William Lycett was the son of Edward Lycett, known as 'the pioneer of China painting in America'. After gaining notoriety in New York porcelain circles, William moved to Atlanta in 1883 and opened a china-painting business at 67½ Whitehall Street, where this piece was produced. See Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, American Porcelain 1770-1920, New York, 1989, pp. 196-7, pl. 96 for an Ott & Brewer shell-form tray depicted as part of a tête-á-tête.