Dessert Spoon

Hotchkiss & Schreuder American
Retailer H. & D. Rosenberg American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774

The mid-nineteenth century witnessed an efflorescence of creativity in the American silver industry, fueled by the burgeoning middle class’s increasing demand for refined luxury goods. Silversmiths devoted considerable time and creative energy to generating an endless variety of new designs and patterns. During the 1860s and 1870s silver flatware ornamented with portrait medallions inspired by antique coins and cameos enjoyed widespread popularity, with virtually every American silversmith producing their own proprietary "medallion" pattern. This spoon was created by the Syracuse, New York silversmithing firm of Hotchkiss & Schreuder and retailed by H. D. Rosenberg of Syracuse and Rochester. It is a particularly refined and elegant medallion pattern depicting a handsome male with flowing hair and a crown of ivy, an attribute associated with Dionysus. Although little known today, even among silver collectors and scholars, Hotchkiss & Schreuder produced a number of fine flatware patterns. Their wares reached diverse markets ranging from local customers in upstate New York to retail outlets in the Midwest.

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