Whiting "Calla Lily" Sterling Serving Spoon
click for more pictures for item 1531f
Marked only "Sterling," this c. 1860's pattern is a Whiting design commonly identified as "Calla Lily," taken from the three dimensional flower that adorns the end of the handle.
This example is a large, 10 1/2" long, just under 2.6 T. oz., serving spoon. It has a wide and deep bowl (there is an otherwise identical spoon with a narrower bowl) resulting in a particularly generous capacity.
Described by one source as "jewelry-esque," this is assembled from a variety of parts, rather than being die struck as a unit, or a single casting. This approach was popular in the mid 19th century and certainly showed the silversmith's art to its highest form.
It was a labor intensive approach and involved a lot of design intricacy. This has a three part tubular handle, with the wires separating as they join the bowl. These are overlaid with leaves, with a similar pair supporting the actual calla lily blossom that wraps around itself at the end of the handle. This in turn sits atop an individually cast pediment that forms a join with the rest of the stem.
Portions of the piece, namely the bowl, the lower portion of the wires, and the stamen, have a matte gold finish. As mentioned, the bowl is broad, plum-shaped, and has a narrow flanged rim.
Often categorized as in the realm of "exotic" design, this item is as good as it gets in terms of what it is. Additionally, it is in museum quality condition. There is no wear whatsoever.