I continue to think Pitkin & Brooks may be the most underrated cutter of the Brilliant Period – and this bowl is just a testament to the quality items that they were able to produce. The Duchess pattern is one of their best designs – seemingly all of their best seem to have this fan border made up of tiny Russian and crosshatching.
The Duchess design is thoughtfully laid out with the most meticulous and precise of cutting. The patter centers around a deeply cut hexagonal hobstar. This hobstar is surrounded on all sides by crosshatching which leads into notching. The notching leads into richly cut hobstars topped with an unusual crossed motif. Perhaps the main draw of this pattern are six looping vesicas. The exterior portion of the vesica is made up of looping bands of cane that meet at a flat hobstar. The interior of that vesica contains a clear tusk – one of the most difficult and desirable motifs of the period. Again, this piece has an unusual border that features a fan of two bands of tiny Russian cutting alternating with a central crosshatched portion.
The blank of this bowl is stunning – outshining almost any piece you put it next to. It’s also globe in shape – rolling over ever so slightly towards the top. It measures 9 1/4″ wide and 4 1/4″ tall. I firmly believe that if more collectors knew of this pattern and saw it in person, this would be a $2500 bowl.
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