Dominick and Haff Sterling Silver Art
Henry Blanchard Dominick was a descendant of George Dominick and French Huguenot, who came to America in 1740. His partner Leroy B. Haff first entered the silversmith business in 1867. In their early days Dominick and Haff devoted themselves to the manufacture of relatively small pieces. They were renowned for the quality of their vinaigrettes, chatelaines, and other fancy articles. The firm sold its wares to such establishments as Bailey, Banks and Biddle, a venerable jewellery and silver company with a retail shop on Chestnut street in Philadelphia. It was to that concern that Dominick & Haff sold the tea and coffee service embellished with repoussé floral and insect decoration which stands as mute testimony to the company’s standards of craftsmanship.
An outstanding example of floral Repoussé silver features beautiful all over floral and foliate Repoussé decoration on a stippled background. Soup, and the serving of soup, were important parts of the dining rituals of the 19th century where this tureen played a central role. It would have dazzled guests in the gas lighting of the period.
The firm of Dominick & Haff has a long and complicated history. Though not established until 1872 or incorporated until 1889, Dominick & Haff can trace its beginnings to William Gale and son, which started in New York in 1821, changed its name to Gale and North in 1860, and became Gale, North and Dominick in 1868, when Henry Blanchard Dominick (1847 – 1928) entered the business. Relatively few details of Dominick & Haff history are known at present was sold to Reed & Barton in 1928, and consolidated within that firm.
Repoussé or repoussage (French) is a metalworking technique in which a malleable metal is ornamented or shaped by hammering from the reverse side to create a design in low relief. The Repoussé decoration is an amazing work of art. Using special chasing tools, the silversmith molds and folds the silver to create incredible three dimensional scenes against the hammered background. Detailed chasing provides stunning details.