299 Pcs. Watson "Wild Rose" Sterling Flatware
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Lot 1262 Details
Cased Two Hundred and Ninety-Piece Set of Watson "Wild Rose" Sterling Silver Flatware and a Seven-Piece Tea Set, the flatware pattern designed in 1902 by Charles Smith Court (1871-1955) and Eustace Crees (1865-1947), Attleboro, Massachusetts, complete with twenty-piece place settings for twelve persons and fifty serving pieces, with a seven-piece sterling silver tea set by R. Wallingford & Sons, Attleboro, Massachusetts, and an associated Barbour Silver Co. silverplate tray, the flatware and tray monogrammed "R", the hollowware monogrammed "JDR", 338.72 total t. oz. (weighable silver), all presented in an oak campaign-style lidded three-drawer fitted case, lined in dark green velvet and fitted with brass caps and escutcheon on a later gold-painted metal stand, overall, 35" x 27-3/4" x 22" (298 total pieces plus case and stand). Detailed list available on request. Charles Smith Court and Eustace Crees were both natives of Birmingham, England, born at a time when it was an industrial powerhouse and center of silver and flatware production; indeed, Court was the son of George Henry Court (1845-1917), a die sinker. They were undoubtedly trained in the U.K., and emigrated to the United States in 1889 and 1890 respectively. They settled in Providence, Rhode Island, and by 1896 appear to have been exclusive designers for the flatware division of Watson & Newell: the Mechanics Silver Co. of Attleboro, Massachusetts. Between 1896 and 1905 they patented over fifty flatware designs, including four different series of floral and foliate designs. This motif - "Wild Rose" - was part of the second series and was patented on August 12, 1902, number D35994. (Two other motifs - "Water Lily" and "Poppy" - were patented on the same day.) However, of the twenty-five different motifs in this series, only "Wild Rose" and two others ("Lily" and "Orchid") were available as full-line patterns. The present lot represents a notably extensive set, by tradition having belonged to an estate near Greenville, Mississippi. It is presented in a contemporaneous chest made not for just the set, but for an associated tea service belonging to the same family. Also included with the set is a facsimile copy of the Watson September/October 1903 "Orchid/Wild Rose" catalogue. Court and Crees remained in partnership until their retirement in the 1940's. Although Crees retired to Sarasota, Florida, both men are buried in the Swan Point Cemetery in Providence, Rhode Island, Crees having died on August 10, 1947, and Court on April 14, 1955.
Overall Condition: Very Good. A very nice, well-kept set with no significant condition issues beyond than minor wear (scuffs, scratches, dings, etc.) associated with occasional use. The (non-stainless) steel carving blades show some wear from sharpening. The teapot has a 1/2" chip out of the wooden handle and a very small (1/4") shallow dent. Monogrammed as noted in the catalogue description. Solid flatware pieces marked on the underside with the Watson/Mechanics "pennant-H" trademark and "Sterling". The sterling hollowware marked (on the underside) with the Wallace "RW-stag-S" trademark, "Sterling", the pattern number (152 or 352) and capacity. The silverplate tray marked with the Barbour "dragon-morion-mural crown" trademark: and "BSCEP". The case in generally good condition with some scattered scratches and scuffs; the lining intact and clean. The interior with retailer's ribbon label "Mandel Brothers / Jewelers Silversmiths / Chicago" (active 1865-ca. 1975). An exceptional set.