Carlo Bugatti's sons achieved illustrious careers of their own. Rembrandt Bugatti (1884-1916) became a celebrated sculptor, and Ettore Bugatti (1881-1947) manufactured luxurious automobiles and racing cars.
This tea and coffee service, salver, and table, together with some now missing cups, were all designed by Carlo Bugatti as an ensemble and presented at the 1902 exposition devoted to decorative arts in Turin, Italy. The set was probably acquired from Bugatti's 1907 exhibition at the Galerie Hébrard in Paris by a wealthy South African widow, Anna Blake, who was living there at the time. 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 throughout her lifetime.
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