Period: American Victorian Era
Hallmark: 1847 Rogers. (manufactured by Meriden Britannia Company, which became part of International Silver)
This exquisitely ornate, remarkably beautiful set contains a total of 95 pieces, providing an ample supply of place settings and serving pieces. Entertain 4 to 6 couples, 8 to 12 people, and have additional place settings in reserve, to graciously accomodate last minute, unexpected additions to your guest list.
15 Hollow Handle Knives 9 5/8"
( French Blade style)
14 Hollow Handle Dinner Forks (8")
13 Flat Handle Forks (7"Salad/Dessert)
6 ea Tablespooons (Serving)
8 ea 7 1/4" Oval Soup/Dessert Spoons
10 gold wash Demitasse spoons
1 ea Ornate Berry/Serving Spoon 8 7/8"
1ea 7 3/4" Ornate Serving Fork
1 Columbia Sugar Spoon
1ea Master Butter Knife
8 individual Butter Knives
1ea 10 1/2" Soup Ladle
1ea Gravy Ladle
Price: $1850. Item#012504Columbia
THIS SET ALSO
Condition: This is an very beautiful antique set which shows the patina of 112 years of gentle use. There are no monograms. The Silver is softly lustrous. The pattern is crisp and clear. The majority of this set is from an estate on the Treasure Coast of Florida. Any pieces which were missing have since been replaced. Every piece has been hand polished. Overall condition? Drop dead gorgeous.
Care: Treat this set as you would a favored piece of fine jewelry.
The vintage silver chest which houses this set is constructed of hardwood with a cherry finish. At the base, the chest measures 19" by 14" and it is 7" high. Manufactured for International Silver, the spacious chest is designed to hold a service for 24; 12 knives in the lid and another 12 knives in the pull-out drawer. There are 10 slots in the top for neatly stacked flatware (forks, spoons etc). The spacious drawer offers additional space for serving pieces and is equipped with flap style fabric overlays to cover silver contents. Pull out drawer knobs and side handles are brass. The tarnish resistent fabric interior of the chest is brown. Weight of the chest is14 pounds.
ABOUT THIS ITEM:
Highly Desirable: Fine, heavily silverplated patterns such as Columbia, from the period between 1890 and 1910 are considered extremely desirable by collectors. This pattern is rated "Highly Desirable" in antique and antique silver publications, prized not only for its remarkable, and exquisitely ornate Victorian beauty, but also because of its unique historical significance.
A Lavish Introduction: The exquisite Columbia pattern, created
in 1892, was manufactured for only about 20 years.
About the Design: The design has been rather aptly described as "exuberant
Art Nouveau with roccoco flourishes and shells, fish-like scales and swoops".
The pattern does not however, as occasionally (and eroneously) reported,
include a stylized dolphin, since dolphin (porpoise) are not equipped
with scales. Instead, that portion of Columbia's unique design which incorporates
gleaming silver scales, was intended to convey the fanciful suggestion
of a whimsical, romanticized sea serpent, cresting above the waves. Similarly,
the rounded area (which enjoys greater prominance on the three dimensional hollow
handle pieces) is suggestive of the globe, whilst the silver wave which
rushes forth above it, spanning approximately half the world's distance, cleverly
incorporates a suggestion of the lavish plume of Columbus's hat,
a feature prominant in the painting by Delacroix. In short, a masterful and
supremely imaginative design was created by Meriden Britannia's artists, which
now becomes a fascinating conversation piece for your dinner guests.
About the Styles: Some pieces of Columbia were made in both the
solid-handle style as well as the extremely graceful, hollow-handle style.
When the handle is solid, the entire flatware piece is made from one piece of metal. When the handle is hollow, the piece is composed of a handle and an insert - the fork tines or the knife blade. The original Columbia hollow handle dinner forks are highly prized but seldom seen in today's market. Either of the slightly smaller, flat handled forks (7 to 7 1/2") may be situated alongside the longer, and distinctive hollow handled 8" dinner fork, in a vintage formal place setting, to be called into service for salads and desserts. Additionally, some of the pieces in the Columbia pattern were offered with an optional gold wash in the bowl. Such a gold wash protected the silver from the chemical effects of foods like vinegar and salt, as well as giving the piece a richer look.
About the Manufacturer and the 1847 Rogers Hallmark: The famed Rogers brothers began America's first successful silver-plating operations in Hartford, Conn., in 1847. The Meriden Britannia Company acquired the right to their hallmark (1847 Rogers) from the original Rogers brothers. The 1847 Rogers Bros. mark was used continually by the Meriden Britannia Company from the time of its own formation in 1862. The manufacturers of the Rogers lines kept quality up to a high standard, and as a result, the Rogers trade-mark was solidly established in the public mind; Practically all the high grade plated silver sold in America in those days carried the "Rogers" name and was made by the Meriden Britannia Company and six or eight other Connecticut firms. After its acquisition by Meriden Britannia, the hallmark was generally accompanied by a Meriden Britannia imprint within a tiny circle. (This imprint continued to be used even after Meriden Britannia was absorbed by International Silver, which was formed in 1898, by the merger of many smaller Connecticut companies, including Meriden Britannia Co., Rogers & Bros., and Wm. Rogers Manufacturing Co.)
Columbia Displayed At the World's Fair: Within the 1893 Columbian Exposition fairgrounds, the Meriden Britannia company's gracefully ornate showroom was located on Columbia Avenue, (in the beautiful waterfront Manufactures Pavilion).
The following excerpts are taken from the richly descriptive "Book of the Fair",
"...Returning to Columbia Avenue, we find, adjacent to the Tiffany and
Gorham edifice toward the north, the neat and tasteful structure of the Meriden
Britannia company, ...[with] its rich brown hues of rosewood...... In shape
it is octagonal, its sides, except for the one which contains the portico, consisting
of plate-glass windows, resting on a curved base, divided by double Corinthian
columns, and surmounted by low domes, the domical treatment culminating above
the roof. Passing between rich draperies into a pavilion some thirty feet in
diameter, its woodwork of ivory and gold, with easy chairs and carpet of light
blue velvet, we find at the entrance a centrepiece of elaborate workmanship,
its base of silver molded with gold and with bands of gold and chrysanthemum.....In
an octagonal case, resting on a pedestal of ivory and gold, are many specimens
of novel pattern. Next to it is the companys office, near which is a triplicate
mirror, the central glass with scroll work and flat mold frame, and those at
the side with a heavy framework of oxidized silver......Turning to the display
windows we find in one adjoining the portico a decorated vase with blossoms,
flowers, and leaves of chrysanthemum.....Here and in other windows are flowerbowls,
cake-baskets, liqueur sets, tea sets, writing tables, waiters and trays, chafing
dishes, fern bowls, and scores of other articles. Finally, on a curved and velvet
covered surface in the northern window, is almost every kind of flat table ware
in use at the present day."
Those with a newly awakened interest in the Worlds Fair of 1893 may also enjoy reading an entry from the well written diary of Isak Isakson, who, at age 13, made his way alone to the Chicago Columbian Exposition of 1893. Other interesting info may be found on this page: http://www.erbzine.com/mag12/1285.html
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history of this pattern.
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