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A fantastic centerpiece, an oval footed bowl with a head of a swan at each end. No maker's marks, no marks at all. A very Arts & Crafts styled piece (my latest passion!), definitely.
Other than that I know nothing about it. A test for sterling appears to have been performed at one time by scraping and possibly applying testing acids leaving an ugly mark on the neck of one of the swans, see last image. (What were they THINKING? Apparently they were not.) It was extremely ignorant to test it in such a visible area. Tests, if absolutely necessary, should be made in out-of-sight areas, like under the piece and very discretely. This test was not done that way (mumble, grumble..). It is definitely a silverplated piece.
The size is impressive: Total length including swan heads: 17.5", Bowl length only: 12", width 9.5", height 9.5" incl. heads, 7" to bowl edge. Weight I have not checked, it's pretty chunky.
Methinks it may be a student piece entered in application for a job in a silver crafts shop around the turn of 1900 or thereabouts, possibly a little later. The beading around the bowl's edge is obviously hand-hammered as the spaces between the beads are uneven here and there. The swan heads appear to have been cast originally, they're solid, and then handfinished. The whole piece is elegantly crafted.
All ideas as to origin, age or--wouldn't it be lovely--possible artist, would be humbly accepted.
A few images taken as the piece arrived at home today, not even cleaned yet:
I have something similar but perhaps newer-will find a pic of it soon!
Thanks so much, can't wait to see yours!
It's lovely Liz! I'm afraid I've not come across one like that yet, so I'm of no use as far as ID. It is a shame they tested on swans's neck also, enough to make you swear, LOL!