This magnificent antique American sterling silver four piece coffee set consists of a coffee pot, coffee/hot water pot, covered sugar bowl and hot milk jug.
The pieces of this American coffee service have a baluster rounded form, in the Empire style.
Either side of the bulbous portion of each body is embellished with a magnificent cast and applied figural bearded mask design with an Egyptian style headdress, accented with chased fan decoration.
This medallion style figural ornamentation is encompassed with alternating chased stylised stemmed floral and triangular motifs.
The anterior surface of each piece is further embellished with the contemporary bright cut engraved initials 'MLD'.
The base of each piece is encompassed with an applied and chased band of foliate ornamentation terminating with a bead and spindle decorated border to the lower portion.
The elevated shoulders of the coffee pot, hot water pot, milk jug and sugar bowl are encircled with a plain turreted border.
The coffee pot, hot water pot and milk jug are fitted with hinged covers, which feature chased arched interlacing floral decoration over the domed portions.
The twin handled sugar bowl retains the original push fit cover, reflecting the identical design to that of the hinged variation.
Each cover is surmounted with a magnificent and original cast sterling silver finial depicting an Egyptian sphinx statue, incorporating an iconic headdress in addition to a spherical object under one paw.
The pieces of this impressive service are fitted with exceptional, shaped handles embellished with chased decorated panels to the handpieces and terminating with impressive chased petals to the medallion style sockets.
Each handle incorporates a magnificent cast and applied, shaped figural thumbpiece ornamented with an impressive striped head cloth*.
The two pots are fitted with fine and impressive spouts ornamented with large, cast and applied figural masks draped with a bead festoons and encompassed with chased leaf and paralleling ribbed borders.
The milk jug spout is embellished with an impressive cast and applied splayed petal design to the nadir.
The hallmarks struck to this impressive American coffee service include:
Maker's mark: Ball, Black & Co**
City marks: New York
Silver quality/purity/fineness mark: English Sterling (.925, 925/1000)
Registration number: 470
The impressive versatile hot water/secondary coffee pot could be used as a functional teapot, if so desired.
* This headdress reflects the same design as 'The Nemes', an article worn by the pharaohs which incorporates lappets to frame the face or alternatively folded for ceremonial purposes.
** These silversmiths were the successors to Ball, Tompkins & Black in 1851. Their reputation grew as they retailed solid silver items crafted by silversmiths such as William Gale, Nicholas Bogert and John Moore. In 1874 the company was succeeded by Black, Starr & Frost.