Artists & Designers

Bailey & Co. (American, founded 1832)

The original firm of Bailey & Co. was founded by Joseph Trowbridge Bailey (d. 1853 or 1854) and Andrew B. Kitchen (d. 1840) and was located at 136 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1840 Joseph's brother Eli Westcott Bailey, a New York City jeweler and importer hurt financially by the Panic of 1837, came to Philadelphia and entered the firm. The name continued as Bailey & Kitchen. When Joseph died, Eli became the senior partner of Bailey & Co. until he retired in 1867, remaining a special partner until 1889. He died at 90 in 1899, his obituary appearing in the Jewelers' Circular of 5 April of that year. The firm was located at the following addresses: 817 Chestnut Street (1857-68), 12th and Chestnut (1868-T904), 1218 Chestnut (1904-53), and 16th and Chestnut (1953-present).

Evidence gleaned from advertisements and industrial censuses indicates that Bailey & Co. did not enter into the manufacture of silverware until the early 1850s, probably 1852. Before that time, a vast proportion of its solid silver goods was produced by the firm of Taylor & Lawrie, a partnership of an Irishman and a Scotsman. Consequently, Bailey & Kitchen's retail mark is often accompanied by Taylor & Lawrie's pseudo-hallmarks consisting of an American eagle, a Scotch thistle, and an Irish harp. Evidence indicates that, when Bailey & Co. added silversmithing to its production of jewelry and extensive importation of fancy goods, another Irishman George B. Sharp ran the manufacturing portion of the establishment. During this period, the wares were usually marked with a sterling mark of (lion) s (shield). This part of the business was discontinued about 1868, when the firm reverted to manufacturing jewelry and retailing silverware and fancy goods.

Adapted from

Charles L. Venable, Silver in America 1840-1940: A Century of Splendor (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art; New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1994), 314.