Southern Coin Silver Creamer - Greenberry Gaither, Washington, DC
Offered is a fine and very rare example of American coin silver hollowware bearing the mark of little-known Washington, D.C. silversmith Greenberry Gaither. Biographical information follows the item description. This cream pitcher is fairly large and heavy, measuring about 6 1/2 inches high to the top of the handle, and weighing 322 grams, or about ten troy ounces. The piece dates somewhere between 1820-35 based on style. This creamer is lightly engraved with a period script monogram, which may be "CMB". The piece also bears the maker's mark of Greenberry Gaither, which appears to be overstriking not one but two marks - the mark underneath Gaither's that is still partly visible ends with a "T" and could represent one of Charles A. Burnett's marks, as Burnett was flourishing in Washington at around the same time. The other mark may start with an "H", but it isn't clear, other than that it is shorter than either Gaither's mark or the mark ending with a "T". Condition of this piece is very good overall; the handle has a repair, as is typical with cream pitchers of this age. The piece also sits slightly askew, as the foot is slightly depressed on one side. The stem is not affected, so fixing the foot would be a simple matter for a competent silversmith. All in all a lovely example of Southern coin silver bearing a rare DC silversmith's mark! Greenberry Gaither, brother of the better-known John Gaither (who worked in Alexandria and DC), appears to have been born around 1792, and was working by the 1810s in Washington. He received some of his brother's personal property to settle a debt at the time of his brother's death in 1819, and continued to work and flourish in the 1820s. He probably died in 1838. Little work bearing his mark is known today, aside from a few spoons and ladles. One teapot sold at a major auction house in 2013. A rare silversmith!