Watson Company 'Dorian' Modern Sterling Silver Coffee Service, designed by Percy Ball, c. 1935
Holloware in the 'Dorian' pattern is quite rare. This service consists of a coffee pot, tea pot, creamer, covered sugar and a waste bowl. It is visually striking with its highly reflective surface and bold, modernist decoration. A stepped foot compliments the stepped top and domed lids. The sleek, tapered bodies flare outwards and are decorated with four groupings of scored vertical lines. Elegant ebony c-scroll handles with carved thumb-pieces on the pots match the carved ebony finials with eight incised decorative lines.
An original advertisement describes this new line in the following manner:
Classic tradition, continually reasserting itself, has formed the motif for fascinating Dorian, the newest creation in Sterling Silver of the Silversmiths of Warren Park. Simple and modern in its treatment, fascinating Dorian meets the demand for a 'plainer' pattern with sufficient decoration to make it eternally correct for all formal or informal occasions... a pattern that will harmonize with any period of dining room furnishings.(1)
Examples of 'Dorian' holloware were exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Silver: an Exhibition of Contemporary American Design by Manufacturers, Designers and Craftsmen in 1937.(2)
Percy B. Ball (1879-1957) was born in Birmingham and came to the US in 1891. He was employed at the Gorham Manufacturing Company 1893-1902 and later worked for Kerr, Frank Whiting, Wallace and Watson.(3) According to the US Patent Office, he patented the 'Dorian' flatware pattern on April 9th, 1935.(4)
This wonderful service is marked underneath with the Watson Company trademark along with 'STERLING SILVER' and model number B513. The coffee and teapot are marked '2.25 PINTS' and '2.5 PINTS' respectively and the coffee pot measures 9.25 inches high. The combined weight is 63.60 troy ounces and the condition is excellent.
Jewel Stern, Modernism in American Silver: 20th Century Design, (Dallas Museum of Art, Yale University Press, 2005), p. 125.
Samuel Hough, Roster of Gorham Craftsmen, section 2, p. 3.
Stern, p. 381.
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