Serving pieces in the aesthetic style are frequently encountered. There is a wide variation in styles and all of the manufacturers created many different pieces. Prices on these items range from 100 - 5000 dollars each. Therefore it would take a large pocketbook to accumulate a representative example of these many pieces.
This remarkable aesthetic style 7.3" oyster server looks very similar to a real oyster shell. The handle has a nice curve with "waves". The back of the bowl is also very realistic. Made by Shiebler and marked sterling.
A very nice heavy 7.3" serving spoon in the aesthetic style. This spoon is made of 800 silver and also bears unreadable continental silver markings.
The finial is very finely cast. It features a Biblical Adam and Eve each holding an apple and standing beneath an apple tree. A serpent is wound around the tree trunk. This finial is cast in the round and also has a bare breasted Eve as well as showing one of Adam's buttocks.
The very deep bowl is hand pounded -- not cast. The detail work around the edge and the design is all hand chased and features very delicate vines, leafs and grapes. Note the "ears" at the top of the bowl.
This is actually a very nice German 800 silver serving spoon measuring about 8" with a realistic looking antler handle.
The bowl is gold plated as is the lower stem. I am not sure when this
piece was made as I haven't been able to find any other similar items in silver (I have seen recent pewter reproductions). Antlers have been used on flatware and furniture since antiquity. My guess is
that it is from the 1880 to 1900 time period, but I could be wrong. It bears a German moon/crown hallmark and an unidentified mark on the front of the bowl
One of the design techniques was known as "mixed metal". The basic item would be made with sterling silver, but other metals would be attached to it.
This large (7.25" 185mm) serving spoon was made by Dominick and Haff, New York and was retailed by Low Kennard & Co. The squirrel and the branch are either a copper or some type of gold alloy. On the back it is dated November 22, 1880. Mixed metal silver is rare and highly desirable.