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Author Topic:   Favorite pieces - Part 1
witzhall

Posts: 124
Registered: Mar 2006

iconnumber posted 03-25-2006 01:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for witzhall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
[26-0975]

I have enjoyed so much taking the time to cruise through past posts on these forums - such interesting topics and reminiscences! One of many that I've especially enjoyed is Favorite silver? - page 1 and page 2 in the Silver Stories forum. Of course that got me thinking about my own favorites, and though it's almost impossible to drill down to one, this little pot (hot chocolate? cafe au lait?) is up in the top ten! It's 6" tall and 5" spout tip to back of handle, and on my postal scale it weighs 13.3 ounces. I'm not even sure it's silver, though it certainly tarnishes and polishes like silver. But I love the graceful shape and the pretty engraving.


These marks are on the bottom of the pot and the bottom of one of the four feet.

I'd love to hear what anyone can suggest about it; it was a present years ago from an aunt.

Thanks!

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rian

Posts: 169
Registered: Jan 2006

iconnumber posted 03-25-2006 03:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I love looking at and hearing about other people's silver also, and I wish I had some insightful comment to make as a return for the delight your pictures gave me. Did your aunt tell you anything at all about the history of the piece? Do you know if it was hers or if it was bought for you especially?

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witzhall

Posts: 124
Registered: Mar 2006

iconnumber posted 03-25-2006 05:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for witzhall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You know, rian, it's a case of "I wish . . ." No, she didn't tell me and no, I didn't ask. I think she bought it for me, but I could well be wrong. She was a native of Charleston, SC, with great knowledge and appreciation for old things, so there was a story there that I'm sorry not to have heard. Thanks for your appreciative words!

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venus

Posts: 282
Registered: Jul 2005

iconnumber posted 03-30-2006 06:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for venus     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
and this is one of my favorite things....

in fact this was my first piece of silver that I bought, and it set the hook but good! I bought it at an auction, and I was shocked that I was the only bidder, glad but surprised. No idea why others did not see the beauty that was there for any to see.

It is marked Hartford Silver plate Quadruple plate on the underside and on the opposite side it has 3595 scratched on. It stands 7" and is 10" across, without the handle up. The pattern is 2 birds and a crescent moon and flowers, it is repeated on both sides of the bowl.

I love it and both of my daughters got dibs on it, oh my. wink


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rian

Posts: 169
Registered: Jan 2006

iconnumber posted 03-30-2006 08:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Beautiful, Venus. This is only a guess but I think people are afraid of silverplate. A bidder wouldn't know how much silver is left. Would the next polishing wear it through. You won the prize because you weren't timid. Way to go!

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rian

Posts: 169
Registered: Jan 2006

iconnumber posted 04-07-2006 02:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My mother only had the silver she could not have graciously refused. Those pieces were happily passed on to me. I liked them. I used them. They were homely and familiar--to be hauled out with the wedding silver and used on holidays and special occasions.

A couple of years ago my mother-in-law gave me the piece that set the hook for me, a server about 10 inches long, shaped like a quarter note with the business end flat and gilded. The pattern was all flower and ruffle, very girly. The mystery server had been a gift to her from an elderly friend of her parents. She had been too shy to ask anything about it. She had never used it. Would I like to have it? Of course I would, and I would find out all about it and let her know.

The maker was easy to find, Wood and Hughes. The pattern, Louvre, took a little longer. The retailer, G W Chatterton, was a jeweler in Springfield IL. But I couldn't find out what the darned thing was! I wish I had known about this forum then. Or maybe better not because I looked at a lot of silver and talked to dozens of people. Perhaps the hook was in the search. Anyway, I eventually found a copy of Osterberg's flatware book in the library and there it was on page 175, an oyster server. I use it for pastry.


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Kimo

Posts: 1597
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 04-07-2006 04:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Witzhall. To answer your question on your nice little jug - it appears to be a silver plated creamer that was made in India. It likely would have been paired with a sugar and together they would have been part of a large tea service in the same style. It is hard to tell whether it has much age to it, as this sort of thing is still being made there today. I agree with you that it is charming and the fact that it was given to you by your Auntie makes it special.

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outwest

Posts: 390
Registered: Nov 2005

iconnumber posted 04-07-2006 04:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for outwest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I love the pot and can see why you like it. The bowl is so nice, too and the oyster server is crazy and so much fun.

This is one of my favorites. It's a buckwheat cake server. The back is stamped JP Patent 1857. I assume the patent is for the Olive-like pattern. I like it because the engraving looks all hand done to me and the two halves of the circle are different from each other. That makes it interesting to look at even though over the top. It is also very usable and I use it to serve cake slices,etc. I keep meaning to make some buckwheat cakes. smile



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andrewshane

Posts: 18
Registered: Feb 2006

iconnumber posted 04-07-2006 05:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for andrewshane     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's my favorite. Just bought it today. My interest is Mexican Silver. This very unique coffee urn is by Sanborns. It fully functions too!! I've never seen a sterling coffee urn that is Mexican Silver before so I'm very excited. I hope you enjoy the photo.

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outwest

Posts: 390
Registered: Nov 2005

iconnumber posted 04-07-2006 07:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for outwest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I like Mexican silver, too although I only have a couple little things. Your big urn is terrific!

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IJP

Posts: 326
Registered: Oct 2004

iconnumber posted 04-07-2006 09:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for IJP     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rian, I'm not especially a big fan of the Louvre pattern, but the oyster server is a beautiful piece!

I love these Show-and-Tells. Keep it coming, folks, I love to look at everyone's nice pieces whenever I get the chance.

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t-man-nc

Posts: 327
Registered: Mar 2000

iconnumber posted 04-07-2006 10:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for t-man-nc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My Favorite is the one I am holding at the time when the question is asked, I go looking for something and rediscover an out of mind treasure... Smile...

Most current is a toss up... I rediscovered one of my Coin Mounted - Claret Jugs by Hall and Hewson, Federal Style Cut / Etched - Crystal, very thin, will post picture later. Also just purchased a 18th century Wedding Beaker form Norway (see thread in Continental forum)... But today and went in "halves" with a friend in a group of coin 13 pieces he got 12 including the southern spoons, but I got a Joseph Edwards (Boston Mass) Spoon, should get it some time next week will post Pictures then...

So favorites? ... Everything in my collection...

"Wife of Smaug, says should be a real good garage / yard sale when I go.... 2 for a Quarter... eek!

"Smaug"

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witzhall

Posts: 124
Registered: Mar 2006

iconnumber posted 04-08-2006 12:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for witzhall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you, Kimo - I was so interested in everyone else's favorites that I forgot I hadn't learned anything about my own! The India part was clear, but the ideas that it's plated and a creamer are new to me. I'd love to come across the sugar bowl! I can vouch for some age, as my aunt gave it to me probably 30 years ago, but nothing compared to what's usually discussed here. Thanks again.

And I love that so many are joining in with your favorites - as IJP said, "Keep it coming, folks"!

[This message has been edited by witzhall (edited 04-08-2006).]

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trapper

Posts: 27
Registered: Jun 2004

iconnumber posted 04-08-2006 11:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for trapper     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Greetings all,

Well, since so many are sharing, I might as well throw my two in for good measure. I have no family pieces so my favorites tend to be my best finds. The first is a set of candlesticks I bought at a local tag sale a couple of weeks ago. They are interchangeable being either a bud vase, bud vase/candle holder, of triple candle holder. They are from mexico and I love the playfullness of them. I paid a paltry sum.

The second is another great find. It is a fruit bowl made by S Kirk and Son. It is 9.5 inches in diameter and 2.5 inches high. It weighs over 2 pounds!! Again, this is a local tag sale find from a few years ago. Kind of embarrassing.......UMMMMM The problem with this bowl is that some previous owner attempted to clean it with what appears to be steel wool!! It is full of disgusting scratches but the quality still screams out.

In regard to Scott's new collectors thread, this bowl is what got me hooked. I am still fairly young and in my spare time, go to sales to find things to resell you-know-where. While researching this bowl, I came across this site and became so enamored by the enthusiasm that the members exhibited for silver that I started to view the bowl in a different light. It is my opinion that, at least in my case, the driving factor that has propelled me into silver collecting was the prospect of profiting from it which has morphed into something contrary to my original plan. The more young people that we can turn on to the profit side of silver, the more that will eventually become collectors in their own right.


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IJP

Posts: 326
Registered: Oct 2004

iconnumber posted 04-09-2006 06:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for IJP     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm unable, unfortunately, to post a picture (It appears I never photographed it before it was sold!), but I remember a fantastic repoussé-chased coffee and tea set by A.G. Schultz & Co. It included a coffeepot, teapot, creamer, sugar, and hot water kettle with stand. All pieces bore finely chased details of tall castles behind a pond surrounded by reeds, with perhaps a swan leisurely paddling across. The handles of all pieces had a roughly rectangular profile, with a 90 degree bend at the outside upper corner, crested with a ram's head.

I didn't make the connection right away, but when I visited Charleston late last year, I saw a nearly identical set by Samuel Kirk's firm, and I realized that this example of Schultz's work drew much influence from Kirk's precedents of architectural repoussé silver, even perhaps fifty to eighty years after its first use (and here I'm only guessing... If any of you care to enlighten me differently, please do).

I believe it only reinforces the notion that classic design will always be attractive.

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rian

Posts: 169
Registered: Jan 2006

iconnumber posted 04-10-2006 11:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I enjoyed trapper's story of having been sucked into silver collecting when he started out only looking for a profit. Best laid plans and all that. A big, showy piece like his Kirk bowl "rescued from its reduced circumstances" (I love that phrase--I think it's Cheryl's) makes a great cornerstone.

Smaug, please don't forget the pictures you promised. I really liked the wedding cup.

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t-man-nc

Posts: 327
Registered: Mar 2000

iconnumber posted 04-12-2006 08:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for t-man-nc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A couple of pics...



"Smaug"

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dragonflywink

Posts: 975
Registered: Dec 2002

iconnumber posted 04-13-2006 03:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is one of my favorite pieces, not spectacular, but quite lovely in my eyes. Small 4.5" spoon with nicely detailed cattail and leaves, accented by a dragonfly (attached with a rivet) with green plique-á-jour wings and tiny ruby red cabochon eyes, the bowl and dragonfly have a light gold wash. Unfortunately, marked only with a tiny "800" in the bowl. I've never seen another even similar piece and continue to find myself charmed by its simple naturalistic elegance.

Cheryl wink


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outwest

Posts: 390
Registered: Nov 2005

iconnumber posted 04-14-2006 12:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for outwest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Oh, that is very nice, dragonflywink.

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jt251

Posts: 25
Registered: Sep 2002

iconnumber posted 04-14-2006 09:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jt251     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks to everyone for showing such interesting pieces. I'd be delighted to have any of them mailed to my place! My interest in silver started with a small collection of cut glass. I became enchanted by pieces that combine silver and cut glass and then became hooked on silver. Thanks for showing a few of your pieces, "Smaug". I enjoyed seeing them and would be interested to know more about them.

Here is my current favorite of the "all silver" variety, a Christening cup made by Charles Fox in 1837. I'm sorry the picture doesn't do it justice. The interior of the cup still has a trace of the original gilt. I don't know if the flowers are water lilies, mums, peonies, or ?
Jo


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SusanT

Posts: 104
Registered: Nov 2005

iconnumber posted 04-15-2006 10:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SusanT     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rian,

"The maker was easy to find, Wood and Hughes. The pattern, Louvre, took a little longer. The retailer, G W Chatterton, was a jeweler in Springfield IL. But I couldn't find out what the darned thing was!"

Your favorite piece is lovely! It might be a solid mustard spoon??? A pattern matching service has this Wood and Hughes pattern with a mustard spoon listed but one that they make up. However, the diagram of it resembles your "quarter note" shape.

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rian

Posts: 169
Registered: Jan 2006

iconnumber posted 04-16-2006 10:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for rian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi SusanT,

Welcome to the forum. The shape and gilding might point to mustard spoon, but you would really have to like mustard to want a server that big. I think Osterberg is right about it being for oysters.

Thanks for the pics, Smaug, though the words, "etched crystal," and "very thin" make me as nervous as Hyacinth's next door neighbor. I like the idea of a wedding cup that makes cheerful music. It really is a wonderful piece.

I can't figure out what your flower is either, Jo. Nothing I can think of has that beautiful petal form in combination with strap like leaves. I don't wonder that cup is your favorite. It would be a star of anyone's collection.

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venus

Posts: 282
Registered: Jul 2005

iconnumber posted 04-17-2006 04:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for venus     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
rian.... I just love to read your posts, they are always so full of wit and charm, wish I had your knack. Anyhow keep posting, and more often if you please.

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ahwt

Posts: 2173
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 04-29-2006 09:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote




The pictures above show two of my favorite ladles, one with Joseph Bouju's mark and a second with no mark. These ladles have a similar look about them and are about the same in length. The Bouju ladle is 15.5" long while the unmarked ladle is 15" long. They also have some very interesting differences. The Bouju ladle has a deep circular bowl while the unmarked ladle has an medium depth oval bowl, the Bouju ladle has a large arch drop and the unmarked has none, the Bouju ladle has a pointed shoulder while the unmarked ladle simply flares out where the handle joins the bowl and finally the Bouju has a faint midrib on the reverse side of the handle while the unmarked is completely flat. I admire both ladles because of their long slender handles and the gradual ending of the fiddle portion into the remainder of the shaft of the handle. I think it is this design feature that gives them a graceful and an almost fluid feel.

Joseph Bouju arrived in St. Louis in 1812, the same year that Missouri became a territory and according to Norman Mack, author of the book "Missouri's Silver Age", almost immediately left St. Louis for Mine-a-Breton (now Potosi, Missouri). There is some evidence that he made silver for the Indian trade while in Mine-a-Breton. He returned to St. Louis in 1817 some four years before Missouri became a state and remained in St. Louis until his death in 1847. I really do not know who had a hand in making the unmarked ladle; however I suspect from the uncomplicated construction that it was made in a regional town, close to the same time period as the Bouju ladle.

Both ladles are excellent in serving soups and may have started their life as such, but they also work well for punch. I might add that one of my favorite punches is a milk punch from the River Roads II cookbook. Simply blend one part whole milk, two parts vanilla ice cream and one part bourbon. Put in a freezer the evening before serving and remove about an hour before serving. Sprinkle with nutmeg if desired when serving. I have found out from experience that it is wise to make a little more than I think is necessary, as most people seem to come back often for refills.


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swarter
Moderator

Posts: 2920
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 04-30-2006 01:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice ladles. For an earlier discussion of this handle shape on other ladles, see this thread (Unmarked FP Soup Ladle Attribution?).

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ahwt

Posts: 2173
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 04-30-2006 11:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

I neglected to provide a picture of the monogram on the unmarked ladle and it is now pictured above.

Swarter, thanks for reminding me of the earlier thread as I had forgotten about it. The unmarked ladle was found in Tennessee while the Bouju came from Missouri. It is interesting that a Frenchman would pick up the style that seemed to have an Eastern connection. Ruth Hunter Roach in her book on St. Louis Silversmiths has a picture of a similar ladle with Bouju's mark, but with what looks like a squared shoulder. Deborah J. Binder in her pamphlet on St. Louis silver also shows a similar Bouju ladle so this form was must have been one of Bouju's favorites.

Mrs. Hunter in her article on Bouju does not really state where Bouju came from, but does indicate that some marked Bouju spoons were owned by a Virginian who moved to Kentucky and then to Ohio. The editors of The Crescent City Silver indicate that Bouju was in New Orleans in 1807 to 1809, but no one puts him in Missouri until 1812.

The movement of silversmith and styles certainly is interesting.


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outwest

Posts: 390
Registered: Nov 2005

iconnumber posted 05-01-2006 05:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for outwest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Those ladles are really nice. They seem so graceful. The style of the engraving is the same as the style on a few old spoons I have from the same period. I've posted those before. I was going to post just the engraving again so we could compare, but posting more then once is against the guidelines. The terminal curves of the letters and even the fact that there are three lines forming each letter are the same. I find really interesting.I think the little ticking around the crudely done engraving was dropped, for the most part, by about 1850. At least I haven't seen any examples later then that. Here is the post I refer to with the initials EK:
coin silver?


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ahwt

Posts: 2173
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 05-01-2006 06:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While the monograms on both ladles are somewhat worn, I think the one on the Bouju ladle was done by a surer hand as the curves are smoother, the size of the letters is consistent and the placement of the letters is uniform. The monogram on the unmarked ladle is pleasing, but I think it was engraved by someone still perfecting their craft. I think this is just a refection of what life was like in a frontier town and that may be what gives it so much charm.

I remember one time watching a silversmith at Williamsburg engrave a spoon. This smith had just started learning the engraving business and was in a very testy mood. Repeatedly saying something like, this is not at all like making silver.

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outwest

Posts: 390
Registered: Nov 2005

iconnumber posted 05-01-2006 10:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for outwest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My EK engraving is quite crude. I can see why you like the ladles. There is a simple elegant look about them.

Is it my imagination or does the second one have one part of the bowl longer then the other. I mean, the handle is not centered on the bowl but offset on purpose? I have a salt/mustard spoon where one side of the bowl is longer then the other. I haven't seen anything written about this and have wondered why. I guess it would assist in pouring or shaking something that direction.

[This message has been edited by outwest (edited 05-01-2006).]

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ahwt

Posts: 2173
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 05-01-2006 10:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Outwest. I think that is just an illusion from the photo as the ladle was not laying flat. There are some ladles where the pouring spout is just on one side.

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witzhall

Posts: 124
Registered: Mar 2006

iconnumber posted 05-02-2006 10:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for witzhall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Would it make sense to start a Favorite pieces Part 2 thread, as this one is now quite wonderfully long? I think I will do that; Scott, if it's a bad idea maybe you'll let me know and/or move my new post back to this thread. Thanks - see you at Part 2!

[This message has been edited by witzhall (edited 05-02-2006).]

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Scott Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 05-02-2006 11:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The thread would have eventually stared to automatically add pages. I like this better as most people tend to miss the additional pages unless the are pointed to them like this Favorite pieces - Part 2 (CLICK HERE).

I will close this tread so Favorite pieces - Part 2 is now where someone may post.

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