Marvelous greyhound finials surmount this remarkable service with a beautiful design of reserved, classical decoration. The bodies are oval-shaped and hand-raised on pedestal bases bordered with feet constructed of decorative leaf banding bordered with fine beading. Each piece is beautifully engraved with artistic 'MRB' monograms.
The body and concave-shaped neck are ornamented with more horizontal rows of beading. These simple decorations embellishing the reflective surfaces add elegance to the lovely set. The attached handles have wonderful, textured leaf appliques with curled thumb-pieces and the spouts on the pots add a bold quality.
Absolutely stunning and whimsical are the figural greyhound finials on the three lids. These wonderful finials are applied with screws and pins secured with their original nuts.
Engraved inside the rim of each foot is "C. O. Rogers" for Charles Owen Rogers (1818-69).
Charles O Rogers from Ballou's Pictorial, January 2, 1858, p. 172
Rogers was the owner and publisher of the Boston Journal, the leading Republican paper of Boston. He was a member of the Massachusetts legislature, Commander of the Boston Light Infantry, and a delegate to the 1860 Chicago Republican convention where Abraham Lincoln was nominated. (1)
Rogers Presentation Service from Ballou's Pictorial July 30, 1859, p. 65.
When Rogers retired as commander of Boston Light Infantry, a silver presentation consisting of a large decorated ewer, decorated goblets, and a tray was given to him:
The whole service cost nearly one thousand dollars, and is very beautiful. It probably never was surpassed in this country, and it would almost seem as though Benvenuto Cellini, the tutelar divinity of Shreve, Brown & Co.'s estabishment, had attended personally to its construction.
The plate [silver] will be on exhibition at the store of Messrs. Shreve, Brown & Co. during the week. (2)
Jones, Shreve, Brown & Co. became Shreve, Brown & Co. on February 1, 1859 (3) so the greyhound service, consisting of pieces with both marks, would date to the same period as this presentation.
Important presentations like this were successful marketing strategies used by major jewelers and silversmiths. Publicity in the local press and subsequent walk-in business from those admiring these presentations were major parts of those firms' business. As Rogers purchased the greyhound service about the same time he received the presentation, this service is a great example of this relationship.
This rare set is marked on the creamer and covered sugar by the retailer 'SHREVE, BROWN & CO/ BOSTON/ COIN' and the two pots are marked by the makers 'R&W' along with 'BOSTON/ COIN' and retailers 'JONES, SHREVE, BROWN & CO.' The coffee pot measures 9 inches across the handle and spout by 10.5 inches tall. The set weighs an impressive combined weight of 88.70 troy ounces and is in excellent antique condition.
Note: Due to the original ivory insulators, this service is not for sale in New Jersey. It is properly licensed for sale in New York.
Obituary in The Boston Recorder, April 22, 1869, p. 1.
"Presentation to Major Charles O. Rogers." in The Boston Daily Traveller, June 20, 1859, p 2.
"Dissolution of Copartnership/ Copartnership Notice" in The Boston Courrier, February 10, 1859, p. 2.
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