“In the old days” a silversmith never left hammering marks on a piece of wrought silver—it would be considered a crude indicator of poor craftsmanship. Instead, a metal smith would laboriously hammer-away at the piece, using increasingly smaller hammer “peens,” until a smooth, mirror-like surface remained. Think of Copley’s portrait of Paul Revere, inspecting his reflection in the flawless surface of newly-crafted teapot.
With the advent of the Arts & Crafts Movement—and the movement away from the old aesthetic strictures—hammer marks became a handsome way to embellish otherwise unadorned metal. Furthermore, the hammer marks provided a trace of the craftsman’s presence, evidence of a human’s touch. Rustic, hammered metal surfaces were now desirable as part of piece’s style and design.
The eight cocktail stems pictured above, made in the 1910’s, were first hand-hammered then silver-plated. They would have been used for mixed drinks poured from a shaker.
Please come into the shop to see them or click on the photo above to learn more about them.