George Sharp for Bailey & Co. - The Samuel M. Felton 'Medallion' Sterling Entree Server, c. 1865
A stunning piece of 19th century American silver, this important entree server features decoration of neoclassical medallions (10 of them) and elaborate casting and hand chasing.
Both the lid and base feature bands of chased neoclassical decoration including: anthemion leaves and acanthus based fluid foliate designs, much of it on various hand-chased matte finishes in the background.
The base has eight circular cartouches around the side, six filled with exceptionally repousséd medallions (all different), two with inscriptions. The shaped rim of the base has four cast medallions in a chased background. The lid, with a removable handle, has two circular cartouches with inscriptions and can be used as a second server when the handle is removed. The handle is adorned with cast winged griffins, finished with very fine hand chasing.
In a circular cartouche, it is inscribed:
Samuel M. Felton
by his friends
of the city of
and its vicinity
It measures 13.75 inches long by 10 inches wide, is 6.5 inches high and weighs 58.8 troy ounces. It is marked with the 'lion, "S", shield' trademark that Bailey & Co. used on their sterling silver, two lion passant marks and 'BAILEY & CO CHESTNUT ST PHILA'.
George Sharp had been Bailey & Co.'s silver shop foreman until he started his own business in 1861, when Bailey discontinued the in-house manufacture of silver. Bailey continued to order silver from Sharp and the Felton pieces bear Bailey & Co.'s marks, indicating that Sharp continued to use the Bailey marks on Bailey retailed silver even after starting his own shop.