Very rare form of a Kate Greenaway figure by James Tufts Silverplate Company of Boston, ca 1880.
A sewing caddy or stand, with rods to hold spools of thread, a pincushion held by the young girl, and a very nice engraved tray in the Aesthetic Movement style.
It measures 5 1/4" high, and is 6 1/4" in diameter, with a nice flared foot of 3/8" high.
It is signed on the bottom with James Tufts name, city, the monogram with T, and the number 4143.
James Tufts opened his company in 1875, and created a wide range of silver plated objects, from flatware to boxes, baskets, serving pieces, napkin rings, calling card trays, and various novelty forms for the home and dining styles of the late Victorian era. He was born in 1835 and died in 1902.
His figural designs are highly prized, and any forms with the Kate Greenaway characters are particularly desirable.
This piece is rare, and combines the pincushion, the scalloped tray, the spool holders and the figure. Pincushions and trays are not uncommon, but this piece is very unusual. The young girl is dressed in a flowered long dress, with a bow tied sash, puffed short sleeves, and she wears a large bonnet, with her hair tied and visible on the back. A small purse or chatellaine element hangs from her belt in front, she wears heeled shoes with ornate buckles, and her face is nicely detailed.
Condition is good, there is quite a bit of tarnish, especially in recessed areas. The pincushion is red fabric that looks like wool, and appears to be handmade, though I cannot guarantee that it is original. There is a slight dent in the base, just below where the figure stands. The scalloped edges are a bit uneven, some slightly higher than others. As it is an antique item, such slight imperfections are expected, and do not detract from the quality of the piece.
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