Pair of Tiffany & Co Antique Sterling Silver Figural Baskets, New York City, c. 1873-75
Pairs of swing-handled baskets by Tiffany and Co are extremely rare. These are early examples of stunning design and quality.
The handles are reeded and the sides have bundles (or sheaves) of wheat. This design is very unusual and one we have never seen before on Tiffany holloware.
The oval bowls on pedestal bases have a shimmering matte finish. The bases have a stepped foot and is formed separately from the bowl. An applied band of classical repeating leaves against a reeded background borders the rim.
The ends of the bowls have stunning cast and applied decoration. Central to the design are wonderful masks of the Greek Goddess Ceres. Ceres is the goddess of agriculture and is portrayed with beautiful features and details. Emanating from her right is a grapevine with leaves and bunches of grapes. Her left side is adorned with stalks of wheat.
These stunning bowls have different marks allowing us to date them quite specifically to a couple years. One bowl is marked 'TIFFANY & CO/ 2828/547/ QUALITY 925-1000/ UNION SQUARE' and twice with the John Chandler Moore 'm' mark. This particular set of marks was used from 1870-75. The second bowl is marked 'TIFFANY & CO/ 2828 MAKERS 1288/ STERLING-SILVER/ 925-1000' and with the Edward C. Moore 'M' mark which was used from 1873-1891. It stands to reason that the bowls were made during the period of when the company utilized the two different marks from 1873-75 (see Tiffany Silver by Charles Carpenter, pp. 215-216).
The baskets measure 10.75 inches long by 6.75 inches wide by 10 inches high to the tops of the handles. They have a combined weight of 54.30 troy ounces and are in excellent antique condition with one leaf on the handle bent.