Desirable pair of silver plate sugar tongs by E. & J. Bass of New York, New York. (c. 1890 - 1930)
Sugar tongs were introduced in the 1690's and resembled steel ember tongs. A typical patterns was made with a wide horseshoe-shaped bow of springy silver linking a pair of slender round arms with wide, escallop-shell grips. The arms might be double or treble knopped at the ends and centre, but the whole design was essentially delicate, intended for lifting the tiny fragments of sugar suited to the small tea-cups of the period. (Small Antique Silverware)
Tongs come in various sizes and shapes, from the tiny bonbon tongs to extra large sandwich tongs and asparagus tongs. Very old, scissor-shaped tongs were called sugar nips and were used for nipping off a piece from a large lump of sugar.
E. & J. Bass were manufacturers of sterling silver wares, sterling silver deposit wares and plated silver items and jewelry. There were in business from 1890 - 1930. You can read more about the history of E. & J. Bass from our Silver Manufacturers pages.
This pair of silverplate sugar tongs are in near mint condition with no silver wear or damage, no dents or nicks. The silver sugar tongs measure 4.5" in length, weigh .9 ounces and are touchmarked on the inside of each side with E & J B - touchmark of E. & J. Bass.