The city of Baltimore grew rapidly during the early 19th century becoming known as a “city of transients” and urban center with a population of 434,000 by 1890. As the inhabitants increased so did the demand for finer goods, such as coin and sterling silver to exhibit the wealth and status. Two of the most popular silversmiths from Baltimore, Samuel Kirk and Andrew Ellicott Warner, are prominently featured in The Richmond Collections sale.
In 1799 Andrew Ellicott Warner’s father, Cuthbert Warner, moved from Harford Country to Baltimore, Maryland beginning the Warner family dynasty of silversmiths. After a short partnership with his brother, Thomas, Andrew Ellicott Warner continued on his own and was soon turning out notable silver commissions. A fine example of his work is Lot 235, a five-piece coin silver tea and coffee service from 1835 - 1850. Monumental in size, the set exhibits Warner’s sophisticated repousse design depicting chinoiserie motifs of pagodas, dense scrolled foliage and boat scenes (estimate $5,000-7,000).
At the same time as Warner, Samuel Kirk established a firm in 1815 renowned for its elegant repousse sterling and coin silver. Throughout the 19th century Kirk prospered greatly with the addition of his sons as partners and gaining notoriety as prominent families and dignitaries requested pieces.
Two fine examples by Samuel Kirk are Lots 234 and 236 in the Richmond Collections sale. Lot 236 is a coin silver centerpiece bowl densely covered with repoussé designs of various flowers and leaves. An interesting design element is the animal legs with ball and claw terminals rising upwards to join the bowl with bold acanthus leaf design. Marked S. Kirk and Son, 11 oz. (estimate $1,000-2,000). A slightly later example is Lot 234, a coin silver teapot from 1861 - 1868. The globular body presenting iconic Kirk floral repousse, the lid surmounted by a swan finial and ram head mount on an elongated square handle. Marked S. Kirk & Sons, 11 oz (estimated at $1,000 - $1,500).
To be offered 028/08/17: A sterling silver sugar bowl, Andrew Ellicott Warner, Baltimore, MD, 19th century; A five piece coin silver tea and coffee service, Andrew Ellicott Warner, Baltimore, MD, 1835 - 1850