Kirk silver items are created by Kirk Stieff Company and are especially famous for their repousse style silverware products. The company is renowned as ‘America’s Oldest Siversmith,’ having started its journey almost two centuries back in 1815 under the name S.Kirk & Son. The intricate and elaborate design tableware from the company is inspired by a variety of traditional styles and is also regarded as valuable collectors’ items.
Samuel Kirk is the legendary founder of the company and until 1979, when the company merged with Stieff Company, it was named S. Kirk & Son. Since then the firm is known as Kirk Stieff Company. Later still, the company was purchased first by Brown-Forman and then, Lenox Brands. Currently, Lifetime Brands are licensed for manufacture of Kirk flatware and silverware patterns. Some of the most popular Kirk silver patterns include Repousse, Old Maryland Engraved, Old Maryland Plain, Golden Winslow, Stieff Rose, Paramount, Worthington, Winslow and Worthington Gold.
Repousse is the signature pattern of Kirk brands and is the one it is most famous for. The term repousse means ‘raised in relief.’ The design is typically wrought by pressing through the back of the product. However, the flatware repousse patterns from the brand come with flat backs. The design was first produced in 1828. A whole variety of tableware items including butter spreader, cocktail fork, demitasse spoon, cream soup spoon, fish fork, dinner fork, fruit knife, oval soup spoon, ic cream fork, salad fork, etc. are designed in the repousse style.
Another elaborately designed style from Kirk silver is the Old Maryland Engraved. The style was first produced in 1936 and is said to have been inspired by the older style Maryflower, also designed by Kirk. The Lenox Brands also prepare stainless steel items in the Maryland style. A variant of the Maryland style is the Old Maryland Plain. The style may not be as popular as the engraved version, but many still like it for its plain and dignified look and antique charm. This style was first manufactured in 1850.
Another sterling silver pattern that was first produced in 1850 is the Golden Winslow. The handle is flat in the middle and is bordered by an intricate design in gold. The simple and elegant design of the pattern is highly popular among the connoisseurs. For more intricate designs, one can go for Stieff Rose or Paramount patterns. The first is a variety of the repousse style, although the engraving is flatter and less intricate. Originally there were four patterns designed in this style. Currently, only the Stieff Rose pattern is in active production. For people with a taste for Art Deco, Paramount would be the ideal choice. The design is inspired by Art Deco style that flourished between 1915 and 1930 and the clean and sleek style of the pattern has few rivals in contemporary design. Other Kirk silver patterns such as Worthington Gold and Winslow also enjoy high popularity among buyers and collectors.