Scent bottle

Manufacturer Whiting Manufacturing Company American

Not on view

The second half of the nineteenth century was a period of great creativity and innovation in American silversmithing. Although less well known today than Tiffany & Co. or Gorham Manufacturing Company, Whiting Manufacturing Company rivalled these larger competitors, producing exceptional and highly inventive silver, particularly during the 1880s. This striking scent bottle showcases the Whiting firm at the height of its creative and technical powers. Its chased decoration of pearled asymmetrical swirls is likely the work of Charles Osborne (1847-1920), one of the leading designers and chasers of the day. Osborne served as Whiting’s head designer and was later recruited to work at Tiffany & Co. The bottle, which dates to a period when he was associated with Tiffany & Co., offers evidence that Osborne continued an affiliation with Whiting simultaneous with his work at Tiffany & Co. It perfectly embodies the taste and sensibilities of the Aesthetic Movement and would have been part of a fashionable lady’s dressing set. Indeed, Whiting produced a diverse range of dressing accessories in this design, including brushes, combs, mirrors, and glove stretchers.

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