"Chicago Fire 1871" Sterling Citrus Spoon with Provenance
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This sterling silver souvenir spoon is replete with provenance. It was made by Dominick & Haff, whose three part emblem and the word "Sterling" appear on the backside. The theme is the "Chicago Fire" of 1871, and appropriately enough the retailer was Chicago's "C.D. Peacock" whose name appears alongside the manufacturer's mark and the words "Pat'd. '91."
It is inscribed on the reverse "Jerome Orrell Eddy," "May 12/91," whose birthday was this date. An accomplished man in his own right, this Jerome Eddy was the son of Chicago resident Arthur Jerome Eddy who was a lawyer and financier, and a prominent and well-documented art collector, critic, and author.
Apart from this association, this spoon is artfully crafted. It has a gold-washed bowl that would appear to be intended for citrus, but perhaps was used as a baby spoon given it was a birth present. The portraiture of the Chicago fire is quite dramatic and set in high relief. Presumably it met with the approbation of Jerome's art critic father and thereby comes through history with an implied endorsement.
There are detail elements to the design, particularly on the backside and lower portion of the handle front, that bespeak Art Nouveau sensibilities and even anticipate Danish Modern elements.
The piece is in immaculate condition. There is no evident polishing wear and the finish has a natural brilliance. The bowl remains well-shaped and retains its original gold wash but has a slight burr at the tip.