McDannold first worked in Mt. Sterling, then in Covington. Though his work is not quite so scarce as that of some other makers, it is quite a happy event indeed to find a set of Kentucky spoons in such exemplary condition.
Frequent readers of our little web page will know that we are loath to present any item which is not in good condition, but there are occasions when rarity (and price) will overcome this issue.
One usually assumes that design travelled from the Continent to the States, and my first thought upon seeing this spoon was that Durgin had taken extreme liberties in copying a French design. Although Dauphin certainly has French influences, this does not appear to be the case, here...
Having spent a considerable amount of time in Paris, Tiffany's chief designer Edward Moore was impressed with the French system of art education, which required students to draw and model from nature. He instituted a similar program for apprentices who aspired to work for his own firm.
That influence shows here in the trailing bellflower decoration...
Though we've managed to capture the color and motion inherent in this stone, our photo does not show the little iridescent gold flecks which also distinguish this piece of agate.
English examples are scarce, but American coin silver agate handle flatware has nearly vanished from the market...
This pattern has always been a personal favorite. Note the expressiveness of the eyes, which you may examine up close in photo number three.
Tuck Chang worked in Shanghai, and this piece dates from about 1890...
This is the Bigelow Kennard version, which has piercings in the upper portion of handle.
Place pieces are much rarer than servers in this grand old Durgin pattern whose name is a subject of some disagreement, which leads me to believe that not many were produced.
Though the execution is spare, this engraving succeeds in conveying a sense of movement, an illusion that only the most skilled artists were capable of achieving. And in bit of Victorian whimsey, note that this fish has been hooked (please see third enlargement).
These are particularly choice examples, extra heavy, with excellent detail and die depth. To my eye, this is one of R & B's most attractive designs. For further discussion of what makes a pattern aesthetically successful, see Design New England, November-December 2012, pp. 60-64