The Sweetser Company Sterling and 14k Gold Centerpiece Bowl, NYC, NY, 1906-1920
This rare bowl is a stunning and large example from the Sweetser Company. They created a line of silver holloware with a signature style of applying 14-carat gold wires and incorporating them into their designs. This example is very interesting in that it incorporates various techniques when decorating. There are five areas of acid-etched floral scenes. There are also hand-engraved sprigs hanging downwards. The rim consists of applied silver rings above a ring of gold. Two decorative applied bands of gold of different diameters and Asian inspiration travel around the bowl, framing the acid-etched areas. The applied ring foot is decorated in a complementary Asian style.
There is not much information about The Sweetser Company. Various mentions in The Jewelers' Circular state that Emory B. Sweetser was a salesman and later a manager for Gorham in Boston. In 1906, after 20 years at Gorham, Sweetser incorporated The Sweetser Company at 124 E. 64th St in NYC along with Henry C. Evans and Edward C. Wagner 'to manufacture gold and silver ware, with a capital of $35,000.00.(1)
In 1915, Charles Osborne, Whiting’s and Tiffany’s great designer, left Whiting (then part of Gorham) to work as a designer for Sweetser until his death in 1920. This bowl bears many similarities to documented later designs by Osborne.
This rare bowl is marked underneath with Sweetser's trademark and 'STERLING & 14K/ 1750. It is also stamped with English import marks for 1980, so it has traveled and been well cared for. It measures 10.25 inches in diameter by 4.25 inches high, weighs 28.55 troy ounces and is in excellent antique condition.
The Jewelers' Circular Weekly, Feb 21, 1906, p. 54, p. 68b.