Durgin, from Concord, New Hampshire, made some wonderful silver and this large serving fork is no exception. The realistic floral pattern on the handle is contained by a border at the edge made to resemble floral stems. The pattern on both sides of the handle is quite detailed with leaves, buds and flowers emerging from the stem edges. The back of the handle has a small square blank engraved '1857/ EM/ 1882'. The base of the handle front has a wonderful flower above a gilt, matte finish blade of long times with hand-engraved flowers. This is a multi-motif pattern, possibly the first made by Durgin.
Although this early Durgin pattern is known as 'Bouquet' -in large part due to an article by Diana Cramer in Silver Magazine (January 1993) - we are not fully convinced that is the correct name. There is a different earlier pattern known as 'Bouquet'. There are also undocumented 1880's patterns by Durgin called 'Orleana' and 'Undine' that we wonder about.
The handle is stamped on the back with Durgin's early trademark and 'STERLING' along with the famous Philadelphia retailer 'Bailey, Banks & Biddle'. This lovely server measures just under 10 inches long, weighs 4.6 troy ounces and is in excellent condition.