Collecting silver is a passionate dedication for many, and with sets like this rare Chinese export service, it is easy to see why. Chinese silver is considered a “hidden treasure” among silver collectors – more difficult to find and with one-of-a-kind patterns made bespoke for original owners. Our three-piece Chinese tea set features an exceptional flora motif, with stylized bamboo handles and gilt interior on the creamer and sugar vessels. A set like this would have been an exotic acquisition to the 19th century collector, possessing all the desired qualities a European tourist would have preferred.
Chinese silver production has a fascinating history, born out of the boon of wealthy visitors to China starting in the 18th century. Rather than emulate the staid designs of European silver houses, Chinese silver makers relied on the popularity of exoticized patterns that captured only certain elements of the Chinese aesthetic. Designs with dragons, flowers and birds appealed to Western tastes and the resulting pieces were hand crafted by highly skilled artisans.
Later, in the 20th century, silver makers in China began to mass produce their pieces. The aesthetic preferred by the Western tourists had long been established, so the demand for hand crafted, specialized pieces was lost. Our set was created in the 19th century, making the chrysanthemums, irises, plums, and unmistakable Chinese shape particularly special.
Beautiful, ornate, and exceptional, this Chinese silver tea set will be treasured for many generations to come. Click here to visit our website and to view more of our spectacular silver collection.