Mid 19th c. Whiting Dome Top Sterling Punch Ladle
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Stylistically this punch ladle suggests a dating from the mid 1860's. It follows after a fashion most associated with Philadelphia's George Sharp, having a five sided solid wire stem surmounted by a "domed" top. George Sharp's version has a ball top, or finial, whereas this is more disk shaped.
Examples of this pattern are scarce, and when they show up are generally without a maker's identification. This is stamped with the Whiting emblem on the underside, along with the word Sterling and the number 24, so the attribution is definitive.It is 11" long overall and weighs 3.4 T. oz. The bowl is an unusual helmet form and is very telling of its function. It has a robust pouring lip and is engraved on the outer side with a stylized grape and grape leaf pattern. This work is quite well done. The interior has a gold wash, while traces of a gold wash remain on the outside. The handle attaches to the bowl using a three prong wire configuration that, while effective, is also elegant and delicate appearing.
The condition is excellent. Apart from the loss of gold on the outside of the bowl, there are no signs of wear nor any damage.