Li Sui Chi presentation cup

Submitted by jill on Fri, 06/22/2012 - 08:13

Can anyone throw light on whether a practice of giving silver trophies as personal gifts existed in Hong Kong at the beginning of the twentieth century? One of the few belongings of my grandfather Charles Edward Warren, active in Hong Kong 1894-1923, and which was salvaged by my uncle, Leslie Beal Warren, was a mysterious silver cup that doesn’t appear to commemorate any sporting achievement or event. The inscription simply reads: “C.E. Warren Esq./From/Li Sui Chi/Hong Kong/1903.” My grandfather's monogram CEW appears beneath this. My grandfather was not remembered in our family for any particular sporting prowess and he did not become involved in racing till 1919.

The only Li Sui Chi who I have found, died in 1923 the same year as my grandfather and was described only as a “gentleman”. His given address at the time of death was a first floor flat at no. 12 Hing Hon Road. I have found this road described as 'a favourite residential area for well-to-do Chinese, being sandwiched between the Chinese quarter down the slopes and the wealthy Western quarter in its immediate neighbourhood.' I should be grateful to know whether there was a culture of giving commemorative cups with similarly brief dedications at this date for reasons of friendship or business, and whether the name of Li Sui Chi crops up in any other context.


Hi Jill,

The silver cup might just be just for good will or gratitude of service.  I have seen similar souveniours like a Silver Shield, or the more commonly used Banners with word of thanks/gratitude embroided onto the banner.  Local Chinese also like to use bigger wooden plages or even engraved mirrors for such purpose.

My 2 cents,


Hello T

It's extemely helpful to have your corroboration of this tradition of cup-giving as a gesture of gratitude. 1903 was early in my grandfather's career. He was only 31 at the time. This cup is the only such one that has come down into our family, but it is certainly possible that it acknowledged some service connected with his building business or represented thanks for a gravestone. I'm hoping to find out whether Li Sui Chi's name appears elsewhere in the records of the time to try to fill in the background to this gift.

Many thanks for your useful reply.


Unfortunately it's not in my possession. It's a conventional, stemmed trophy-style cup between 12 and 18 inches high. For some reason I made a drawing when I saw it, instead of taking a photo. There is a rather peculiar border engraved round my grandfather's monogram. The monogram itself is the same design as on his inkwell. The pearl-shaped border could be construed as consisting of  flames or little fins. Perhaps this is a standard local design. It would be interesting to know if it was usual to engrave the monogram of the person you were giving the cup to, instead of his name. Only the name of the giver, Li Sui Chi appears + the date, 1903, and the place, Hong Kong.