'Japanese' is a rare and highly collected flatware pattern by Whiting. Holloware in this pattern is even rarer and this example is a beauty.
The bowl is oval in shape on a simple pedestal base. Around the exterior rim is a simple engraved band of bright cut work with repeated hanging elements. The interior rim has a lovely cast and applied half-inch border with beading around the top and tassel-like decoration hanging downwards. The swing-handle is reeded around the top.
At the ends of the handles are decoration with lovely Japanesque castings of a large medallion depicting a bird in flight among a bamboo background. The interior of the handle has wonderful hand-engraving. This extra hand work is indicative of important pieces and sets it apart from other examples. The contrast between the simplicity and the dramatic castings makes one appreciate great design.
Designed by Charles Osborne, the 'Japanese' pattern was patented by Whiting in 1874. Osborne was by far Whiting's most famous and important designer - actually working for Tiffany's for a period in the 1880's then returning to Whiting. His designs are some of the most important of the American aesthetic movement. (See Magnificent Tiffany Silver and Silver in America for more information on Osborne.)
This basket measures 10.5 inches long by 7.5 inches deep. The bowl is 3.5 inches high and the top of the handle is 9.5 inches high. It is marked underneath with the Whiting trademark, 'STERLING, 510 (model number) PAT 1874'. This sterling basket is in wonderful condition and weighs 20.55 troy ounces.