The Waldorf Astoria is one of a handful of hotels in the world that incorporates a unique design into its silver service. In 1930 the Waldorf Astoria hired Danish silversmith Peer Smed (1897-1943) to come up with an original design for its flatware and hollowware. Most four-star hotels purchase a silver service from a catalogue and then stamp their name or logo on each piece; not the Waldorf. They commissioned a world renown silversmith to design a unique look that would define a lasting elegance for their opening in 1931.
This is a vintage individual server set from the Waldorf-Astoria hotel. Included is a 5.5 inch tall lidded server (appears to be for Coffee or Tea), a 5 inch lidded server (Creamer?), and a 2.5" tall open dish (Sugar?).
The 5.5" server is marked on the bottom as follows: The Waldorf Astoria 1931 International Silver Co Silver Soldered 05038 14 OZ PATENT 1637853 PAT APPLD FOR 228.
The 5" server is marked: The Waldorf Astoria 1931 International Silver Co Silver Soldered 05038.1/2 10 OZ PATENT 1637853 PAT APPLD FOR 145.
The 2.5" tall open dish is marked: The Waldorf Astoria 1931 International Silver Co Silver Soldered 05038.1/2 6 OZ PAT APPLD FOR.
All 3 pieces are heavy, have been quite used, have a patina, and have some dents on the surface. They need polishing and I don't know how well they will polish up at this point. The green you see on the pieces in some pictures is just a reflection of what I was wearing while taking the pictures.
About The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel is a famously luxurious hotel in New York . It has been housed in two historic landmark buildings in New York City . The first Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, designed by architect Henry J. Hardenbergh, was located on Fifth Avenue in New York City on the site now occupied by the Empire State building. The current Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, located at 301 Park Avenue in Manhattan and designed by architects Schultze and Weaver, was built in 1931-32. The Art Deco, forty-seven story landmark stands 625 feet tall.
Lucius M. Boomer, the managing director of the old Waldorf-Astoria, supervised the furnishing of the newly built hotel. Given the hotel’s high standards, leading industrial designers were hired. Peer Smed, a New York silversmith, was one. Smed (originally Schmidt) was born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1878. The son of a blacksmith, he became a master metalcrafter, producing pieces in the Jensen-style.
Smed visited America in 1904, remaining four years. After a brief return to Denmark, he returned to America in 1909 and opened a studio located at 176 Johnson Street, Brooklyn, New York in which he lived and worked for the balance of his life. Smed worked in a wide variety of metals including bronze, copper, gold, iron, and silver.
The Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and New York and San Francisco galleries mounted exhibitions of his work. Tiffany and Company was a client. Individual clients included William Knudsen, CEO of General Motors, and Lucius M. Boomer, managing director of the Waldorf-Astoria. Working in partnership with William Stark, Smed created the flatware and hollowware for the second Waldorf-Astoria hotel. He died in 1943.