Nee Wuh Tseng company (藝華盛)- Hong Kong furniture maker – including from 1933 camphorwood chests

Yolande van Daatselaar from Delft in the Netherlands has recently been in touch.

She says she is the proud owner of a beautiful camphorwood chest, with pearl inlay, bought by her grandfather in Hong Kong during one of his trips as a sailor on the Holland Amerika Line some time between 1946 and 1960. She doesn’t know exactly when.
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Yolande wonders if anyone can tell her, and us, more about such made-in-Hong Kong chests, how they were made, where the materials used came from etc.

She also asks if anyone knows how to obtain a replacement key for the lock.

At risk of sounding like the BBC’s TV programme, Antiques Roadshow, Yolande’s piece was made by the Hong Kong furniture maker – Nee Wuh Tseng company (藝華盛) as can been seen in another of her photos.

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York Lo’s article, Shanghainese Wood Carvers and the Development of the Wooden Furniture Industry in Hong Kong, highlights several companies and the people associated with them.

One of these is Nee Wuh Tseng (藝華盛). The following are extracts from York’s article:

The company was “established in 1930 and was the first Shanghainese furniture maker in Hong Kong… founded by Chang Hang Hok (蔣恒鶴, 1905-1990)…

…In 1930, he moved to Hong Kong and started Nee Wuh Tseng in Wai Ching Street in Yaumatei and won his first contract supplying Chinese furniture to the Peruvian consulate in Hong Kong. He started making camphorwood chests in 1933 which were very popular with foreigners and by 1935 he needed to move into a 10,000 square feet factory in Tai Hang to accommodate his expanded workforce which had increased from 40 to 200 with 70 of them being woodcarvers and the rest carpenters and painters, most of them coming from his native Dongyang…

…After the War he resumed his business which operated out of 33 Mody Road in Kowloon and 18 Queen’s Road East on Hong Kong island for many years…”

A few more of Yolande’s photos.

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Related Indhhk articles:

  1. Shanghainese Wood Carvers and the Development of the Wooden Furniture Industry in Hong Kong

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