Whiting Antique Sterling Silver Figural Centerpiece, NYC, c. 1875-80
This exquisite centerpiece is stunning. It features a large, gondola-shaped bowl with a gilt interior and matte-finish exterior. The handles are comprised of bound Egyptianate reeds which fan outwards at the ends and are supported with classical scroll decoration.
Each side of the bowl features a platform housing a pedestal with exceptional bacchanal busts on plinths. The male figure is of a faun with an ivy headdress, and the female figure features tied-up hair and a grapevine headdress.
Traveling along the sides of the bowl are gilt pierced and applied panels of classical scrollwork. The use of partial gilding to certain elements is wonderful. The tall, oval pedestal is decorated on its upper shoulder with engraved ivy against a stippled background. The foot has a gorgeous band of very fine classical scrolling arabesques.
On the sides of the base are applied shields with stunning cobalt enamel. One side bears an 'AAMDC' artistic monogram. The other bears the intricate armorial achievement of the Cox Family of Charton, Farningham, Co. Kent and Trevereux, Limpsfield, c. Surrey (likely assumed by an American Cox).
An image from a Whiting photobook at the Gorham Archives shows a similar centerpiece with the same pattern number and a cost of $370.00.
This amazing, large centerpiece is marked underneath with Whiting's trademark and 'STERLING/ 417'. It measures 21.75 inches long by 13 inches high, weighs 71.45 troy ounces and is in excellent antique condition with light wear to the gilding on the interior of the bowl.