Sterling wine taster or salt cellar ???! ID Help!

Item must be marked "Sterling" or "925"
PHOTOS REQUIRED - marks + item
maxbernat
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Sterling wine taster or salt cellar ???! ID Help!

Postby maxbernat » Sun Jun 13, 2021 10:25 pm

Hi all I came into six of these small dishes. About 3" in diameter. They're about the size of a salt cellar but they have a little handle with a loop at the end. They are shaped a little like wine tasters. Only Mark is Sterling underneath. Gorgeous work. Thanks for any help you can provide IDing these.

https://i.imgur.com/kW4zlPH.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/mRgQfE9.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/4I1pRlE.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/rxVrzrP.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/cHHC9uN.jpg

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Re: Sterling wine taster or salt cellar ???! ID Help!

Postby dognose » Mon Jun 14, 2021 2:37 am

Hi,

Please embed your images.

Trev.

maxbernat
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Re: Sterling wine taster or salt cellar ???! ID Help!

Postby maxbernat » Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:53 am

Sorry...here you are...

Hi all I came into six of these small dishes. About 3" in diameter. They're about the size of a salt cellar but they have a little handle with a loop at the end. They are shaped a little like wine tasters. Only Mark is Sterling underneath. Gorgeous work. Thanks for any help you can provide IDing these.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

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Re: Sterling wine taster or salt cellar ???! ID Help!

Postby dognose » Mon Jun 14, 2021 11:08 am

Japanese?

Trev.

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Re: Sterling wine taster or salt cellar ???! ID Help!

Postby dragonflywink » Tue Jun 15, 2021 10:29 am

These are altered recasts, made from a San Francisco souvenir poppy motif bon-bon spoon sold by Shreve, Treat & Eacret in the 1910s-'20s, and were probably intended to be nut dishes. Yours show considerable porosity, an indication of less than well done casting - similar silverware was fairly common from around the last quarter of the 20th century and are still made, the simple 'STERLING' stamp is typical (on some recast pieces the original marks are also visible).

~Cheryl


The original item:

Image

Image

maxbernat
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Re: Sterling wine taster or salt cellar ???! ID Help!

Postby maxbernat » Tue Jun 15, 2021 9:16 pm

Wow! That is unbelievable knowledge! Thx!!

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Re: Sterling wine taster or salt cellar ???! ID Help!

Postby Aguest » Tue Jun 15, 2021 11:35 pm

The poppy became the official state flower of California in 1903 ::: When I had this spoon I was researching it and it was claimed that Gorham was the manufacturer of this spoon but SHREVE, TREAT & EACRET were the retailers of the spoon. ::: I am not certain how this was known, but I have heard that a large cache of Gorham manufacturing records were available on CD-ROM format at one point in time, and also I recall an auction listing for an original Gorham book which listed their souvenir spoons and had their pattern numbers and pictures of them. ::::

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Re: Sterling wine taster or salt cellar ???! ID Help!

Postby dragonflywink » Wed Jun 16, 2021 8:07 am

Have only seen the Shreve, Treat & Eacret San Francisco Poppy bon-bon spoon attributed to Gorham on a site with quite a few errors (though some have been corrected over the years) - Rainwater's 'American Spoons' shows an extremely similar Honolulu Hibiscus bon-bon spoon copyrighted by Hawaiian jeweler Wall & Dougherty (both retailers of those two spoons were founded in 1912), my copy is packed away, but seem to recall that she attributed it to Watson & Newell. I have McGlothlin's 'Gorham Spoons' book, it is well researched and he delved deep into the Gorham archives - this spoon, is not shown, nor is anything similar...

~Cheryl

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Re: Sterling wine taster or salt cellar ???! ID Help!

Postby Aguest » Wed Jun 16, 2021 9:11 pm

There always did seem to be a Japonaiserie influence on this spoon, having seen spoons from Japan that were similarly shaped (but of exquisite quality, the highest quality examples are truly stunning), it does not surprise me that there could be a Hawaiian source here, the year 1912 is interesting as well because that's when Shreve, Treat & Ecret became partners and set up shop together. ::::

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Re: Sterling wine taster or salt cellar ???! ID Help!

Postby dragonflywink » Thu Jun 17, 2021 1:43 am

I'm a bit confused by suggestion of a "Hawaiian source" - I'd noted that the retailers of both spoons were coincidentally founded in the same year only to indicate it would be unlikely the spoons would predate 1912, since they both seem to only be found with their respective retailer stamps. Shreve, Treat & Eacret may have just depended on an exclusive contract rather than taking measures to protect the design as Wall & Dougherty did (seem to recall it was copyrighted in 1915) - but the San Francisco Poppy and the Honolulu Hibiscus spoons were almost certainly designed by the same person and produced at the same factory, and as said, believe Rainwater attributed the Honolulu spoon to Watson, which doesn't seem unlikely (and they were a prolific maker of floral spoons)...

~Cheryl

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Re: Sterling wine taster or salt cellar ???! ID Help!

Postby Aguest » Thu Jun 17, 2021 10:41 pm

Clearly I am referring to an artistic "source" - an aesthetic "source" - rather than a physical factory in that tweet. ::: Few people are familiar with the craze for all things Hawaiian that swept the mainland USA circa 1915, I learned about it after collecting ukuleles and Hawaiian guitars. :::

"Hawaiian steel guitar music grew wildly popular. In 1916, 78 rpm records featuring an indigenous Hawaiian instrument outsold every other genre of music in the United States." Basically, think about the influence The Beatles had on American Culture of the 1960's, and that was what Hawaiian culture was to the mainland USA circa 1915. Aesthetically, the Hawaiian influence was present in many, many areas. It doesn't surprise me at all that a spoon of this design with a very large prominent flower (not smaller flowers like other Watson spoons) would have an aesthetic source that can be traced back to Japan and Hawaii.

Refer to Hawaiian spoons by HF Wichman (et. al). Check out the ***edit** Hawaiian spoon, unknown maker, circa 1900 which has an extremely similar form and is over a decade older than the San Fransisco and Honolulu examples. ("A SILVER HAWAIIAN BON BON SPOON. Maker unknown, c.1900. Large bon bon spoon, bowl depicts a flower and is captioned 'ALOHA..."). Notice the very large flower and the overall form from Hawaii circa 1900? There is an artistic "source" for this bon-bon spoon form, and although it originated in Japan circa 1880, it clearly made a pit stop in Hawaii before being picked up by the Mainland USA during the craze for all things Hawaiian circa 1900.

I hope this clears up any confusion.

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Re: Sterling wine taster or salt cellar ???! ID Help!

Postby Aguest » Thu Jun 17, 2021 11:15 pm

I would show the ***edit*** images but they can be retrieved by copying and pasting the words within quotes. :::: Another really interesting example is "A SILVER HAWAIIAN COIN SOUVENIR SPOON. Mark of Shreve, San Francisco, c.1900. Hawaiian half dollar coin in bowl, with port" which helps establish a link between Hawaiian Souvenir Spoons and Shreve of S.F. ::::

I think this is an interesting example of a bon-bon spoon starting in Japan (large chrysanthemum blossom bowl), going to Hawaii (large hibiscus blossom bowl) and finally ending up in California (large poppy blossom bowl) while preserving a similar shape and function (bon-bon distribution) all the while. :::

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Re: Sterling wine taster or salt cellar ???! ID Help!

Postby Aguest » Fri Jun 18, 2021 9:31 pm

Are people allowed to use a search engine and see the "Aloha" example so they can reach the conclusion that H.F. Wichmann most likely knew a Hawaiian silversmith who was trained in the Japanese form of the open-work bon-bon spoon and was the originator of this form? ::: The Watson manufacture theory doesn't make sense in light of these examples which are freely available to view on the internet if you simply copy and paste the words that are in-between my quotes in the above posts. ::::

We've solved many mysteries with the internet and will continue to solve more. :::: Go internet!!! ::: Down with censorship!!!!

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Re: Sterling wine taster or salt cellar ???! ID Help!

Postby Aguest » Fri Jun 18, 2021 10:00 pm

Just for future reference, can I write the name of an auction house (like the administrators of this website have written dozens of times without being censored one single time) or will I be specifically singled out and have the word edited out of my post? ::::

The administrators can use these words but community members in good standing who have contributed thousands of hours to helping people over the years are prohibited from using these words? ::::

This is AG2012 speaking, this is a direct quote:

"I think what we do here is similar to discussions in papers (scientific) with well established and accepted quoting, paraphrasing and summarizing.
Even well known commercial websites allow quoting and images from publications to support their claims of authenticity. It happens too often to be an aberration and websites management must be aware of the practice.

This example follows the format of an exhibition catalog but lists the auction house as the author as per the guidelines for works published by an organization, corporation, or institution.

'Sotheby's New York. Important Jewels. New York: Sotheby's, 2007. Auction catalog.'


In short, I suppose everything is fine if the source is quoted.
Regards"

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

I quoted the source, so if AG2012 can do it, I really don't see why other members in good standing cannot do it. :::::

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Re: Sterling wine taster or salt cellar ???! ID Help!

Postby dragonflywink » Sat Jun 19, 2021 1:16 am

In answer to your posts concerning the editing out the name of the auction site, you were not 'singled out', I've done the same many times, and unless Trev tells me to stop, will continue to do so. There was simply no point in advertising a commercial site - the search terms you quoted were left intact, a simple search found the items you were referring to without any reference to the auction house.

Believe this is the thread you were referencing, concerning citing a published auction catalog as a reference source: viewtopic.php?t=58109

~Cheryl

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Re: Sterling wine taster or salt cellar ???! ID Help!

Postby Aguest » Sat Jun 19, 2021 1:33 am

Fair use for research purposes. There is no advertising. Hopefully this will be the last time and I've fixed it.

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Re: Sterling wine taster or salt cellar ???! ID Help!

Postby dragonflywink » Sat Jun 19, 2021 1:39 am

Personally, would be very difficult for me to reach the "conclusion that H.F. Wichmann most likely knew a Hawaiian silversmith who was trained in the Japanese form of the open-work bon-bon spoon and was the originator of this form" based on what you've cited and theorized.

Regarding the H.F. Wichman stamped 'Aloha' spoon, seems clear that it is almost certainly by the same designer and manufacturer as the San Francisco and Honolulu spoons - but while it could be earlier, firmly declaring it's a 'decade earlier' based on a sales description stating "c. 1900" is problematic in that 'circa' indicates an approximation since the actual dating is not known.

Concerning a link between Shreve & Co. and Hawaiian souvenir spoons - San Francisco was a port city, with travelers departing and arriving from Hawaii on a regular basis, would be in their interest to have souvenirs available. Shreve & Co. was well known for their works incorporating coins with various origins and dates - in addition to the Hawaiian coin bowl spoon with banana leaf handle, they also produced one with a Mexican coin and a cactus handle.

Japanese silversmiths were very skilled and produced some stunning pieces, including those intended for the Western market (Liberty and Co. advertised and sold a large line of Japanese spoons, late 19th-early 20th century), and they certainly influenced design, but while many Asian spoons have wide bowls in relation to the stem, it is just typical of bon-bon spoons to have wide bowls regardless of their design. Naturalistic spoons were produced long before bon-bon spoons became popular, and toward the end of the 19th century, well into the 20th, numerous American silver manufacturers were producing examples, including bon-bon and other spoons with blossom-form bowls, as well as holloware - flowers, leaves, branches, vines, seashells, etc, are all attractive elements..


From Snodin's 'English Silver Spoons' (1982, 2nd Ed.), on 19th century naturalistic spoons:

Image


1908 catalog page showing a wide variety of pieces, including a bon-bon spoon, in Paye and Baker's 'Daisy' pattern:

Image


1907 retailer's ad showing Paye & Baker bon-bon spoon in their 'Wild Rose' pattern:

Image


1901 retailer's ad showing Unger Bros. #8026 bon-bon scoop:

Image


1909 retailer's ad showing a Watson flower-form tea strainer, the handle their Floral series No. 2 'Sego-Lily' pattern:

Image


1893 ad for Alvin's multi-motif 'Floralia' pattern:

Image


~Cheryl

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Re: Sterling wine taster or salt cellar ???! ID Help!

Postby Aguest » Sat Jun 19, 2021 2:13 am

Now we're getting somewhere, the 3 spoons share a common origin ::: Many of the spoons in the photos you post I've owned, many different kinds of naturalistic spoons from England, USA, Germany, Japan, and it seems like the Japanese spoons have the most similarity to the 3 spoons (Aloha, Honolulu and Hawaii). :::: The open-work technique, the tendrils that swoop from the top of the spoon to the bottom of the spoon, some cast elements and some hand-cut elements (I think the letters are hand-cut but I could be wrong), it seems to have little to do with the "die-stamping" process. ::: There's another tradition at work here, at least this is how it appears to me. ::: It would be nice if you could put up some Japanese examples because I think it would be clear to everyone that there are many similarities between the traditional Japanese naturalistic bon-bon spoons and these 3 spoons in question, much more than the die-stamped Watson spoons. :::: Why not post a few Japanese examples? :

So H.F. Wichmann worked with Watson to make that "Aloha" spoon and the reputable auction house is wrong when it states "circa-1900" in it's disclosure.

All righty then. ::: If more evidence emerges in the future on this subject, I will attach it to this thread. :::

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Re: Sterling wine taster or salt cellar ???! ID Help!

Postby Aguest » Sat Jun 19, 2021 2:45 am

Do a search for "Japanese Chrysanthemum Spoons" or read "The Yokohama Conundrum" by Adrien Von Ferscht (I believe I read it on this forum for the first time but it is archived on the internet). :::

"The Musashiya company, created by Ozeki Yahei and under the aegis of his son Sadajiro, became perhaps the most successful of the concerns selling high-quality decorative art during the Meiji era. Sadajiro’s openness to collaborate with enterprises such as Liberty of London enthused him to work with some of the finest Japanese artists and artisans. Many of these items happened to be spoons, but spoons that were each a work of art. Some he marked Musashiya, while others he decided to mark with the initials “S.M.”, the latter created out of Sadajiro and Musashiya. Many of these spoons were actually creations of some of Japan’s most-notable artisans exclusively at the Musashiya workshops."

I would be more inclined to believe that an unknown silversmith trained in the tradition of Japanese naturalistic silver emigrated from Japan to Hawaii to come work for H.F. Wichmann ::: The "Aloha" spoon was an earlier example of this silversmith's work and it led to a contract with H.F. Wichmann as the retailer. ::: A contract with Shreve followed and Wall & Dougherty after that. ::: Ask yourself, why wouldn't Watson have copyrighted this spoon rather than allow Wall & Dougherty to copyright it? ::: Watson should have copyrighted it, it is a fantastic spoon, why didn't Watson take steps to copyright it? The answer is that Watson had nothing to do with these 3 spoons. Nothing whatsoever. ::::

I will leave you with the 1910 advertisement by H.F. Wichmann which advertises "Souvenir Spoons Typical Of The Islands" ::: That advertisement is from 1910 and pre-dates the "San Francisco" and "Honolulu" spoons. :::: People already knew about spoons like the "Aloha" spoon because they had been on the island for at least 10 years. :::: It's absolutely plausible that all this started with an unknown silversmith who had connections to H.F. Wichmann because there was a craze for all things Hawaiian circa 1915 that California retailers like Shreve and Wall & Dougherty wanted to capitalize on. ::::

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Re: Sterling wine taster or salt cellar ???! ID Help!

Postby dragonflywink » Sat Jun 19, 2021 9:03 pm

From Rainwater's 'American Spoons: Souvenir and Historical' (1968):

Image


~Cheryl


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