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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:

Test mark enlarged here.

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Replies to This Discussion

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!

Update: Searched around on the Net and found a reference with photo of this bowl identified as by William Adams for Towle, circa 1930s. It is not identical to my bowl but very very close. The swan heads are very similar. The search result referred to an entry on Pinterest but when clicked on it was no longer available. Has anyone else seen this (see screen shot)?

As it happened I found a white oval china platter in my own cabinets the right size to fit neatly atop the silver bowl. Just in case I'd like to serve something on it. Like chilled cocktail shrimp garnished with fresh cilantro f.ex., with a nice sauce piquante in an oval crystal dish towering in the middle. Stay tuned.

Sorry, I've not seen one like this either. Actually, I think your bowl is prettier! :)

The swans are similar though. Have you tried a search on the "Silvermarks" website? I believe that one, or a similar one does have some hollow-ware, pattern and etc. for ID purposes. Keep us posted. 

Thanks, Vicki, for the tip! There are no marks of any kind on mine but I'll look anyway for a picture. Other sources on the Net, like the very big repl. one we know of, does not list any Wm. Adams pieces in the Towle section. Still a mystery. In the meantime I may drive down the pike to see a man about some fresh Mayport shrimp! (I love living in FL..)

I'm very jealous! lol. I am coming down again next spring though. My Mom passed in late March, it's been a very bad year for us. :( But, now that she's gone, she no longer needs me, she's in a much better place without suffering.  

So, My girlfirend and I will resume our late winter/early spring adventures next year. I'm going to be looking for a small, reasonably priced home, near the keys if that's even possible? UGH. We will see. 

Hey, Vicki, reasonably priced home near the keys = words do not belong in the same sentence. I have a friend who with husband now lives in my area. Since the 1980s they have owned and operated a welding company near Marathon and built their first home there. Years later they built a new larger home but kept the old one as rental. Now their daughter and son-i-l live in the older home on a rent-to-own deal. My friend told me that the children wouldn't be able to touch any house in the area near what (little) they're paying the folks for their old house. I don't envy them. My friend and hubby are now in the process of retiring up here where it's more reasonable to live and are preparing to sell their big home in Marathon.

Homes in socalled desirable neighborhoods always command prices way above the actual quality of the real estate, house and/or lot.

The trick is to find reasonably priced accommodations for quality of life style somewhere. So one sometimes have to leave the beaten path and make a new one while there still is room.

Therefore, Vicki, you might be better off looking in No/Ctrl FL where there still is plenty of peacefully located and less pricey r.e.

We were lucky to find our house at a price we could handle not too far from Gainesville, a real hip university city (UFL, Go Gators!), great shopping, restaurants, entertainment. We live on 2 wooded acrs with a lake (partly dry but still) in a private air park development. Our mortgage on 5 BR, LR, den, kitchen with breakfast area and DR area, 2-car garage is under 1 K per month. We bought it in '08, just before the financial axe fell and never regretted it. Every year we live here we consider ourselves very fortunate. If you want to visit, find me on lizjewel dot com .

In other news the man was out of shrimp yesterday but will have more by tomorrow p.m.!

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