A similar teapot and covered sugar bowl sold in these Rooms, January 24, 1987, lots 27 and 28. A cream pitcher of a similar pattern is in the collection of the Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, and is illustrated in Charles H. Carpenter Jr., Tiffany Silver, 1978, fig. 266, p. 194.
In 1878, Siegfried Bing acknowledged Tiffany & Co.'s artistic director, Edward C. Moore, as "one of the first to comprehend the real value of the treasures just emerging from the Orient." Moore had drawn inspiration from Japanese art objects flooding the Western market and began to produce material employing Japanese motifs as early as 1871. By 1877, a more mature style had developed, represented by this tea service, characterized by the use of mixed metals, organic shapes, ornament derived from nature, and hand-hammered surfaces with matte finishes. It was this metalwork which was exhibited to such acclaim at the 1878 Exposition Universelle in Paris, garnering the grand prix for silverware, a gold medal for Edward C. Moore and the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor for Charles L. Tiffany.