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George Sharp 'Gothic Dome' Antique Sterling Hooded Asparagus Server, Philadelphia, PA, 1866-73

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The bold 'Gothic' design handle is a bold casting display of four blank arched panels with stippled strapwork and a ball-top finial. The rod handle has four rows of beading and splits at the bottom where it attaches to the outstanding gilt blade. A prominently placed cast stag head is mounted to the top of the pierced hood. The dramatic tines are beautifully pierced, including quatrefoils below their pointed ends, and are embellished with hand-engraving.

One of the more exciting technical advances in flatware made during this period is the application of flexible manufacturing, where different parts could be exchanged with others to create different combinations and patterns. It is only through the improved machining and finishing techniques of the mid-19th century that this sort of fabrication was possible in mass production. Its application gave rise to some wonderfully creative pieces - such as this server.  There is no real comparable in European flatware; this is an American style of flatware and a wonderful work of art.

This exceptionally rare server measures 11 inches long. It is marked with George Sharp's trademark and "PATENT 1866" and by the NY retailer 'BROWN & SPAULDING.'  Weighing 4.5 troy ounces, it is in excellent antique condition with slight wear to the gilding on the back of the blade.