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Gould, Stowell & Ward, Baltimore, "Grape" 11-12 Silver Fish Slice

Gould, Stowell & Ward, Baltimore, "Grape" 11-12 Silver Fish Slice
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Lengthy at 11 1/8," and weighing 2.9 T. oz., this fish slice traces to Baltimore, 1855-58.

It is marked for the partnership of "Gould, Stowell & Ward," which was one of the associations in which James Gould, born 1795 in Salem, Massachusetts, participated as a principal.

Other marks are "Baltimore," "Patent 1850," and "11-12," for the local assay mark, which at .917 is midway between coin and sterling silver.

The pattern is a "Grape" or "Grapevine" on something of an "Olive" background on the handle front, while the backside design is akin to "Tuscan," which is also related to "Olive."

The scalloped upper edge blade is flat, absent the raised back that typifies later fish slices, and is extensively engraved in a period acanthus leaf, scroll, and floral design, with wriggle work around the margins and a reserve area that has never been monogrammed.

The handle is inscribed "MC" in feathered script lettering.

In excellent condition, there is little evidence of use. The pattern detail remains well-defined and the engraving retains sharp, crisp, detail. The blade is without bends or burrs, but does have a faint crimp that shows on the plain backside but is not evident on the front. The patina is warm and even.

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