Victorian Pairpoint Manufacturing Company's cherub riding a saddled tortoise umbrella toothpick holder. This is the gilt or gold plated version and it is complete and original, down to the reins held by that saddle sitting cherub. It can be seen on pg. 56 of the circa 1894 Pairpoint Manufacturing Co. Catalogue. Just imagine, its well over 120 years old and in wonderful condition, retaining most of its gilding, the areas that show gilding worn ( with a few exceptions ) show the underlining silver plating that went down prior to the gold plating. Please note the underside of the umbrella is silver plated, without the gold plating. In the photos the silver plating can be seen in some areas on the shaft of the umbrella where the gold has been worn from handling; as shiny silver plating, in those spots they are shiny from my light polishing. DO NOT be alarmed the umbrella top is made to be removable and is not broken; this was done to facilitate the loading of toothpicks, and let me tell you, having loaded it for the photos, that it holds A LOT of toothpicks and that was an excellent idea! Loaded with standard round toothpicks; the completed figure measures an impressive 6 inches tall by 5 1/2 inches wide. Today or a 100 plus years ago, its a conversation piece at any party, I assure you! Its heavy too, its not about to tip over, weighs 7oz on my postal scale, without the toothpicks. The turtle displays the Pairpoint, 'P' in a triangle under one of its front feet, it is becoming faint and you must tilt the little guy to the light to see it, the same is true for the catalogue number under the other front foot, I was only able to make out the last 2 numbers of the the catalogue number. The feet do appear to have more scratching or rub wear in general than the rest of the piece. I cannot remember reading a discussion on the number of gilt turtles produced by Pairpoint and I have seen very few of the listed finishes of these tortoise toothpick holders in as complete or as nice an original condition as this one. In any collection, or on any table it is sure to be the center of attention! (K0560)
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