This exceptional antique Victorian silver tea set, in sterling standard, consists of a teapot, cream jug and sugar basket.
Each piece of this antique silver tea set has a circular rounded shaped, panelled form onto a circular spreading foot; the teapot's foot has a scalloped form.
The body of each piece is embellished with a central band of framed chased designs, each bearing an individual emblem of the Zodiac signs: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces.
Either side of each piece bears a double-length bordered cartouche; the anterior cartouche of each piece is embellished with the contemporary engraved initials 'EMC'.
This feature array is flanked with bands of engraved opposing scrolling decoration.
The teapot is fitted with a hallmarked hinged cover surmounted by the original and impressive cast gourd style finial.
The surface of the cover is encompassed with further bands of engraved decoration, and is embellished with an applied moulded border to the scalloped rim.
The teapot retains the original, fine and impressive C shaped handle, ornamented with impressive engraved decoration to the handpiece and plain scrolling thumbpiece.
The cream jug and sugar basket are fitted with sterling silver handles, each ornamented with impressive applied bead decoration to the anterior surface.
The teapot is fitted with an impressive swan necked spout ornamented with further engraved organic designs to the sides, in addition to a plain moulded border to the lip.
This impressive tea service is presented with an associate pair of antique Victorian sterling silver sugar tongs, bearing an impressive twisted stem and featuring scrolling leaf decorated cartouches to the handpieces; these tongs were crafted by the Birminghamd silversmith Thomas Hayes in 1899.
Maker: Fenton Brothers (J F Fenton & F Fenton)