"Dimension" sugar bowl

MAKER:
Designer

John Prip ( American, 1922 - 2009 )


Manufacturer

Reed & Barton ( American, 1824 )

DATE:
designed c. 1961–1977 (introduced 1961)
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General Description

In 1953 the American silversmith John Prip designed a silver teapot based on the shape of an onion. In 1961, following his being hired as a designer by Reed & Barton in 1957, Prip used this earlier design for the firm's "Dimension" pattern tea and coffee set. The long, horizontal hinges Prip had created for the prototype proved expensive to make, however. In order to keep the price within the reach of middle-class consumers, Reed & Barton changed the hinge design to a cheaper, yet less elegant, version in 1962. In that year the set with tray (including the formica insert) retailed for $287.50. The Dallas Museum of Art example is in the original Prip design before modification. The modernist aesthetic of this set was heavily influenced by contemporary Scandinavian silverwork. As early as the 1920s, the United States was the largest consumer of Scandinavian silverware. Unsurprisingly, the work of firms like Georg Jensen greatly influenced domestic production. The vogue for "Scandinavian Modern" furnishings lasted well into the early 1970s in the United States.