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"Mid century sterling silver .925 trophy urn toothpick holder or bud vase by Black, Starr & Gorham. Circa 1940-1962. Features detailed lip, handled and footed, marked on base, BSG sterling 3936. BSG came from a lineage of parent companies dating back to Marquand & Co 1723-1839. A bit of history: The beginning of the firm is controversial. A trace leads to Marquand & Poulding, who began their partnership in Savannah, Georgia in 1801. In 1810 Isaac Marquand moved to New York consolidating the company with several other firms.
Another trail refers to Marquand & Barton, founded in 1810 in New York's Maiden Lane by Erastus Barton and Frederick Marquand.
The firm added and lost partners numerous times and in 1823 became Marquand & Co (late Marquand & Gelston).
Later two store clerks (William Black and Henry Ball) joined to the business and in 1836 Erastus O. Tompkins and J.D. Williams were admitted to the firm, In 1839 the name was changed to Ball, Tompkins & Black moving to a new building at 247 Broadway (1848).
In 1851 the company was one of the few American retailers admitted to participate to the London Great Exhibition. In the same year, when the name was changed to Ball, Black & Co (as a partnership of Henry Ball, William D. Black and Ebenezer Moore), there was no doubt that the firm was the leading jewelry house in the nation.
Between 1872 and 1874 Ball, Black & Co was dissolved, following the retirement of senior partners Ball and Moore and the death of William D. Black. The business was taken over by Robert C. Black (son of senior partner William D. Black), Courtland Starr and Aaron V. Frost. Starr and Frost already worked in the company as cashier-bookkeeper and silver department manager respectively. In 1874 the firm was renamed Black Starr & Frost and, from 1908, Black Starr & Frost Inc.
In 1876 Black Starr & Frost moved to 251 Fifth Avenue.
After the merging with Gorham Corporation the company was renamed Black, Starr & Frost-Gorham Inc. (1929), Black, Starr & Gorham Inc. (1940) and Black, Starr & Frost Ltd. (1962 - 1990).
As the century progressed, the company was object or several changes of property: Marcus and Company (1962), Kay Jewelers (1972), Sterling Inc. (1990), Paul Lam, (1991) and The Molina Group, which manages the only one store left in Costa Mesa, California (2006).
Enormous amount of American made silver were sold by the firm. William Gale supplied goods for Marquand & Co. Nicolas Bogert and John Moore made tea sets and other hollowware for Ball, Tompkins & Black. Many other noted American silversmiths produced for the store, including John R. Wendt who relocated from Boston to occupy two floors of factory space in the Broadway building owned by Ball, Black & Co.
There are indications that Marquand & Co may have produced some of its own silver. However, the successors firms, although prominent manufacturers of jewelry, only retailed silverware.
The American Eagle is the trademark used by the firm.
CHRONOLOGY: Marquand & Co - 1723-1839
Ball, Tompkins & Black 1839 - 1851
Ball, Black & Co 1851 - 1874
Black Starr & Frost 1874 - 1908
Black Starr & Frost Inc. 1908 - 1929
Black, Starr & Frost-Gorham Inc. 1929 - 1940
Black, Starr & Gorham Inc. 1940 - 1962
Black, Starr & Frost Ltd. 1962 - 1990
Very Good - Could use a polish if desired; see pictures
2.25” x 2” x 2” / 44g (Diameter x Height/Weight)