Shiebler 'Homeric' (Medallion) Antique Sterling Silver Large Serving Spoon, New York City, c. 1880's
This extremely rare server by Shiebler is an exceptional example in their 'Homeric' line of flatware. Crafted from a heavy single piece of silver, the handle is decorated with geometric incised lines below an Egyptianate lotus blossom.
The flattened top handle area has a beautiful portrait medallion identified as Homer.(1) It shows off beautifully against the irregularly hammered surface and edge giving the appearance of it being chiseled in rock.
The back of the handle mirrors the front minus the medallion. One usually finds a monogram in this area, however this server has never been monogrammed.
The shoulder of the bowl at the base of the handle is another portrait medallion. It features the profile of an unidentified woman facing left.
The backdrop of this medallion is also the irregularly hammered background.
The large bowl is also hammered in a unique fashion. The reverse of the bowl incorporates a third medallion of a bearded warrior.
The dark areas are the reflection from my camera, although there is wear to the original gilding that is less noticeable in real life than in these photos.
This exquisite server is marked on the back with Shiebler's winged 'S' mark along with 'STERLING/ BAILEY, BANKS & BIDDLE'. It comes with its original blue felt and silk-lined interior presentation case stamped 'Bailey, Banks & Biddle/ Philadelphia'. It measures 12.5 inches long, weighs an impressive 7.25 troy ounces and is in excellent antique condition with wear to the original gilding on the bowl.
D. Albert Soeffing, Silver Medallion Flatware, (New York City: New Books, Inc, 1988), p. 72-73.