The dark satin silverplate finish on this Pairpoint Silver Plate Covered Butter Dish gives a very authentic look to this antique silverplate butter dish. The decorative flower finial and hand-tooled engraved flower and leaf design on the lid is reminiscent of the Aesthetics Movement design.
Copper colored "S" hook and arms are attached to the butter dish base with ornate attachments. Both the butter knife prongs and the feet are similarly designed - the feet with flower and leaf motif.
The decorative finial at one time had an eye for hooking and hanging onto the "S" hook at the top. This facilitated the serving of butter and gave a safe storage place for the butter dish lid. Decorative and very detailed flower trim surrounds the base of the lid, as shown in the photos.
This has been well-loved and used throughout the years. Much of the silverplate has worn away, the base has a minor dent located at one of the prongs (as noted in the photos), the base bottom itself has a concave dent, and there is much silverplate loss to the inside tray.
There are not dents, dings or damage to the silverplate lid other than the loss of silverplate. The inside of the lid retains approximately 90% of its original silver plate, although there are areas of silverplate wear, loss and one easy to see scratch.
The butter knife prongs are firmly attached to the butter dish and are not damaged.
Years ago, cooking in America called for tremendous amounts of butter. Though margarine made its appearance during World War II, there was no substitute for butter when most of the silver shown on this page was produced.
In order to use butter in the large one-pound blocks in which it was generally sold, a dish was invented that not only helped with the presentation at the table, but was a necessity. Most silver and silverplate butter dishes consist of three silver parts: the lid, the pierced liner, and the base. Butter was placed on the liner, allowing the excess water from the butter to drain through the piercing. If the weather was warm, ice was added with the butter on top, and the melting ice could drain through the piercing.
These silver and silverplated dishes are also known as domed butter dishes, covered butter dishes and just butter dishes. These more ornate butter dishes are less common than the more commonly seen rectangular butter dishes - just slightly larger than a stick of modern butter. Rarely does one see these rounded butter dishes in use anymore, and they have achieved a strong collecting following.
For fancy dinners, the hostess may have had one of the servants make fancy molded pieces of butter called “butter pats” or butter balls, which were served on crushed ice in the butter dish to be picked up with a butter pick. These required yet another butter serving piece, itself known as a “butter pat.” Butter pats were tiny plates placed at each individual setting, to be used for a single piece of butter. They range in diameter from approximately 2 2/5 inches to about 3 ¼ inches, and were made in sterling as well in porcelain. Many sterling silver companies produced butter pats to match their sterling flatware patterns.
As butter began to be commercially produced for distribution in individually wrapped quarter pound cubes, the large form became obsolete. Thus the butter dish began a new form. This new dish usually had a crystal liner, to protect the silver from the salt used in making the butter. Most of the new butter dish forms are 8 – 9 inches long.
This large PAIRPOINT quadruple silverplate butter dish measures 14" tall, 7" in diameter and weighs 1 pound, 13.6 ounces. Touchmarked on the base with PAIRPOINT MFG CO, the Pairpoint logo, QUADRUPLE PLATE, New Bedford, Mass and the order/pattern number of 526 1/2. You can read more about the Pairpoint Silver Company at our Silver Manufacturers pages.
A1019 - Antique PAIRPOINT Quadruple Silver Plate Butter Dish - Aesthetic Movement