Durgin Antique Sterling Silver Polar Bear Ice Cream Set, Concord, New Hampshire, c. 1880
This stunning set is in a very rare design produced by William B. Durgin and consists of an ice cream slice and six spoons. The large, shaped blade of the slice is decorated with a stunning bright-cut engraved geometric trellis pattern from which emanates an elaborate branch with leaves and a single flower in bloom. The die-stamped handle depicts a polar bear sitting in icy surroundings. As if on a cliff or entrance to a cave, the bear is surrounded by icicles hanging above him and chiseled ice beneath his ledge.
The ice cream spoons exhibit the same design and have shallow bowls with flattened back edges.
Each of the pieces is engraved with an 'HJ' monogram and bears the early Durgin mark: a wreath surrounding a bird in flight along with the letter 'D.' It is also marked 'STERLING' and B.B&B. for Bailey, Banks, and Biddle, the famous Philadelphia retailer.
Provenance: Private Collection.
The impressive server measures 11.25 inches long, and the spoons measure 5.75 inches long. The set weighs an 8.85 troy ounces and is in very good/ excellent antique condition.
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