There was a time when dining was much more than enjoying good food amongst family and friends, it was a luxurious event that could make or break one’s reputation in social circles. A household’s most expensive furnishings and accessories could be found in the dining room, but perhaps none reflected the taste and sophistication of the owner better, or more elegantly, than the silver.
This is certainly the case with this outstanding American Silver Dining Service. Our suite for 12 guests comprises not only an exceptional Francis I sterling silver flatware service by Reed & Barton, but also a remarkable 69-piece hollowware set by Redlich & Co. The entire 224-piece ensemble is housed in its fitted mahogany chest, which even has two flanking compartments that house a pair of serving racks. Everything from beautiful serving trays and plates, to a complete tea and coffee service, tazzas, a rose bowl, and even a demitasse set, make this service truly grand.
Extensive services that include both flatware and hollowware are rare to find on the market, as they were custom-ordered by the most elite of society, especially royalty. The most recent example was once owned by the Maharaja of Patiala, India and recently sold at Christie’s London this past July. Created in 1921 by the Goldsmiths and Silversmith Company of London, this incredible flatware and hollowware service sold well above auction estimates, bringing in over $2.96 million. Only two other combination sets, both less comprehensive than our American service, have been brought to auction in the past decade. Reed & Barton and Redlich & Co. were among the most highly respected silver firms in the United States, and to find such a unique and phenomenal collaboration between two renowned American silver companies is remarkable.
One can only imagine the magnificent sight of a dinner table set with these luxurious pieces. A distinguished silver service such as this was much more than pretty silverware with which to serve food. It was a statement of refinement that no dinner guest would soon forget.