(circa 1775 - 1895)


Among the silversmiths working in Canton, Cumshing seems to be the longest working one.

Specialised in flatware and tableware for the Western market, Cumshing used pseudo-hallmarks to mark his pieces. The earliest production was characterised by neoclassical motifs in the Georgian style, totally similar to contemporary pieces made in Europe but much heavier.

In the second half of the 19th Century Cumshing introduced traditional Chinese motifs such as dragons, Chinese genre scenes and plum blossoms often blended with Victorian designs. The result, as observed by expert Adrien von Ferscht, is a very theatrical combination of East and West (Adrien von Ferscht, Chinese Export Silver 1785 - 1940: the definitive collector's guide, University of Glasgow 2015).

Cumshing pieces show a very high quality and faultless craftsmanship that according to Crosby Forbes ‘stands without peer among early Export silversmiths’ (Henry A. Crosby Forbes, Chinese Export Silver: 1785 to 1885, Museum of the US China Trade 1975, p. 74). Nowadays his artworks are part of the collections of international museums such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Yale University Art Galleries and the Detroit Institute of Arts.