Tiffany & Co 'Special Hand Work' Large Sterling Silver Centerpiece Bowl, c. 1912
In order to develop a more modern style of silver in the early 20th century, Tiffany & Co. produced a beautiful line of hand-raised silver called 'Special Hand Work'. The hand hammered surface reflected the popularity of the arts and crafts movement.
Pieces are quite rare and usually of exceptional weight and quality. Each item may be individually designed and executed, we've never seen more than a pair in any one design.
This line relied on its shape and hammered surface to display its beauty. This particular bowl is ornamented with a bold interwoven double line design accentuated with circular abstracted florets. All the decoration is applied to the hammered body.
Engraved in the center of the interior of the bowl is a wonderful 'E C DU P' monogram with a three leaf clover in the center. This bowl may have belonged to E. C. Du Pont who, in 1912, was President of the Du Pont de Nemeurs Powder Company in Wilmington, Delaware.
Arthur Barney, who would become Tiffany's great lead designer during the art deco period, was hired by Tiffany in 1906. He kept a photograph of this bowl in his archives making it likely that he was its designer. (Private discussions with Janet Zapata, retired Archivist at Tiffany & Co., January, 2017)
This magnificent bowl is marked underneath 'TIFFANY & CO/ MAKERS/ STERLING SILVER/ 925-1000/ 19393-3502/ m/ SPECIAL HAND WORK/ 5 PINTS'. This may be a smaller size punch bowl or ice cream bowl as there is a '5 PINTS' mark on the bottom. It measures 10 inches in diameter by just under 3.5 inches tall, weighs an impressive 31.60 troy ounces and is in excellent antique condition.