Antique silver tray tells of Chinese and British friendship

Chen Huizhi
A silver plate from 100 years ago tells of the story between a British businessman and his Chinese friends. 
Chen Huizhi
Antique silver tray tells of Chinese and British friendship
Shanghai History Museum

The silver tray

A precious 100-year-old silver tray has been donated to the Shanghai History Museum.

The tray, created by the then famous Guangdong-style Shanghai silverware manufacturer Luen Wo, was given to Chester Haworth, a British national who visited a branch of his cotton spinning business in Shanghai in December 1925.

Haworth himself had worked as general manager of the Manchester company's Shanghai branch for many years.

The tray is 64 centimeters by 36 centimeters in size with traditional Chinese decorations for auspicious wishes on four ridges and a design with Western elements.

It was donated to the museum by Xie Songfeng, president of Shanghai Cooltech Power Co, and his wife.

The museum said it is devoted to collecting silverware which showcases the history of cultural communication between China and the West.

The project began 10 years ago when museum staff discovered silverware items at an antiques market in London that had been given to foreigners who had lived in Shanghai.

The museum has published many research papers on the history and cultural legacy of silverware in Shanghai and also held exhibitions on the theme.

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