Somethings are just meant to be together…and this holds true in the world of silver plated flatware.
In my last blog post, I discussed the Assyrian and Assyrian Head patterns. As I mentioned in that post, Henry W. Hirschfeld was the designer (1886 Patent # 016713). His patent drawing showed a female head in the design; I do not believe that a separate patent was issued for a similar headless design. This design with a variety of heads has since been called “Assyrian Head”. The headless design is called simply “Assyrian”. As I noted in my post, the 1886 Meriden Britannia catalog featured both the headless and headed versions and referred to them both as “Assyrian”.
In this same 1886 Meriden Britannia catalog, there are several serving pieces that have this same “Assyrian Head” design, but they are labelled “Norman” and not “Assyrian Head”:
Whether it was upon Mr. Hirschfeld’s recommendation that there be a headless version of this design or whether it was solely the manufacturer’s decision to produce a headless version, I do not know. However, the headless version complements the headed version beautifully. It enhances the visual impact of those pieces of flatware with heads.
I’ve recently come across another Henry Hirschfeld design which also works perfectly with the “Assyrian” and “Norman” patterns. This one is the “Dundee” pattern. It is simply a series of diagonal lines that match those on the bottom of the handle on “Assyrian” and “Assyrian Head” and on the sides of “Norman”.
The “Dundee” patent was obtained the same year as “Assyrian”, 1886. However, although their patent numbers are relatively close, they are not consecutive. “Dundee” is Patent No. 16568 and “Assyrian” is Patent No. 16713. But, as you can see from the photos, “Assyrian”, “Assyrian Head”, “Norman” and “Dundee” are definitely meant to be together. You can read further about these patterns here:
But there are other patterns as well that are meant to be together.
The 1891 designs shown above were by George H. Balch and were assigned back-to-back patent numbers, 020743 and 020744. The clover design is coming up the handle on one and curving down from the top of the handle on the other creating a sort of yin / yang effect. Towle Manufacturing Company manufactured these patterns.
The 1884 patterns shown above were Hiram W. Hayden designs, and again, they were assigned back to back patent numbers, 015128 for “Palace” and 015129 for “Corinth”. Both patterns were manufactured by Holmes, Booth and Haydens. The “Corinth” design is one of my personal favorites and I have it in my collection:
Another example of back-to-back patent design numbers, are the 1888 Robert Klingel patterns shown below.
The “Daisy / Mayflower” patent number is 018315 and the “Peerless / Leader” patent number is 018316. These two designs are not as obvious as being complementary designs as those mentioned previously. However, in looking at the shape of the handles, the daisy accent at the lower part of the handle and general complementary aspect of the design itself makes me believe that it was Mr. Klingel’s intent that these two patterns belonged together. They certainly would work beautifully side by side on a table. Both patterns were made by Holmes & Edwards as well as others.
The next two “meant for each other” designs are these 1890 Austin F. Jackson patterns:
Again, although I am not certain it was the designer’s intent that these two patterns complement each other, I think they do. The pattern shown on the left of the illustration above is “Clarendon” and on the right “Plaza”. Again, they have back-to-back patent numbers, 020427 for “Clarendon” and 020428 for “Plaza”. They were manufactured by Reed & Barton.
The last pairing are 1890 designs by Arthur G. Rogers:
Note that the designs shown above have consecutive patent numbers. Obviously, it was the designer’s intent that they could work together. These patterns were manufactured by C. Rogers.
A side benefit to having two patterns that work well together is that it makes it somewhat less difficult to complete a table setting…you have two (or more) options and not just one!