Hui Chinese Export Silver Figural Youth Set, Hong Kong, 2nd half 19th c.
This is a rare and unusual youth set. Consisting of a knife, spoon and fork, the handles are beautifully designed as intertwining grapevines terminating with small leaves and clusters of grapes. The knife blade is engraved with complimentary leaves.
The tops of the handles are mounted with Chinese figures. All the figures are identical with the exception of the fork being gilt.
The Hui mark has been documented as a Hong Kong shop supplying the later Sunshing shop in Crosby Forbes's Chinese Export Silver. Similar marks have been documented other places, but this singular mark has only been seen on Hong Kong silver.
As rear Admiral Schley had a long naval career that included service in the Philippines, these were likely purchased by him during one of his Pacific tours.
Provenance: Rear Admiral Winfield Scott Schley, by descent in the family.
All pieces are stamped with the Hui mark. The knife measures 7.5 inches long. The pieces weigh a combined 4.90 troy ounces and are in very good antique condition with very slight wear to the highlights. The knife and spoon may have been gilt.