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Victorian James W. Tufts napkin ring of a squirrel eating an acorn with oak leaves is in excellent condition with a burnished silver plate finish (the finish shows up darker in the photos than in real life) is ready for purchase. It measures 2 5/8 inches tall by 2 inches wide with an opening slightly smaller and is 1 7/8 inches long. It also appears on page 33 of the Victorian era "Catalogue Supplement, 1897, Fine Plated Table Ware, James W. Tufts, Boston", this catalogue is available online. On that page many rings / holders, along with other objects are shown and listed in a variety of era typical finishes; with the era's beautiful burnished silver plated finish listed, any small defects would be virtually undetectable with this finish I'm sure it was a beautiful and popular finish. If you look at the photos shown it is the first item in the second row on pg 33, noticing the oak branches; when the holder is setting without a napkin in the holder, it will rock slightly and the oak branches steady it, with a napkin is in place, no rocking occurs. I've read reviews on this and similar holder's and this seems to be a common trait / feature. This is a very fine example of a Victorian napkin holder, as well as, James W. Tufts' work and a wonderful collectable.
James Walker Tufts (1835 – 1902) the designer and producer of this beautiful piece was a well known silversmith, who if history bears truth, opened his business in Boston in 1875. He also founded the Arctic Soda Fountain Co., that eventually merged with several other companies to form the American Soda Fountain Co. He had apprenticed at age of 16 to a drug store and rose to become a wealth business man, eventually after all the a fore mentioned accomplishments, he had the vision to build a "health resort for people of modest means" and with his own money purchased 500 acres initially and later 5500 acres more to build Pinehurst, NC (you know this city, of the famous resort and golf courses) from the ground up! Much more then a silversmith, I'd say. (L1163)
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