Obadiah Rich Coin Silver Cruet Set, Boston, MA, c. 1840's
Exceptional quality and elegant design characterize this stunning cruet set. The large silver frame has an applied band bordering the top of the shaped rim which both strengthens and decorates the piece. The applied feet are very unusual and dramatic. Around the bottom of the body is decorative reeding which is turned underneath to hold the wooden base insert. The handle is octagonal in shape and is attached to a pole and flat piece of silver formed to arrange the cruet bottles. The curved shapes of the feet complement the shaped body and curved sides of the handle.
On one side the body is engraved with the initials 'S.A.' and the other side 'W.A'. The cut glass bottles are beautiful, and although probably not original, fit perfectly. Three of the bottles have silver tops which bear hallmarks for London, sterling, the date of 1846/47 and the maker Henry Mayton.
Obadiah Rich was the most important silversmith working in Boston from 1830-50 and his work can be found in important museum collections. Cruet sets in American silver are extremely rare and this is the only known example by Rich. We have had only one other American coin silver cruet set - the Beals Family Cruet Set, made by another Boston firm.
This wonderful cruet set is stamped twice on the bottle arranger 'O. RICH.'. It measures 8.5 inches long by 6.5 inches deep by 11.25 inches high to the top of the handle. There are a couple of minuscule dings to the surface and a couple dings to the pierced silver tops on 2 of the bottles, otherwise the set is in excellent condition.