Exquisite three-piece Chinese silver tea set handmade in the melon form. The body of each piece is adorned with intricately detailed panels incorporating a dense background of bamboo, human figures, warriors on horseback and others carrying flags, scrolling foliage, a bird or two hiding in the stems of the bamboo, and all set against a mottled ground. The handles and the teapot finial are made to emulate wooden branches and the collar of each piece is decorated with a Greek key pattern.
The marks are all Tu Mao Xing 涂茂興, one of an operational manufacturing and retailing silversmith dynastic family of silversmiths in Jiujang in Jiangxi Province circa 1880-1937.
Dimensions are given for the teapot. The sugar bowl is 70mm x 50mm (2¾" x 2"); the milk jug is 70mm x 115mm (2¾" x 4½").
Thank you to Adrien Von Ferscht (皇甫安) for sharing his knowledge. Adrien is considered the leading expert for Chinese export silver acting as an independent consultant and expert to museums, important private collections, academics and enthusiasts around the world.