Print / View Finding Aid as Single Page

New-York Historical Society logo

Guide to the Robert Ensko Inc. Records
1787-1798, 1908-1978 (bulk 1934-1970)
 MS 200

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-3400

New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Elise Winks and Larry Weimer

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on April 30, 2021
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Biographical / Historical

The firm Robert Ensko Inc. was a New York City-based purveyor, or retailer, of antique and reproduction British and American silver. The firm was incorporated in 1929 by its namesake and founder, Robert Ensko (1855-1934), and the present collection includes the records of the firm from that date of incorporation. But the firm pointed to 1878 as its founding year and Robert likely operated in a sole proprietorship capacity until 1929. Robert was well-known in the trade as the author of an important reference work, "Makers of American Silver," published in 1915. The firm was located at 682 Lexington Avenue in Manhattan.

At the time of incorporation in 1929, Robert continued as president of the firm, with his son Stephen G.C. (Guernsey Cook) Ensko as treasurer and a nephew, Charles Ensko, as secretary. Charles would retire and Robert would die soon after the firm's incorporation. Stephen (1896-1969), along with his brother, Lamont, remained as principal of the firm until his death. Stephen established himself as an authority on silver, authoring the first edition of "American Silversmiths and Their Marks" in 1927 and "English Silver 1675–1825" in 8 volumes, with Edward Wenham.

Stephen married Dorothea J. Winterloff (1892–1977) in 1918. They had three children, including Dorothea Charlotte (1920–2014), the donor of the collection to New-York Historical. Dorothea Charlotte married Vernon C. Wyle in 1944; Wyle was active in the family business for at least a time. After Stephen's death in December 1969, the firm continued business for a few months, but closed in 1970. The inventory was distributed to an extent among the family, with the rest auctioned.