International Silver Company 'Northern Lights' Sterling Silver Demitasse Coffee Set designed by Alfred Kintz, c. 1946
Bold post-war modern designs are incorporated into this lovely after-dinner coffee set which consists of a tall, slender coffee pot with a mahogany handle, creamer and sugar bowl. Various size scrolls create wonderful decorations to the handles and create a lovely platform for the rosewood finial. Heavy wire bands decorate the tops of the bodies and the necks of the pedestal bases. The simplicity of the bodies rely on their reflective surfaces along with the decorative elements to create this wonderful coffee set.
Relatively unknown but important American silver designer Alfred G. Kintz began working at International silver around 1910 and retired in 1959. There is not much in the literature on Alfred Kintz except an excellent article: "Alfred G. Kintz: An American Designer" by Patricia F. Singer, in Silver Magazine, (September/October 1986, pp. 14-19).
Kintz created many important flatware designs including Prelude and Royal Danish, two of the best selling flatware patterns of the 20th century. In 1928, he introduced 3 famous art deco designs, including an earlier version of Northern Lights. The later Northern Lights design, which Kintz patented in 1946, is radically different from its predecessor. The new curvilinear design features elements of Scandinavian modern influence that was beginning to be felt in the United States after the war.
In addition to his design duties, Kintz was promoted in 1946 to manager of all International's holloware production.
This delightful and rare set is marked underneath 'INTERNATIONAL/ STERLING/ C156-1'. It also bears the Simpson, Hall, & Miller mark (one of the original companies that created International Silver). The demitasse coffee pot is also stamped '15 CUPS/ 9S' and it measures 8.75 inches high. Made from heavy gauge silver, the service weighs a combined 31.30 troy ounces, has never been engraved and is in excellent condition.
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