Bailey & Kitchen Company (American, active ca. 183346)
Silver; Overall 7 7/8 x 12 5/8 x 10 1/4 in., 2676.2 grams (20 x 32.1 x 26 cm, 86.042 troy ounces)
Purchase, Edward and Kathleen Scheider Gift, 2003 (2003.382a–c)
Marked around 1837 by the fashionable Philadelphia firm of Bailey & Kitchen, this covered entrée dish is an early manifestation of the Rococo Revival style. Its raised body and domed cover are ornamented with skillfully cast handles, feet, and rims designed as shells and scrolls, harking back to London models of the 1760s and 1770s. The dish and its accompanying silver liner were originally part of a larger service. Each of its three parts is stamped with the numeral 2, indicating that the dish had at least one, and probably three, matching dishes. One of these is extant, as are a matching soup tureen and a set of forks now belonging to the Newark Museum. All are engraved with the arms of the McKean family, possibly for a descendant of the statesman and jurist Thomas McKean (17341817), a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
The partnership founded in Philadelphia in 1833 by Joseph T. Bailey and Andrew B. Kitchen evolved into the present-day firm of Bailey, Banks & Biddle. In addition to their own mark, this dish is struck with three pseudo-hallmarks used by the manufacturing silversmiths Taylor & Lawrie, who were major suppliers to Bailey & Kitchen at this date.