Shreve San Francisco "Greek Key" Sterling & Enamel Cup
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According to Rainwater in "Encyclopedia of American Silver Manufacturers," "[Shreve & Co.'s] production focused on special order merchandise [which was] sold only through the firm's own retail shop."
An usual item, this 2" high, 3 1/2" top diameter, 4 1/2" maximum span, 2.9 T. oz., cup may have been one of those special order items. It is singular in design, and further distinguished by the blue cloisonne enameled band along the upper rim. Enamel work examples from Shreve are not readily found. This band and the handle are in a Greek Key motif.
The entire outer surface of the piece is finished in a deep, bonze-like gold wash, while the interior has the same colored surface in a bright finish.
The sidewall is inscribed "Father." in Old English lettering, with "Christmas" and "1905" written in script below this. The date places this before the 1906 earthquake while George R. Shreve was still in charge of the company, and again according to Rainwater, before the company began flatware production.
It is in exceptionally fine condition. The form is nearly perfect. There are no bends or dents and the base is even and flat. The finish is flawless and the engraving remains crisp. There is considerable loss of the enamel, but this does not show overall.
Marks are "Shreve & Co.," "San Francisco," "Makers," "925/1000," and "Sterling."