Manning, Bowman & Co. (American) Extremely R...
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DescriptionManning, Bowman & Co. (American)
Extremely Rare Eight-Piece K1570 Cocktail Set, circa 1928
Chrome, Jade catalin
13-1/4 x 7-1/2 x 11 inches (33.7 x 19.1 x 27.9 cm)
Impressed MB MEANS BEST, TRADE MARK, MANNING-BOWMAN & Co., MERIDEN, CONN., MADE IN THE U.S.A.
Founded in 1849 in Cromwell, Connecticut, manufacturer Manning, Bowman & Co. had developed a reputation for top of the line silver- and later chrome-plated appliances and hollowware by the 1920s. Their trademark "Means Best," often impressed to the underside of their products, boasted the quality of their "Aranium" plating, advertised as a "superior Chromium plate of persistent brilliance that does not tarnish, stain or corrode." In addition to chrome, the company also embraced catalin, a type of polymer that the company offered in Jade, Agate, & Onyx, each "streaked with faint traces of white to lend a note of individuality and distinctiveness."
In 1928, Manning, Bowman & Co. retailed cocktail sets the price of $95.00. Few Americans could afford such a luxury in 1928, and even fewer so after the market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression that followed. These economic dynamics may explain the rarity of the present K1570 cocktail set, featuring a 78-ounce cocktail shaker and six cups, all with "rocket ship" bases, atop a jade catalin tray. The only other known complete example resides in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Collection of Stephen Visakay;
Phillips, New York, Pioneers of American Modernism, June 11, 2001, lot 31.
Seagram Museum, Ottowa, "Shaken, Not Stirred: Cocktail Shakers and Design," December 11, 1992-October 31, 1993; and subsequent venues.
Stephen Visakay, Vintage Bar Ware: Identification & Value Guide, Collector Books, May 1997, p. 59.
Property from the Phil and Gretchen Arth Collection of Cocktailware, Moraga, California
Estimate: $5,000 - $7,000.
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