This is the finest example of mixed metal silver from Boston that we have ever seen. The unusual form includes a round bowl with flaring, scalloped top. The shape itself required a highly skilled silversmith to execute. Bordering the rim of the bowl is a chased band of squares with alternating Greek-key and swirl designs on a background of finely chased circles. Irregular hammering to the overall surface make the bowl sparkle.
There are three scenes of various foliage rising up from the base. The exotic plants consist of an engraved bamboo plant, an applied bamboo plant and an applied grouping of cattails.
A wonderful turtle consisting of sterling, brass and copper is applied against chased lily pads. Three intersecting circles, the traditional Japanese mon, chased with various designs, decorate the bowl.
A stunning silver representation of a Japanese figure playing an instrument is also applied along with an incredible fish made of striped mixed metals.
Connected between two of the plants is a large and wonderful chased spiderweb. Applied in its center is a large, spider made from mokume worked mixed metals.It is interesting to note that each of the mixed metal pieces are all uniquely executed. The metals on the turtle are done in horizontal lines. The fish is executed with straight vertical lines and the mixed metal on the spider is done by mokume.
Having worked at the Boston firm of Bigelow Bros. & Kennard, Lewis Jenks went into business on his own around 1872. Jenks was a very important designer of silver in Boston. His next firm, Kennard & Jenks, created the only aesthetic movement Japanesque silver made in Boston. Gorham hired him in 1879 and them bought the firm in 1880. He later became a principal of Goodnow & Jenks, Boston's leading silversmiths of the 1890's who worked in a much more traditional style.
This rare and stunning bowl is beautifully monogrammed 'MG' and dated 'Aug 12th, 1879'. It is also marked with the Kennard & Jenks "K&J' mark along with the shield and dolphin trademark, 'STERLING/ 221' and by the retailer 'BIGELOW, KENNARD & Co/ BOSTON'. The bowl measures just over 6.5 inches wide at the top by just under 3.75 inches high, weighs 12.25 troy ounces and is in excellent condition with slight traces of the original gilding to the interior.