"Lily by Whiting, designer: Charles Osborne, c.1902 patent date. Produced by Whiting through 1926, thereafter by Gorham.
177pc. service: 11pc place setting for 12 (misses a couple of pieces in oyster fork, olive fork, as noted), 15 serving pieces including 2-pc salad service. asparagus server, an additional 7pc hors d'oeuvres service.
In my opinion, the most stunning American sterling silver pattern ever crafted, the c.1902 "Lily" by Whiting. It was my first love and first sterling silver service, and I started 40 years ago with the purchase of a single tablespoon as a graduate student raising my 3 little boys. Luxuries were few and far between. Oh, you can't imagine how much better simple single mom shredded wheat tasted with that one spoon. And through the years since, I added here and there, and now have such a massive collection, we've sectioned it out into several sets. I'm still in love with this pattern. And if you look on replacements dot com, it will explain that many others also still think this is a breathtakingly valuable pattern. Some pieces fetching $5k just for the serving piece. Many serving pieces are hard to find, pricey. The 11.5 (largest) heavy salad service set (spoon and fork) we've put with this 6-person 7-pc place setting set runs $1600. Pie server runs $900, Meat/fish fork runs $800, Asparagus server, very rare, cost me over $1000. A knife will bring $190, a set of them higher. Forks are somewhere close to that. A huge set already gathered, as this one is, is rare to find, nearly impossible. There are a few odd pieces that do have a monogram. Most do not. They are as beautiful from the back side (set as a French table would be) as they are from top side. This is a labor of love over 40 years in the collecting. I'll try to break this set down for you:
2 pc Salad server set, 11.5" long, tear bowl, Whiting marks.
12 Whiting knives, 8 7/8" long
12 Whiting butter knives, 5 5/8" long
24 Whiting luncheon forks, 6 5/8" long
12 Whiting cake forks
9 Whiting oyster forks, 3 with gold tines
6 olive forks 4 1/8" long
12 Whiting table spoons, 8 1/8" long
12 Whiting luncheon spoons, 7" long
12 Whiting bullion spoons, gold bowl
12 Whiting tea spoons, 5 3/4" long
12 Whiting 5-o'clock spoons 5 3/8" long
12 Whiting demitasse spoons 3 7/8" long
8 Whiting/Gorham demitasse spoons, 18k on sterling (vermeil)
7pc hors d'oeuvres service
15pc Whiting/Gorham serving pieces, including rare asparagus, pie, largest 2-pc salad service, various carving, service forks, knives, ladles, + + + (see images) and several Gorham pieces with more plain but specialized utensils.
Set comes with wood drawer case, silver felt lined and metal side handles,
The Whiting silver history dates back to 1840, as a firm "Tifft & Whiting", The c.1902 Patent date Art Nouveau pattern was a huge hit in the Belle Epoch, and each Whiting piece was hand crafted and heavy, elegantly made through 1926. At that time the Whiting Co., was sold to Gorham, another lauded and long-histories top name in American silver. The opulent Lily pattern was continued but the original c.1902-1926 pieces which carry the Whiting mark (Lion passant with his paw on W) remain the highest value and finest pieces. Gotham acquire the patterns and increased the number of pieces made of this one. Again, the old Whiting marks I've collected are of highest value and retain highest value. I can set Whiting beside the few newer Gotham pieces and the crispness of pattern, the weight of the piece, the beauty of detail is just finer in the old Whiting.
I do have a few service pieces in Gorham in this 177-piece service being offered. The bulk of the set bears the old Whiting silver marks, dates c.1902-1926.
The Whiting company's most important designer was Charles Osborne. He worked in the 1880s for Tiffany before returning to Whiting. His designs are some of the most important of the American Aesthetic movement. "Lily" was designed by Charles Osborne.
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