In 1851 Victorian London, a great exhibition of the known arts was held in a magnificent building which was the envy of the world. The great Crystal Palace Exhibition featured magnificent works of art from most of the major countries of Europe.
The central theme was the "Industry of all Nations" and the "Science of all Nations". Of course magnificent silverwork was one of the biggest exhibit draws. A few English silversmiths were particularly noted for the innovative workmanship.
On page 26 of "The Crystal Palace Exhibition -- Illustrated Catalog" some very innovative silver by Mr. Higgins of London is shown. While the above piece is not shown, one piece which is very similar is pictured.
This silver ladle is an "electrotype". It is a copy of a spoon which I believe was part of an exhibition. An electrotype is made from a mold and then the inside of the mold is coated in silver. When the exterior of the mold is removed, the remaining piece is an exact copy of the original.
The output of an electrotype is very thin and lightweight. It cannot be used as flatware, it can only be used as a display. I believe that this unmarked piece is a replica of a famous 1850's museum piece.
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