Whiting Antique Sterling Silver 'Pearling' Chamber Stick design attributed to Charles Osborne, New York, c. 1883
Featuring Charles Osborne's rare 'pearling' design, this lovely chamber stick is a very rare form. The irregular shape of the bowl has a wavy, raised side edge and a hammered and textured surface. Twelve repousséd balls decorate the outside of the bowl.
Rising up in the center of the body is a hammered column and socle. Repeating, swirling decorations rise out of the dish with ball decoration. The socle utilizes the ball decoration to create floral decorations around the outside. A removable, hammered bobeche has a hammered surface, a ruffled edge, and a series of beading around its edge.
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 designed by Osborne.
Charles Osborne was by far Whiting's most famous and important designer - actually working for Tiffany & Co. for a period from 1879 to 1882 and then returning to Whiting (although he continued to design pieces for Tiffany as well until 1888). 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.)
Provenance: Private Collection.
This rare chamber stick is marked with Whiting's trademark and 'STERLING/ 1324'. It measures 5.25 inches across the handle by 2.75 inches tall, weighs 5.35 troy ounces, and is in excellent antique condition.
Gorham Archives image courtesy of the John Hay Library, Brown University.
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