This silver tray is a beautiful piece of tableware, which skilfully blends Eastern and Western decorative styles. It has been simply adorned with a twisted bamboo edge, bamboo handles and the tray base has been carefully hammered to give the piece a rougher, more tactile texture.
The tray was produced in China for the British market, and is the work of important Chinese silversmith Tu Mao Xing (active 1880-1930). His work has been described as quintessentially ‘High Victorian in the Chinese style’, and it carefully weaves together Chinese decorative elements with traditional British forms.
At the time of this tray being produced in the late 19th Century, there was a large demand for Chinese silver pieces in the West, since it was both economically advantageous and fashionable to own silverware imported from China. It was as a consequence of this that the artistic tradition of Chinese export silver developed.
The tray is fully hallmarked and bears marks for Tu Mao Xing on the underside.