Rare Rogers & Wendt (Boston) 3 Piece Coin Coffee Set
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Set of three pieces. Inquiries invited.
John Wendt was a prominent mid 19th century silversmith. His name evokes a host of associations in the burgeoning world of commerce and the carriage trade as it existed in New York City at the time.
Thus so strongly identified with this one locale, Wendt actually first established himself in Boston, and that period of his working years often goes overlooked. While in Boston, he quickly emerged as a skilled and exceptionally able craftsman, and eventually linked with Ball, Black & Company, which ultimately lasting connection took him to New York.
Examples of his Boston work are rare. This instance is a three piece, coin silver coffee set that has a double provenance in that it was retailed by Bigelow Brothers and Kennard, itself a landmark Boston firm.
It was produced between 1853 and 1857 while Wendt was in partnership with Augustus Rogers. The three pieces are all marked the same, including with the model number "402" and "R&W."
Each piece is octagonal with tapered sides. The pot and pitcher are flagon or tankard form. The bowl has a lid and its design matches the cover of the hinged pot, being stepped and topped with a baluster style finial. The panels of the octagons are all delicately hand chased in a leaf and floral design, and a central one of each item is monogrammed "J.R." in Old English lettering.
Interestingly, the handles vary from piece to piece, with the pitcher and pot having two different styles of hollow handles, and the bowl being cast and solid. This may represent a bit of whimsy or declarative individuality on Wendt's part. The pot retains its original natural material insulators.
This set stands in contrast to the more typical, bulbous and repousse hollowware that so characteristics 19th century design up to mid century. It embodies both English and Adams-esque elements, and could as easily abide a bachelor gentleman's sideboard as a ladies' tea setting.
The pieces are of substantial weight and feel very hefty in the hand. The pot weighs 30.6 T. oz., the bowl with lid 20.5 T. oz., and the pitcher 11.5 T. oz., for a total of 62.6 T. oz.
The dimensions are large, with the pot standing 8 5/8" tall to the finial and having a base diameter of 5 1/8". The bowl measures 5 1/2" to the top of the finial, and has a maximum width, handle tip to handle tip, of 7 1/4". The pitcher is 4 3/8" tall and has a base that is 3 7/8" in diameter.
The entire set is in remarkably fine condition. It has not been in circulation, and is truly a period example, looking essentially as it would have some 150 plus years ago. There is no body damage to note, the engraving remains sharply defined, and the finishes are lustrous. Additional pictures are available and inquiries are welcome.