Reed & Barton Extremely Rare Art Nouveau .950 Silver Vase, Providence, RI, c. 1900
This wonderful vase features four magnificent vertical scenes of flowers - two of poppies and two of freesias - with their foliage flowing up the length of the piece. The pedestal foot has an upturned undulating edge, as does the flaring rim at the top. Hand-raised, it has a hammered surface that sparkles.
Reed & Barton's answer to Gorham's famous Martelé silver line was to produce objects of a similar style and quality. They also used a higher silver standard similar to Martelé, 950/1000 silver (sterling is 925/1000). In comparison to Gorham's not uncommon Martelé line, Reed & Barton's .950 silver line is very rare.
This vase bears a striking similarity to the pair of Martelé vases Gorham exhibited at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle. (See John Keefe & Sam Hough, Magnificent, Marvelous Martelé: American Art Nouveau Silver, p. 150.) It was most likely inspired by these shortly after Gorham's success at the exhibition.
This stunning vase is marked underneath with Reed & Barton's trademark, '950/1000/ FINE' and the model number '212A'. It measures 15.25 inches high, weighs 40.60 troy ounces and is in excellent condition.