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THE WASHINGTON AUGUSTUS ROEBLING AMERICAN SILVER-GILT DINNER SERVICE
THE WASHINGTON AUGUSTUS ROEBLING AMERICAN SILVER-GILT DINNER SERVICE
THE WASHINGTON AUGUSTUS ROEBLING AMERICAN SILVER-GILT DINNER SERVICE
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Washington Augustus Roebling (1837-1926) was the civil engineer responsible for building the Brooklyn Bridge, a project that was begun by his father, John A. Roebling. W.A. Roebling was trained at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York and began his career building bridges with his father, such as the Allegheny Bridge project and the Cincinnati-Covington Bridge. In 1869, Roebling was named chief engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge project after the death of his father, who had succumbed to an injury related to work on the bridge. When Roebling's own health was compromised by the project (he was afflicted with "the bends" or decompression sickness), his wife, Emily Warner Roebling, took over the day-to-day supervision of the project. The bridge, which took 13 years to complete, opened to great fanfare in 1883 and was deemed the 8th Wonder of the World.Roebling's long and successful career included the reprisal of his role as president of John A. Roebling's Sons at the age of 80. The firm was the largest worldwide supplier of wire - furnishing telegraph and electrical wire, and bridge cable, and was the exclusive supplier to the Panama Canal.This extensive dinner service, based on the violet pattern, was a special order, and was delivered on August 1, 1889. Additional pieces were added, circa 1960, and were likely ordered by Mary G. Roebling, granddaughter-in-law of W.A. Roebling and mother of Paul Roebling, the last Roebling descendant to own the service. Her trail-blazing career in finance included roles as the first woman to lead a major American bank, when she was named President of Trenton Trust Company in 1937. Mary G. Roebling was also the first female governor of the American Stock Exchange and Chairman of National State Bank. She advocated passionately for equal rights for women and their place in the world of business. As Forbes Magazine noted: "Mary G. Roebling didn't wait for women's lib, she was ahead of it, way ahead."
THE WASHINGTON AUGUSTUS ROEBLING AMERICAN SILVER-GILT DINNER SERVICE

MARK OF GORHAM MFG. CO., PROVIDENCE, 1899 AND LATER

Details
THE WASHINGTON AUGUSTUS ROEBLING AMERICAN SILVER-GILT DINNER SERVICE
MARK OF GORHAM MFG. CO., PROVIDENCE, 1899 AND LATER
Of square and rectangular form, with shell and wave borders, chased with violet bouquets, most engraved 1865-Roebling-1890, each marked on reverse and many engraved with purpose of the piece. Total quantity of 1,043.

Comprising:

A jardinière, of rectangular form with overhanging rim and on four ball feet, numbered 1230, 1889
A side dish for jardinière, matching the preceding, numbered 1231R, 1960
A salad bowl, matching the preceding, numbered 1212, 1889
A fish dish with mazarine, of oval form, numbered 1223, 1889
Four water pitchers and trays, of square baluster form, two pitchers numbered 1206 and two trays numbered 1207, two pitchers and trays 1889, two 1960
Four sauce boats, rectangular with ball feet and violet scroll handles, one numbered 1204, one 1889, three 1960
Three double vegetable dishes, of square shape on four ball feet, detachable finials and reversible covers, two numbered 1217, two 1889, one 1960
Three two-handled square tureens and covers, of bombé shape with detachable finials and four ball feet, 1960
Four square compotes, on pedestal bases with four ball feet, numbered 1220, 1889
Four olive dishes, of square shape on four ball feet, one numbered 1219, one 1889, three 1960
Eighteen salt cellars, of square shape on four ball feet, three numbered 1216, 1889, fifteen 1960
Eighteen pepper casters, of baluster form with square tops and ball finials, six numbered 1211, 1889, twelve 1960
Twenty-eight individual butter dishes, fourteen numbered 1497, 1890, fourteen 1960
Four two-handled soup tureens and covers and stands, each on four ball feet, one tureen and one stand numbered 1200 and 1201 respectively, 1889, the remainder 1960
Four bottle stands, of square form on four ball feet, numbered 1228, 1889
Four bread dishes, of oblong form, two numbered 1221, 1889 and 1890, two numbered 1221R, 1960
Four square salvers, raised on four ball feet, numbered 1503R, 1960
A pair of oil and vinegar cruets, rectangular on four ball feet, numbered 1210R, 1960
Four condiment stands, square form on four ball feet, three numbered 1215, 1889, one 1960
A meat dish, rectangular, of well-and-tree form, numbered 1224, 1889
A large meat dish cover, to fit the preceding, numbered 1498, 1890; lacking handle
Four meat dishes, rectangular, one numbered 1226, 1889, three numbered 1226R, 1960
A meat dish cover, to fit one of the preceding, numbered 1499, 1890
Four meat dishes, rectangular, one numbered 1225, 1889, three numbered 1225R, 1960
Two meat dishes, rectangular, one numbered 1227, 1889, one numbered 1227R, 1960
A seven piece tea-and-coffee set, comprising: a teapot, a sugar bowl, a chocolate pot, a hot milk jug, a hot water urn on stand, a black coffee pot and a black coffee tray, numbered 1232, 1234, 1235, 1208, 1209, 1889; the pieces with replaced insulators

A flatware service in the "Violet" pattern, comprising:
Thirty-six soup spoons
Twenty-four dessert spoons
Thirty tablespoons
Twenty-one teaspoons
Thirty-six chocolate spoons
Thirty-one coffee spoons
Thirty-five grapefruit spoons
Thirty-six sorbet spoons
Thirty-six small terrapin spoons
Twenty-four dinner forks
Twenty-four luncheon forks
Thirty-six salad forks
Thirty-six salad forks (18 with engraving)
Twenty-four pie/pastry forks
Thirty-six fish forks
Thirty-six breakfast/dessert forks
Thirty-six seafood forks
Thirty-five small terrapin forks
Thirty-six larger terrapin forks
Thirty-six game forks
Twenty-three melon forks
Thirty-five dinner knives
Twenty-four lunch knives
Twenty-three breakfast knives
Thirty-six dessert/tea knives, with silver blades
Thirty-six cheese knives, with serrated blades
Thirty-three fish knives, with silver blades
Thirty-six game knives
A cheese knife
A pair of asparagus tongs
A large soup ladle
A small soup ladle
A punch ladle
A reticulated sugar ladle
A crumb scoop
Two berry spoons, in sizes
An asparagus shovel
A flat server
A pointed serving spoon
A fish slice
Three butter knives, in sizes
Two olive spoons
Two sugar spoons
A pair of large serving tongs
A cheese scoop
Two pairs of sugar tongs, in sizes
A mustard ladle
A sardine fork
Two lemon forks
Two pickle forks
A three-piece carving set
The well-and-tree platter 23 in. (58.5 cm.) long; 4,863 oz. (151,276 gr.) gross weight
Provenance
Washington Augustus Roebling (1837-1926), by descent to
Paul Roebling (1934-1994); Sotheby's, New York, 22 October 1988, lot 27.
Post lot text
Bird's Eye view of the Great Suspension Bridge, designed by W.A. Roebling, 1883. Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Museum Collection, X641.
Sale room notice
Please note the handles and finials have been replaced on the service with black composite. The condition to the silver remains as listed in the condition report.

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