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A rare find, this 6-bottle cruet set is in absolutely wonderful condition! Many of these old sets suffered damage over the years and are either missing components or have mismatched crystal bottles that replaced broken ones. This one is complete, with all matching pieces! This cruet set was produced in the late 1800's by the Wilcox Silver Company. Six etched crystal bottles sit in a quadruple silver-plated stand adorned by a lovely repousse design and ornate center handle. I love the little bird — likely a swallow, which held much symbolism in the Victorian era.
The caddy that holds the bottles is weighty and well-proportioned. Silver plating is in excellent condition. We have gently cleaned and polished it. It bears a “gunmetal” appearance with the factory oxidized process that highlights the lovely repousse floral design. The handle and central area show some patches of brightness in the silver-plate where the oxidized finish has worn but the plating is still good, so base metal is not seen. Caddy is 18" from bottom of base to top of handle, and is 9" in diameter. It does not rotate.
Three bottles have silver-plated lids—2 shakers (salt & pepper) and a mustard jar; the other three have crystal stoppers (oil, vinegar, and another sauce of hostess' choosing). They fit securely in the openings with nice long bases that provide adequate counter-weight so they do not wobble or tip easily. One bottle has a chip in the lip but it does not affect the integrity of the glass and does not have cracks or fissures radiating from it. One stopper has a piece chipped off at the base as well. Stopper damage can not be seen when it is the bottle. Photo #5 shows damage to both these pieces. Lastly, it is worth mentioning that one of the crystal bottles has a slight pink tint compared with the others. We would not consider this a flaw; rather it is one of the quirks of antique crystal and porcelains because of inconsistencies of 19th century glass manufacturing.
Stamped “Quadruple Plate, Wilcox Silverplate Co. Meriden, Conn" along with the ID #3599. It helps date the set to the late 1800's, showing that it was produced before Wilcox merged with International Silver in the early 20th century.
If you've been searching for a nice cruet set, this is it!