Scarce Shiebler Art Nouveau "Flora" Large Sterling Silver Serving Fork
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An immensely well-received line featuring at minimum twelve, and according to one source at least fifteen, different flower motifs, Shiebler's "Flora" remains a pattern of choice among collectors casual and serious.
Most frequently found as teaspoons, the series was produced in a variety of other place and serving pieces. Large items such as this 9 5/8" long, nearly 3.5 T. oz., likely fish serving fork, however, are quite rare.
The detail of the Art Nouveau design shows to advantage at the scale of this. The surface is highly textured, with the blossom petals and leaves set in high relief. The background is finely stippled.
The concave backside of the is plain save for a script "W" monogram and the Shiebler "winged S" emblem, along with the words "Sterling," and "Pat'd 89."
The four tine blade is large at 4" by 3". The main surface is flat, while the heel has a number of ridges sloping upward toward scalloped shoulders. There are three small piercings. The backside retains traces of an original gold wash in the grooves between the ridges, but otherwise the gold is rubbed off.
The condition is excellent. This piece has seen little use. The pattern is absent polishing wear, remaining clear and well-defined. The tines are without bends, burrs, or tip wear. There are light surface scratches consistent with gentle use. The finish has a warm, lustrous patina.