Dominick & Haff Japanesque Antique Sterling Silver Coffee & Tea Service, New York City, 1881
With stunning Japanese inspired scenery against a spot-hammered background, Dominick & Haff creates this unusual and visually exciting work of art consisting of a hot water kettle on stand, coffee pot, tea pot, creamer, covered sugar and waste bowl.
The handles are executed in a basket weave design and the bodies decorated with wildlife and aquatic scenery. Both the kettle and coffee pot feature 2 large dragonflies in flight above pools of flowing water and exotic plants.
The tea pot has three birds among cattail and grasses with one swimming peacefully, another on rocks about to eat a snail (?) hanging from a blade of grass and the third fishing, with its head submerged under water.
The covered sugar bowl with detachable lid has wonderful flowing water scenery with aquatic plants on one side and on the other one fish diving into the water and another fish jumping out of the water to snare a dragonfly. The creamer is designed with beautiful foliage and water design and the waste bowl with water and ducks.
Completing the beautiful designs are decorated bottoms of each piece depicting a sandy riverbed. Underneath each piece is a lovely 'CMD' script monogram. Interiors of the creamer and waste bowl retain their original gilding, as do many fine details in the intaglio chased decorations.
This is the finest example of this style of American Japanisme we have ever seen. Never common, these pieces usually feature foliate decoration sometimes in the Japanese taste including dragonflies. Aquatic scenes, ducks and fish are very rare.
Stunning and exceptionally rare, this service is marked underneath with Dominick & Haff's trademark with the 1881 date within and 'STERLING', the model number '116' and by the Philadelphia silver manufacturer and retailer 'Wm. Wilson & Son'. The kettle on stand measures 12.75 to the top of the handle. The total weight is 136.65 troy ounces and it is in excellent condition. The hammered sterling burner underneath the kettle is a replacement.
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