The pastel palette of this dessert service relates to shaded and matte-finished enamels of "Saracenic" design that were introduced by Edward C. Moore at the Paris Exposition of 1889. The enameled wares, such as the Orchid Vase, (now at San Simeon, the former residence of William Randolph Hearst), were extremely well received at the Paris fair and contributed to Tiffany's winning the Grand Prize for Silverware.
John T. Curran, Moore's collaborator on many of the designs for the enamel patterns, continued to work in the Saracenic style after Moore's death in 1891, exhibiting several related works at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, such as a coffee pot in shades of buff, pale blue, pale green, pink and purple, which sold in these Rooms on 22 May 2008, lot 247. Other examples of enamel holloware in shaded pastel palettes include a coffee pot, circa 1894 and a teapot, circa 1889, both sold in these Rooms, January 21, 2000, lot 259 and 17 January 2008, lot 57.
The application of enamel to flatware is rare, and particularly those in shaded enamels. A set of twelve champlevé enamel dessert knives in shades of lavender and pale green is illustrated in William P. Hood, Tiffany Silver Flatware, 1845-1905: When Dining was an Art, 1999, fig. 416, p. 276.