This is a lovely sterling bowl in an unusual shape and design. The irregular shape of the body has a wavy edge with protruding lobes at the top. Each of the lobes has a swirling pearl design.
The swirling pearl-like beads of various sizes create a unique and exotic pattern recognized as one of Osborne's most famous designs. Of nautical inspiration, this dramatic pearl design is seen on items produced by Tiffany & Co. and the Whiting Mfg. Company. (Osborne worked for both firms.)
There are six panels to the bowl and every other panel has applied sea motifs. One of the panels has a large applied crab. The other 2 panels display a fish swimming amongst coral and the third scene has an eel above some coral.
The bowl has a honeycomb-hammered surface transitioning to a smooth surface towards the top.
Charles 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.)
The bowl is engraved with the following inscription:
PRESENTED BY THE/
VESTRY OF THE
CHURCH of the MEDIATOR
REV. SAMUEL E. APPLETON D.D.
25th Anniversary of his Rectorship
Mch 1st, 1885
Samuel E. Appleton was Rector of the Church of the Mediator in Philadelphia from February, 1860 - November, 1901.1
This lovely bowl is marked with Whiting's trademark and 'STERLING/ 1408A'. It measures 10.5 inches in circumference by just under 4.5 inches high and weighs 29.85 troy ounces. It is in very good antique condition with traces of the original interior gilding present.
- Samuel E. Appleton, "A Historical Look at Chapel of the Mediator", in the Dec., 1916 Church News, (Website: Philadelphia Studies, http://philadelphiastudies.wordpress.com/tag/samuel-e-appleton/, last accessed 8/14/2014).