Enchanting Art Nouveau Silver Butterfly Bowl c1900
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Directory: Antiques: Decorative Art: Metals: Silver: Pre 1900: Item # 411099
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The romance of Art Nouveau design is perfectly captured by his exquisite antique silver bowl with ruffled edges upon which finely detailed butterflies perch gracefully as handles. It's a wonderfully versatile piece you can use to hold favorite jewels on your vanity or in any room for flowers or potpourri. You could serve sweets and nuts in it, too, or cache small items on your desktop.
Dating from the Late Victorian era, circa 1900, it's about 5 3/4" wide at the handles and 2 1/2" tall with a bowl 4" in diameter. It looks very French, but, on the base (which feels like it's weighted) the signature DERBY appears with the numeral 2 and a logo that looks like feathered wings extending in both directions. This presumably refers to a metalsmith of Derby town in England, because the marks are entirely different from those used by Derby Silver Co. in Connecticut and by Crown Derby (famed for its china).
The bowl polishes like sterling but, in the absence of sterling hallmarks, must be a lesser grade of silver or very heavy plating. We've cleaned it considerably, leaving the dark patina only in crevices. Condition is excellent; there's no damage, only age-appropriate surface wear. Provenance is an English estate, via a specialist Art Nouveau dealer in East Anglia.
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