American Renaissance "Medallion" Pattern Sterling Silver Coffee and Tea Service, c. 1860, John R. Wendt for Ball, Black & Co., New York, wc. 1851-1876, marked "BALL, BLACK & CO/ NEW YORK/ 216/ ENGLISH STERLING"; incl. coffee pot, teapot, sugar, creamer and waste bowl, each cover with Spartan helmet finial, pyriform body with oval medallion framed by Neo-Grec chasing, handsome period monogram on reverse, beaded handle surmounted by Renaissance bust, coffee pot h. 10 3/8 in., total wt. 97.25 troy ozs. Provenance: Descended in the Family of William Galt Bullock (1815-1896) of Lynchburg, VA and Jackson, MS. Note: John R. Wendt, who produced some of the finest silver of his day, had a special relationship with Ball, Black & Co., much like that of John Chandler Moore with Tiffany & Co. Wendt did not use a maker's mark.
Wendt is thought to be the originator of die-stamped "Medallion" flatware: the 1862 U.S. design patent 1580 was issued in his name. The Wendt flatware features variations in the medallion portraits, as also seen on this coffee and tea service.
Ref.: Soeffing, D. Albert. Silver Medallion Flatware. pgs. 12-13, 76-78 and 98-99.