1920 Kalo Silver Service
I brought this silver service that my grandfather had made for my grandmother in 1920, and all I know is that it was made by a shop in Chicago in 1920, but I don't know anything more about it than that.
Okay, well, it was made by a shop in Chicago in 1920 called The Kalo Shop. The Kalo Shop is very important in the Arts and Crafts movement, and the Arts and Crafts movement was an early 20th century movement where people were moving away from mechanization and looking back to things that were hand-crafted and completely handmade. What's so unusual about The Kalo Shop was that when it was founded in 1900, it was founded by a group of six women. The woman who headed up the shop was named Clara Barck, and then she married a gentleman named George Welles in 1905. Prior to her marriage, the shop focused primarily on leather goods as well as textiles. The husband was an amateur silversmith, so the shop began to produce a few articles of hammered copper and silver, and by about 1917, they were moving to almost exclusively making items of hand-hammered metal. And it's highly unusual to see a large service like yours, and particularly with these original drawings. And you say you have the family monogram in the drawing as well as on the pieces of silver themselves.
When you look at the sketches, there are some slight variations. Clearly they do have the family name on these drawings, so these must have been the working drawings from which they made decisions, and at some point, clearly they made some choices to change the final product from the drawings. The most recent record I can find for a silver service, which is very small, with a round tray and only three pieces, the tray only being 15 inches in diameter, and yours is nearly twice that. And that brought $18,000.
So we have to talk about something else. Even ivory accents on pieces of silverware like this are restricted, and that is because the elephant population has been decimated by poachers in recent years and it continues to be a problem, and as long as there's a demand for ivory, poachers will continue to try to supply it.
If you removed the ivory and replaced it with something else similar in appearance, at auction, the value would be about $30,000 to $50,000.
Oh, wow. Well, of course I would never sell it because it's got my initials on it.
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