Shreve, San Francisco, 1885 Hammered Mug
This sterling silver mug has triple provenance. It is inscribed in script on the sidewall "Virgil C. Gibney, 1885" and on the bottom, "From Charles P. Murray," providing two references therein as well as a date. It also bears the maker's name "Geo. C. Shreve" and location, "San Francisco," and the Shreve bee emblem, for a third reference. The piece stands 3" high, has a diameter of 2", 3 1/2" maximum span to the end of the handle, and weighs almost 3.3 T. oz. The entire item has a hand hammered, satin matte, surface, including the hand-crafted and formed handle. The top has a rolled rim and the interior is finished in a gold wash. Given the 1885 date, the inspiration for this would seem to be the Aesthetic Movement, which favored hammered surfaces, but the style also anticipates the later Arts & Crafts output for which Shreve was known, as well as its highly regarded "XIVth Century" pattern. This is in very good condition but has numerous shallow dents and flattened spots around the lower edge especially, and is slightly out of round. (It would seem that young Mr. Gibney was a vigorous child.) This is all, however, quite disguised by the textured surface.