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Tiffany & Co. 'Chrysanthemum' Pattern Antique Sterling Silver Asparagus Serving Dish with Liner, New York City, c. 1900

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This stunning Tiffany piece features deep, bold castings of chrysanthemums along the sides and corners. The four scrolled feet also feature deep chrysanthemum castings. The shaped interior holds the conforming original liner, exquisitely chased and pierced with chrysanthemum floral and foliate designs, resting on four ball feet.

Tiffany's 'Chrysanthemum pattern is one of the greatest flatware patterns of all time. Designed by Charles Grosjean and introduced in 1880, it features deep casting of chrysanthemum blossoms in sweeping chrysanthemum foliage. The popular flatware pattern was was made in a full line. Holloware pieces are quite rare and sought after. (For these and other details, see Tiffany Silver Flatware by William P. Hood.)

Originally named 'Indian Chrysanthemum', detail of this pattern is now called simply 'Chrysanthemum'. Hood believes it was named after a type of chrysanthemum originally thought to have come from India. The hand piercing and engraving on the insert is of Indian inspiration and lends credence to his theory. Fluid and naturalistic, yet stylized, the central chrysanthemum bud motif (see right) comes directly from Indian floral decoration - often representing a lotus bud. This tear-drop shape is common in Indian design; the traditional sunburst is represented in a similar fashion. Also, the pierced scrolling foliate decoration seems inspired by the pierced scrolling decoration found on Indian furniture (and silver) of the period.

This rare server is marked underneath 'TIFFANY & Co, STERLING SILVER', the model number '14155', the order number '3317 ', and the 'T' mark - dating it from 1899 to 1902. This piece measures 15.25 inches across the handles, 11.5 inches deep and 3 inches high. It weighs 49.15 troy ounces, is monogrammed 'JHT' in a beautiful foliate script (on both the base and insert) and is in excellent condition.