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Author Topic:   Durgin Arts & Crafts
Cheryl and Richard

Posts: 154
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 10-15-1999 04:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cheryl and Richard     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We recently found a small meat fork in Durgin's pattern Arts & Crafts. Since we have never seen anything in this pattern before, we wonder - Was it made in a full line?
Over the weekend we showed this piece to someone who we thought might be familiar with the pattern. They were surprised to see that it has a hammered appearance; they had previously only seen smooth pieces in the pattern.

[This message has been edited by Cheryl and Richard (edited 10-18-99).]

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Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 10-22-1999 06:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When the Arts & Crafts style was popular, a number of large manufacturers introduced versions of plain flatware patterns with machine-hammered surfaces or die-stamped flatware with fake hammer marks cut into the die. I would wager that Arts & Crafts was a variation of the Dolly Madison pattern with a special machine-hammered finish. Dolan's flatware book gives Dolly Madison an introduction date of 1904, and Arts & Crafts a date of 1906, right in the heart of the period.

I would also guess that someone buying flatware at the time could have ordered a full set of Arts & Crafts if they so chose, but it might not have been generally available. Alternatively, Durgin may have just been testing the waters with some serving pieces in the hot new style without committing to a full line.

I personally would guess that Durgin was simply dressing up a plain pattern with machine hammering, and trying to cash in on the popular look.

There is another possibility, that of an after-market silversmith altering the piece. John O. Bellis of San Francisco made a career out of hammering machine-made silver into "Arts & Crafts" pieces. I have seen flatware marked by him with the original Gorham trademark still visible.

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