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Antique Victorian Sterling Silver Dinner Bell by Frank M. Whiting
This wonderfully preserved Victorian sterling silver dinner bell circa 1878 – 1896 was designed and created by Frank M. Whiting & Company from North Attleboro, Massachusetts. The full set of hallmarks and backstamps are found on the bottom of the rim. From my research I know that this bell was backstamped with the earlier mark and not used after 1896, please see photograph.
After all these years the repousse is quite crisp and surrounds the entire lower section. The handle which is quite elaborate has a Jacobean style applied to the stem with a lovely etched finial gracing the top. From the bell shape is a round edge with a flat bottom. This bell is solidly constructed and weighs 27 grams, just short of an ounce.
Height of this piece is 2 ¾ inches with the base measuring just shy of 1 ¾ inches in diameter. The sound of this bell is beautiful and not unlike the sound of fine crystal, and functions perfectly. Condition for this antique piece is very nice and stands perfectly erect and stable. Through the many years of use there are however three tiny dints to the lower sides. For me this would be expected as I’m sure this tiny bell had daily usage. But if you desire this piece to be as perfect as humanly possible I’m sure there is a silversmith in your area that will be accommodating and remove these for you.
Perfect piece to add to your antique silverware collection or curio cabinet, and is quite festive.
History: Frank M. Whiting & Co. North Attleboro, Massachusetts Active 1878 – 1940. Major manufacturer full line sterling flatware and hollow-ware, became a division of Ellmore circa 1940. Early mark not used after 1896.
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