(circa 1830 - 1895)
Although, as it happens with the majority of the Chinese export silver makers, we don’t know the real identity of Leeching, it is easy to recognise the same high quality and fine design in all the pieces marked by the company.
Leeching had shops both in Canton and Shanghai where he retailed luxury items, jewellery and silver, mainly presentation pieces, tankards and goblets very much sought after by the Western clientele.
Leeching early pieces imitate the European neoclassical style and can compete with the finest Paul Storr production and can be recognised just for the heavy weight. In the second half of the century, Leeching introduced traditional Chinese motifs to decorate its pieces (dragons, bamboo leaves and genre scenes), but always maintaining neoclassical forms. Scholar Adrien Von Ferscht describes Leeching artworks as monumental (see A. Von Ferscht, Chinese Export Silver 1785-1940, 4th edition 2015).
The firm also supplied Hancocks, the silver retailer based in London who also worked for Queen Victoria.