Qing trophy, c.1850 – £12,000 at Cheffins.

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Estimated at £1000-2000, it took £12,000 online from an Australian private buyer.

Along with pseudo-British marks, it has the mark of Khe Cheong, a Canton maker and retailer that operated from Old China Street and Club Street, Honam Island, between c.1840-90.

The firm produced many similar standing cups that (although today described as Chinese export or China trade silver) were made for the domestic market, often purchased as trophies for the Western sporting clubs that grew up in Hong Kong and Shanghai. The earliest Hong Kong horse racing trophy, the 1846 ‘Hunters Plate’ trophy, has similar marks for Khe Cheong.


A detail of the mark to the Qing trophy that made £12,000 at Cheffins.

This 10in (26cm) example offered at the auction on August 4, of a similar date, has two scroll bamboo style handles and is decorated to the body with repoussé, chased and engraved battle scenes, foliage and buildings under an applied vacant shield shaped cartouche.

Back in January this year at Lawrences, The Celestial Cup, a Chinese silver trophy, c.1850, marked for Khecheong of Canton, sold for £26,000 to specialist dealer S&J Stodel of the London Silver Vault. Passed by descent in a Somerset family, it was shown at the Great Exhibition the year after it was the prize in a Hong Kong horse race.