Pretty antique quadruple silverplate cake basket by Warren Silver with original oxidized finish, engraved flower and leaf, ornate floral and beaded swing handle, ruffled edges and chased banding and ornate feet.
The ruffled edge of this cake basket (also called a bride's basket or fruit basket) is a unique feature, as most antique silver cake baskets have a smooth edge. The bright cut engraved flower with leaves in the center of the basket is deeply etched and just beautiful craftsmanship.
The chasing at the base of the base features scrolls and shells, with four highly ornate decorative feet, which are splayed. Very feminine and Victorian design. The original quadruple silver plate silver finish retains its original factory applied oxidized finish, which is deep, rich and dark.
The swing handle is simply beautiful with it's graduated beaded handle grip area, and ornate flowers on a vine at the sides.
Cake, fruit or brides (bride's) baskets came into fashion late in the 18th century and experienced their greatest popularity during the first half of the 19th century. These hollowware forms were used to hold carefully arranged fruits or cakes. Great ceremony often accompanied the display and use of these silver and silver plated cake or fruit baskets, and the delicacies they contained. Most American silver cake baskets and compotes had solid bodies, but a few were made of open, interlaced wirework.
As the close of the 19th century drew near, large numbers of these dishes were made with beautiful multi-colored, ruffled glass bowls. As the century progressed, these amenities grew more elaborate, often having an abundance of naturalistic or stylized ornament added to a complex shape. Many incorporated multi-colored ruffled glass baskets for even greater elegance.
The Victorian dining room, the main room used for many social occasions, was often used for the conspicuous display of wealth through luxurious table objects. Principal among these displays of wealth was the silver cake or fruit basket, always replete with food.
Decorative piercing on early silver was relatively uncommon because each hole had to be laboriously cut out by hand using a tiny jeweler’s saw. Thus, piercing was usually employed only when necessary. The most desirable pieces are elaborately pierced, marked by a well-known and respected silver company and of substantial weight.
Cake baskets are very elegant additions to dining-room silver and remain so today. The best silverplate baskets are of substantial weight, often with profuse foliate or animal ornamentation and with a superior finish.
Although the silverplate is in extremely good condition with little or no silverplate loss or wear, the ruffled edges are a bit out of shape, a small dimple is noted together with a spot of silverplate wear - both along the inside of this cake basket - just outside the bright-cut engraving.
Expected surface scratches are noted, few and light, and overall, this antique silver basket seems to be in good condition for an antique silver holloware piece.
This Warren Silver quadruple silverplate cake basket measures 9" x 9.5" (slightly oval in shape), 9" high to the handle, 2.5"-3" high and weighs 1 pound, 1.8 ounces. The touchmark on the base reads WARREN SILVER PLATE COMPANY, NEW YORK, QUADRUPLE PLATE and the pattern number 68 - one of Warren's earlier silverplate holloware pieces. You can read more about the history of Warren Silver from our Silver Manufacturers pages.
A984 - Antique WARREN SILVER Quadruple Plate Cake Basket, Bride's Basket, Fruit Basket #68