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Ball, Black & Co Antique Sterling Silver Covered Butter Dish, New York City, c. 1870

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Covered butter dishes are quite rare and this one is of exceptional quality. The squat body on a pedestal foot base is beautifully decorated with finely repoussed and chased foliate scenery against a stippled background.

On each side is an applied circular shield flanked by rosettes and mounted with classical scrollwork and a large bead. Both are engraved 'CRM' in a fancy script style. The dramatic handles are also wonderfully cast and designed with scrolling attachments and acanthus leaf decoration.

Even the original liner is beautifully pierced. Complimenting the base is the wonderful dome cover with fine classical engraving around the midsection and top which is surmounted by a bold architectural finial.

This rare sterling silver butter dish is marked underneath 'BALL, BLACK & CO/ NEW YORK/ ENGLISH STERLING/ 357'. It measures 5.75 inches high by 8 inches across the handles, weighs 21.25 troy ounces and is in excellent antique condition.