Antique Sterling Silver Tea Infuser Ball with Stand
Infusers have been used for centuries for steeping loose-leaf tea.
They typically feature a small chain attached at the top for pulling the ball in and out of the boiling water. You can see where a chain was once attached on the top of the lid of this infuser.
This elegant little infuser was manufactured by F. M. Whiting & Company.
The company was founded in 1878, and continued to produce beautiful, unique sterling wares well into the 1960's.
As you can see, the ball features a lovely, raised pattern of foliate scrolling throughout the surface. Dozens of teeny little holes would have let the tea steep in water without the loose leaves slipping out.
The lid opens and closes on a small hinge.
The hinge is slightly broken, and the lid can come completely off, however, it still nests perfectly in the top of the ball.
The rim around the bottom of the lid features the F. M. Whiting hallmark (a "W" inside a winged circle). That mark is followed by "Sterling" and the style number "140".
The infuser shows some very dark oxidization around the raised pattern and a few minor surface scratches, but it remains in good condition overall.
Of course, what tea ball doesn't need a stand? This little stand features three elegant arms in the center which are ornamented with scroll-work near the base.
The edge of the stand's base features a delicate beaded pattern while the smooth interior of the dish features an engraved monogram.
The monogram reads "FHT".
An "S" inside a small harp-shape is the first maker's mark stamped into the underside of the stand. Underneath you will see "Sterling" and the number "1794".
The edges of the dish are slightly warped and it shows some minor darkening.
Overall, the tea infuser and stand are in good antique condition.
Measurements: Tea Infuser: 1 1/2" in diameter, 28.9 grams Stand: 1 1/4" tall, Base is 1 1/2" in diameter, Rim is 2 1/4" in diameter, 19.8 grams Total weight: 48.7 grams (1.72 oz)
Item ID: 6425
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