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Author Topic:   Durgin?
Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1768
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 02-12-2006 05:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
[01-2390]

This is a ca 1896 enameled lid for a humidor (the glass jar itsel is missing). The only marks are "STERLING SILVER" forming an arc over "925/1000" and the model number. This mark seems to be close to one sometimes found on Durgin hollowware items. The last picture shows a very similar mark in conjunction with the early Durgin bird mark. Does anybody know if this mark, in the absence of a maker's stamp, can be used to identify an article (e.g. the humidor lid) as Durgin? Or were other marks using this same sterling silver/925-1000 mark?

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FWG

Posts: 845
Registered: Aug 2005

iconnumber posted 02-12-2006 06:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FWG     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Alternatively, of course, the fineness mark as shown in the last photo could be associated with Shreve, Crump & Low rather than Durgin -- the striking on that example looks fairly consistent. The Shreve company could have ordered from a variety of manufacturers to a particular standard, and marked accordingly. That would be my first interpretation of the marks.

Beautiful enameling, BTW! It's such a nice piece I'd consider making a humidor for it, even if one carved from walnut rather than a glass jar....

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Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 02-12-2006 07:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Or this could have been ordered by a cut glass firm. Has anyone ever detected which firms made silver for which cut glass companies? I have never been able to see a pattern to this. It almost looks random, IMHE.

Great piece. Is the enameling signed?

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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1768
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 02-12-2006 07:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is a possibility. But if that were the case, and Shreve's was stamping the 925 mark, it seems like they would have also stamped their own mark while they were at it. Of course, the original humidor may have had further helpful marks, such as retailer marks, which are now lost.

This is a Durgin napkin ring from closed eBay auction 7386445750. It has the same marks.

Also closed eBay auction #7385563684 (the picture is too large to post here).

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I generally bring this lid when I go antiquing in case I happen across a glass humidor that fits. So far, no luck, but it displays well on a small plate stand.

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ETA:

The enameling is not signed; sad, because it is of wonderful quality.

I think Durgin and Hawkes had some sort of connection.

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outwest

Posts: 390
Registered: Nov 2005

iconnumber posted 02-12-2006 07:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for outwest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is a really nice piece! What size is it? It looks similar in shape to one I have that is not enameled. This is exactly 3 inches across the opening.

But, why would cigar or tobacco be stored in a cut glass container? A humidor was meant to maintain an exact humidity level for tobacco and cigars. Wouldn't the tobacco get moldy in a glass container? Modern Humidors are made of wood, aren't they?

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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1768
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 02-13-2006 12:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The diameter of the lid is 4 7/8", and it will fit on a jar that is 4 1/4" in diameter at the top. The enameled portion is 2 5/8" diameter.

As for terminology, I stand corrected about humidor. I does refer to a specific container intended to regular the temperature/moisture.

In fact, a ca 1910 Reed & Barton catalog describes the form of my piece (if it had its original bottom, of course) as a "tobacco jar." As far as I know, they generally had a silver or plated lid atop a glass/china container, or were all metal. eBay listing 6249817839 shows one example. This design (silverplated lid with figural pipe and/or cigar design and a pressed glass base) is extremely common.

Your lovely Art Nouveau jar, on the other hand, is a dresser accessory called a "puff box."

[This message has been edited by Paul Lemieux (edited 02-13-2006).]

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outwest

Posts: 390
Registered: Nov 2005

iconnumber posted 02-13-2006 01:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for outwest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You could go to a glass blower/maker and ask them to make you a box that would fit it. Or, you could just keep it on it's stand on the shelf. That's just as nice as it really stands on it's own as a miniature work of art. I love enamel work and porcelain painting and yours seems particularly well done. It is nice to see it mixed with silver. I think glass and silver together are beautiful. too.

The size seems like it would be extremely difficult to find a match. Most of these things got broken. I have several cut glass jugs/inkwells with silver tops, but I also have a top without a jug. Maybe I should get a little stand for it? smile

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Polly

Posts: 1939
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 02-13-2006 01:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I love the way the engraving of the monogram and date curl like the smoke.

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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1768
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 02-13-2006 09:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've had a couple near misses in terms of size. I have been hoping to find the right size jar with just a junky plated top I can discard; even if the jar won't be original, I would like a period example. I found one that was perfectly sized, but the pressed glass was very poor quality, with nubs and protrusions all over the place.

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FWG

Posts: 845
Registered: Aug 2005

iconnumber posted 02-13-2006 11:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FWG     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you've been looking for some time, as seems to be the case, I'd seriously consider having a wood turner make you a box as a stop-gap. They can turn to specific dimensions, so you could get just the size and shape you want, and the lid would display properly atop such a piece until you find the right glass jar. You could even match a wood color to the enameling. You should be able to find someone who could do that at pretty much any good-size craft fair, and the cost shouldn't be outrageous.

And of course as soon as you did that, the perfect jar would appear....

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t-man-nc

Posts: 327
Registered: Mar 2000

iconnumber posted 02-14-2006 05:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for t-man-nc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Paul,

I see a lot of glass here locally, if you post deminsions of what you want, I will check with some friends and ask them to send you some pics of possible candidates for your jar search... :-)

"Smaug"

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