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Joseph Seymour "Duchess" Sterling Silver Berry Spoon

Joseph Seymour "Duchess" Sterling Silver Berry Spoon
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Syracuse, New York, was a major silver manufacturing center in the mid to late 19th century. Joseph Seymour, the maker of this 8 1/4" long, 1.9 T. oz., berry spoon, was one of the most prominent names among that city's firms, with a history that began in 1846, terminating in 1905.

An innovative producer, Dorthy Rainwater in her "Encyclopedia of American Silver Manufacturers" notes that he received a patent for making spoons in 1859, and further that, "the company was one of the first to make tableware in patterns."

The pattern on this piece is "Duchess," which is in substance a Renaissance Revival design.

This is consistent with its period. Sources commonly date "Duchess" to 1876, but the backside of this is stamped "Pat'd 1877." It is also stamped "Sterling" but is without a maker's mark.

The pattern incorporates an arabesque motif comprised of leafy scrolls and delicate flowers set on a textured ground. There is also a raised, honeycomb diamond area set midway on the handle, and anthemion and acanthus leaf elements on the backside.

The 3" by 2 1/4", relatively deep at 1/2", bowl has a scalloped edge and satin finish on the interior. This is extensively engraved in a diamond cut and wriggle work design that is complimentary to the rest of the piece.

It is without a monogram or removal and in mint estate condition. There is no polishing wear, and the finish is warm and even. The bowl is free of dents, nicks, or burrs, and the engraving remains sharp and crisp.

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