This tea set, salver, and table, together with some now missing cups, were all designed by Bugatti as an ensemble. They were probably acquired from his 1907 exhibition at the Galerie Hébrard in Paris by a wealthy South African widow, Anna Blake, who was living there at the time. It is said that Bugatti's work appealed to her because it reminded her of Africa. Some of the animal and insect motifs suggest mythical beasts or the fossils of prehistoric animals. When Mrs. Blake returned to Cape Town, she took these and other pieces designed by Bugatti with her, and they remained in South Africa until about 20 years ago.