Dominick & Haff (attr) Antique Sterling Silver Aesthetic Movement Covered Serving Dishes, New York City, NY, 1881
We've always found this line of silver produced by Dominick & Haff to always be extraordinary. Quality of work and imagination in design come together to create these wonderful works of art.
This pair of covered vegetable servers in fantastic condition is quite a find.
Raised bodies have applied, splayed bases. The shaped bodies with indented corners exhibit an irregular honeycomb hand-hammered surface with a matte finish creating a lustrous sparkle to the surface. Various scenes of exotic flora and fauna decorate the bodies while bold organic root handles terminate at the dishes. A circular ring handle on the cover compliments this style.
The removable covers are shaped and fit beautifully onto the dishes. The handles are attached to the domed centers. In the four corners are beautifully executed scenes. Each share beautifully chased dragonflies decorated slightly differently on the wings.
One cover has a lovely moth, while the other has an intricate spider web, complete with spider. This is a great design element purposefully used to differentiate the two dishes when serving different foods.
The decorations to the bodies and covers are amazing works of art. Using special chasing tools, the silversmith is able to mold and fold the silver to create incredible three dimensional scenes against the hammered background. Detailed chasing provides stunning details.
The undersides to the dishes have amazing engravings of the monograms and are dated: 'B.S.B./ Nov. 19. 1881'.
These rare covered serving dishes are marked underneath by the famous Philadelphia retailer 'J.E. CALDWELL & Co' and 'STERLING/ 516', who had an important relationship with maker Dominick & Haff. The covers and bases are each numbered with either a '1' or '2' so you know which cover goes to which base. They measure 11 inches across the handles by 7 inches deep by 6 inches high to the top of the finials, weigh a combined 68.40 troy ounces and are in excellent antique condition with minor scratches and dings inside from use. The surface on the outside is very crisp.
For a soup tureen made in the same line which is now in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, see here.
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