Chinese Export Silver Tea & Coffee Service, ca. 1910
This was my mother's. It's been in our family for about 45 years or so. She bought it at a tag sale. She and my dad saw it and she loved it, and he wouldn't buy it. He says, "You don't need it. It's not sterling, you don't need it." So she fussed about it all day long and the next day they went back and it was still there, and they bought it. And here it is now. I just want to know what it is.
It was still there after a whole day.
Absolutely, it was still there.
That was lucky because usually when you go back for things, you can never see them again.
Well, it's a Chinese silver tea set. So it is sterling. It dates to around 1910. It's beautifully done with these dragons, which is a very auspicious symbol for China. And they're sort of chasing the flaming pearl. The pearls here at the front would be where you would engrave your initials, but it's left blank.
Oh, wow, okay.
It also forms part of the composition, because the dragon's always chasing it. So it's quite a nice little decorative motif. Another thing I really like about this set is the fact that these silver tendrils coming from the dragon's snout are raised above the body. So you've got this wonderful kind of 3D effect that it gives you. The market for Chinese silver is very strong, so it will do very, very well if it went for auction. How much was paid for it?
$125. I think at auction this would be $5,000 to $7,000.
Oh, wow. Awesome!
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