This one of the most unique butter dishes I have come across. The exterior is typical of the aesthetic period with flowers, leaves and birds, and when you open the domed lid, a sweet cherub surprises you who is attempting, I think, to catch or touch a butterfly, surrounded by strawberries, flowers and ferns. There is a lovely gold wash which makes the enchanting scene glow and a glass insert (quite heavy) over the scene for butter and ice.
This piece was made by the the Meriden Brittania Company which was in operation from 1852 until it merged with the International Silver company in 1898. The mark (which is a little difficult to read) says Meriden B Company, 3213 (pattern number), Pat. Dec 7, 1880 (patent date), so we know this was made sometime between 1880 and 1898.
Condition is very good. There are scratches commensurate with its age, some `rubbing' at the tops of the the handles and some silver discoloration on the right side of the interior of the dome lid (please see photo). The photos of the exterior do not do it justice as the flash causes the slightest scratches to appear magnified, so please know that the exterior silverplate is in very good condition except for the specific flaws I have noted. It measures 7" tall to the top of the finial, 7" long and about 6" deep.
This would be a fabulous addition to a butter dish collection. Please email with any questions and I can provide additional photos if desired. Thanks for looking!
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