Whiting Antique Sterling Silver Nautical Design Round Box, New York, c. 1883
Magnificent pearling, a signature motif of designs by Charles Osborne, decorates this beautiful small container. Rows of spiraling pearls emanate from the center with the same decoration forming flowers around the side. The cover twists off its body with a bayonet fitting. Wonderful hammering encompasses the overall surface.
Swirling pearl-like beads of various sizes create a unique and exotic pattern recognized as one of Osborne's most famous designs. Of nautical inspiration, this dramatic pearl design is seen on items produced by Tiffany & Co. and the Whiting Mfg. Company while Osborne worked at each.
Charles Osborne was by far Whiting's most famous and important designer: working for Whiting through 1878, then for Tiffany from 1879 through 1881, then returning to Whiting as the factory superintendent (although he continued to do limited design work for Tiffany until 1889). His designs are some of the most important of the American aesthetic movement. (See Magnificent Tiffany Silver and Silver in America for more information on Osborne.)
This lovely sterling container is marked with Whiting's trademark and 'STERLING/ 1971' and by the NYC retailer 'THEODORE B. STARR.' It measures 3.5 inches in diameter, weighs a hefty 5.80 troy ounces and is in excellent antique condition.