Bailey & Co./ George Sharp Antique Sterling Silver Centerpiece Bowl, Philadelphia, PA, c. 1860
This magnificent centerpiece bowl or fruit stand is boldly shaped and features stunning classical and naturalistic ornamentation. The flaring side of the bowl has exceptionally textured scalloping bordered with an applied border textured like coral.
The interior of the bowl shows the repousséd design of overlapping acanthus leaves, which are quite striking from the exterior. A script 'CB' monogram is engraved on the side of the bowl.
Similarly designed cast and applied leaves hang downward from under the bowl. The spreading foot is designed with scalloping and a textured border complementary to the bowl.
George Sharp had been Bailey & Co.'s silver shop foreman until he started his own business in 1862 when Bailey discontinued the in-house manufacture of silver. Bailey continued to order silver from Sharp, and this centerpiece bears the Bailey & Co. marks that could have been used in-house or after by Sharp's independent shop. (See: https://www.spencermarks.com/blogs/journal/george-sharp-and-bailey-co for details of the sharp/ Bailey chronology.)
This rare centerpiece measures 11.25 inches in diameter by 8.25 inches high and weighs 44.15 troy ounces. It is marked with the 'lion, "S," shield' trademark that Bailey & Co. and Sharp used on their sterling silver, two other lion passant marks, and 'BAILEY & CO CHESTNUT ST PHILA/ 136'. It is in excellent antique condition.
D. Albert Soeffing, "George B. Sharp, A Victim of the Panic of 1873" in Silver Magazine, March/ April 2004, p. 26.
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