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Rare & Heavy Alphonse La Paglia Sterling Coffee Service
This is a Rare Alphonse La Paglia Sterling Coffee Service. It has Exceptional design, Heavy, Heavy weight that about sums it up. Read below about the Designer (La Paglia) that sold to Georg Jensen. The covered Sugar bowl stands 4 & 5/8" tall and weighs 264 Grams. The Cream Pitcher is 4 & 3/4" tall and weighs 205 Grams. The Coffee Server is 9 & 1/4" tall and weighs a hefty 848 Grams. The Tray weight is a whopping 1826 Grams. Total of all is 3143 Grams which converts to 101 Troy Ounces! It was in 1952 that a young silverware designer moved from summit, New Jersey to Meriden, Connecticut and made arrangements with the International Silver Company to manufacture a hand-crafted line of sterling silver jewelry and holloware. His designs, for the most part showed Danish influence. They also demonstrated that he was an experienced silversmith in all its phases as well as a gifted designer. Under the sponsorship of International, a small craft shop was equipped in the rear of his home on Colony Street. With fewer than a dozen silver craftsmen associated with him, “International Sterling Craft Associates” was formed. Practically all their work was hand-done. In charge of this silver craft shop was F.X. Alphonse La Paglia, perhaps the most outstanding of the designer-craftsmen to come to the fore in this country in many years. He designed and made some very distinctive holloware and jewelry in the contemporary feeling and built up a small but healthy business. Much of his output was bought by Georg Jensen, New York and by a few fine stores, such as J.E. Caldwell, Philadelphia and J.B. Hudson, Minneapolis. La Paglia created more than beautiful designs in all of his Sterling, for the beauty expressed poetic idea as well. In his bowl and candlesticks (pictured on page 10), the base represents the earth and growing from its spherical and tubular forms are symbolized flower bulbs and roots. From them spring graceful stems which hold aloft flowers ripe with seeds, ready to drop to earth and begin again the cycle of life. Here, indeed, is poetry in Sterling, depicting the continued rebirth of beauty in nature. Very little is known about La Paglia's background. Not even his friends know anything about him prior to his arrival in Meriden. We do know La Paglia attended All Saint's Episcopal Church and was a member of the Home Club and that he served in the United States military during World War II as an intelligence agent. He was taken out of the U.S. in a submarine and landed in Italy. Later he was picked up again by submarine and brought back to the States. La Paglia's tragic death occurred November 19, 1953 following a heart attack. This sad event was directly related to a fall from the roof of his house where he had been cleaning the rain gutters. He broke his leg, causing a blood clot. He left his wife Harriet K. La Paglia; a son, Theodore, and a daughter, Mimi of Memphis, Tennessee; four brothers and one sister. Committal services were held November 22, 1953 at Sunnyside Cemetery, Nork Springs, Pennsylvania. His wife moved to Florida where she remarried. She was widowed again before moving to California, whereupon everyone lost track of the family. Following La Paglia's untimely death, the International Silver Company purchased the business from his widow and continued the manufacturing in the same shop for a short while. Eventually, the line was simplified and manufacturing was moved to International' s Sterling plant. No doubt, more conventional manufacturing methods were used thereafter, and much of the poetry was lost.
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