Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Little Bowl from E.G. Webster and Son
I picked up this little guy two weeks ago on Saturday. I it was four dollars. Not to bad for a repousse piece. Really tarnished silver is often priced super low because it seems to be "ruined" and often it is. This piece was ignored by the "pricers" of the estate sale and I benefited. It was black as night and I finally got polished on Friday. That's right, an exciting Friday night polishing silver.
this piece was made by E.G. Webster & Son N.Y. and its number is 440. It is pretty small, but the details are amazing. In between the flowers and the scrolls are textured surfaces that have been chased. The feet are cast and soldered. This according to Hagan is a sign of quality work. I had not noticed it when I picked it up, but in the polishing, the handles are little sea creatures. This does not quite fit with the floral motif that the rest of the decorations reflect but I am a big fan of weird stuff like that. Perhaps, that's why I find colonial styles of silver to be so boring. There is a tiny amount of pitting in the bowl, but it really is so minor that I think for a piece its age it is forgivable.
So let us consult Rainwater and see if we can find a bit about E.G. Webster. They were formed in Brooklyn New York in 1859. They have had three names:
Webster Mfg. Co. 1859 - 1873
E.G. Webster & Bros. 1873 - 1886
E.G. Webster & Son 1886 - 1928
in 1928 the son ( Fred H. Webster that formed the Son in the mark) sold the business to the International Silver Company. The factories were moved from Brooklyn to Meriden. Rainwater states that they were well known for their "highly chased holloware and English reproductions". The webster trademark was used until 1961 when it was changed to Webster-Wilcox. This continued until 1981. At this time it was sold to Oneida.