in Hong Kong. So this qualifies as Qing Dynasty. The form is very interesting in that it's very atypical of a form the Chinese would have been making for export to England or America. And perhaps the form could have indicated that this was made for export to either the Turkish market or the Russian market. So this is just a very odd vase-y form, then with the attached dragon handle. And you mentioned the scene drew you to it. And what we have here is a very interesting interior and exterior scene, the interior showing preparations for a feast, and the exterior showing guests on their way to the feast. The manner of decoration is what we call repoussé decoration. And you can see, if I tilt this and you look inside, that the decoration was done by punching the metal out. And not only is it decorated in the full round, the silversmith marked his work, putting hallmarks on the bottom. And the "LC" is for Leeching. Examples come up from time to time on the secondary auction market, and can sometimes also be found in retail silver shops. If this were in a retail silver shop today, I would expect them to have a price of $2,500 on it.
Oh, my goodness. Oh! (laughing): I'm so surprised. My goodness. Wonderful. Well, I'm very pleased. My husband was worth it and I'll keep it. (laughs)
And him. (laughs) Very good
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