Fabulous & RARE antique American brilliant cut crystal & sterling silver 4.5" tall paperweight style inkwell, a marked Bailey, Banks & Biddle Co. piece with machined or engraved decoration and unique addition of a sterling silver base! Gorgeous! I've been adding some really superb antique inkwells over the past few weeks and this is one of my favorites so far. Huge and heavy with a hobnail or facet cut base, bubble shaped ink reservoir and large bulbous sterling silver lid (and the unique addition of the sterling silver base or stand). Not long ago we found a Bailey, Banks & Biddle plate that we now use in all, or nearly all, of our sterling flatware pictures. An American company with the name recognition of Asprey of London or even Tiffany. Here's a bit of their history found online:
From presidents to astronauts, Bailey Banks and Biddle has truly made a mark on our nation’s story. From our founding in 1832 to now, we’ve always had a passion for excellence. We strive to make your jewelry shopping experience enjoyable, quick and hassle-free.
OUR PART IN HISTORY
On September 10, 1832, Bailey & Kitchen, the name of Bailey, Banks & Biddle at the time, was founded by Joseph Trowbridge Bailey and Andrew Kitchen in Philadelphia. This founding date makes us the oldest nation-wide jeweler in America.
In 1857, we designed the inaugural invitations for President James Buchanan, producing many of the inaugural invitations for subsequent Presidents as well.
On December 25, 1860, a silver mug and plate were created and presented to President-elect Abraham Lincoln.
In 1861, the Confederate States of America contacted Bailey, Banks & Biddle to commission a one-cent piece designed by Robert Lovett. Designed with a woman’s head with a topknot cap and a reverse bearing a wreath made from cotton, tobacco, corn, and rice. Lovett made 12 sample coins and hid them in his cellar afraid of Union authorities. 9 or 10 coins remain and one was auctioned by Bowers & Marena in June of 1984 for $11,500. Taking no sides in the war, we also created presentation swords for General Meade and General Ulysses S. Grant from the Union.
On April 14th 1865, President Lincoln was assassinated and Bailey & Co. was commissioned to create a mortuary medal for the occasion.
In 1866, Eli Wescott Bailey retired and Joseph T. Bailey II took over. Joseph Bailey crossed the Atlantic 140 times. He loved big game hunting and for months at a time lived and hunted with the Indians. In 1871 he was forced to flee Paris during the German siege. One of his daughters became a European Countess.
In 1868, Bailey, Banks & Biddle created a snuff box from the rafters that supported the roof of the Hall of Independence on the 4th of July, 1776 and trimmed it with gold. It now resides in the Smithsonian.
On March 1st, 1878, Bailey and Co. officially changes their name to Bailey Banks & Biddle.
1900 - The late 1800's and early 1900's saw the expansion of Bailey, Banks & Biddle's insignia department. The Congressional Medal of Honor, the first 40,000 Purple Hearts ever awarded, and class rings for West Point and Annapolis were produced for almost a century. As the official designer of medals, ribbons and honor awards for the U.S. Government and its military and naval academies, Bailey, Banks & Biddle struck thousands of medals.
Very good condition. Possibly a tiny nip or two but the silver base has provided security against any base chips. No cracks or other damage. Possibly a tiny dimple to the sterling top but no large dents, damage or repairs to note. Weighs right at 3 lbs. See pictures for measurements.
Antique American Brilliant Cut Crystal & Sterling Silver 4.5" Inkwell, Bailey Banks & Biddle
$672 $895 SALE