We have never had a yachting trophy in the form of a chafing dish. It is a spectacular example consisting of a chafing dish with a removable cover on a stand with a heating burner. The turned wood handle is fitted and pinned into a collar attached to the bowl and strengthened with attached marine-themed supports underneath.
The side of the bowl is ornamented with various seaweeds, shell, and nautilus shell decoration. This stunning aquatic design can be attributed to the great silver designer Charles Osborne, who also worked at Tiffany & Co for a period.
The removable cover is bordered with an applied rope around its perimeter. The central knob handle is cast like a beautiful knot, known to sailors as a monkey's fist. The cover is stunningly acid-etched engraved 'SEAWANHAKA CORINTHIAN YACHT CLUB/ WON BY Atlantic/ JUNE 11th/ 1887' and the engraved name of its owner 'Daniel Chauncey.'
The base is similarly decorated with a horizontal ring of applied rope and an undulating lower rim with flowing seaweed. Shells also decorate the tops of the scroll legs. The large burner uses two wicks for heating the contents.
Chafing dishes enjoyed popularity starting in the late 19th century lasting nearly a century, although their use as trophies is very rare. Gorham claimed in an 1894 menu book that it was acceptable for both men and women to cook with one:
The mastery of the Chafing Dish is one of the undisputed arts where a man and woman may share equal privileges and triumphs. A man may prove his skill in cooking with it without detracting from his dignity and a woman can scarcely manipulate it with out adding to her charm. (1)
This rare serving dish is marked with Whiting's trademark and 'WHITING MFG CO/ NEW YORK/ STERLING/ 2590'. The dish measures 15 inches across the handle with the bowl being 9 inches in diameter. It measures 8.5 inches high, weighs 67.20 troy ounces (including the handle) and is in excellent antique condition with a replaced cover to the burner.
H. M. Kinsley, One Hundred Recipes for the Chafing Dish, (New York: Gorham Manufacturing Company, 1894), pp. 21-22.
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