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...
This pattern has always been a personal favorite. Note the expressiveness of the eyes, which you may examine up close in photo number three.
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
Even for Wendt, this is an exceptionally stylish little piece of silver, with chamfered edges on tines which are fully engraved, front and back.
There is a file cut (visible from side and reverse only; see fourth photo) which we've pictured in excruciating detail, and some light pitting on the blade which we've mostly polished out and probably will address a bit more, as time allows. Aside from this, the condition is excellent.
This spoon is not monogrammed and does not appear ever to have been, which is most unusual for early American silver.
If ever an item cried out to be given as a wedding gift, this it.