This is a lovely pair of American sterling silver compotes, elegantly designed in the Art Nouveau style and bearing the signature of W.C. Codman, the most important and influential designer of Gorham's highly collectable hand-made "Martele" line. The compotes are beautiful and sophisticated in appearance, the Art Nouveau elements being subtly invoked with restraint and refinement in the form of gently undulating borders prettily enhanced by gracefully swirling vines, leaves and flowers.
Each of the circular pedestal bases has been indented around the bottom for additional visual interest and each of these four indentations has been topped by a meticulously-detailed organic leaf form.
The floral decoration on both the base and the upper border of each compote has been exquisitely crafted to exceptionally high standards and stands out in a striking and aesthetically pleasing contrast against the softly shimmering effect of the beautifully hand-hammered backgrounds.
The central field has been discreetly finished with a light gold wash.
The base of each piece has been clearly stamped with the word Martele, the symbols of the Gorham Corp. and the number 9584 which identifies the high silver content of these items (normal sterling silver content is 925).
The signature of W.C. Codman and the date 1909 are also clearly visible.
A code, RYP, is also visible beneath the Gorham marks, and this appears in the Gorham records and confirms that the compotes were made in July 1909.
They were designed by William Codman, made by K. Danielson and decorated by Karl Wendt, all highly skilled and talented craftsmen.
Codman's signature is not known to have appeared on a large number of items so its appearance here adds even more interest to these already very special pieces.
An elaborate 3-letter monogram has been added to the base together with the date December 25th 1913, showing that these were given as a Christmas present to some very lucky person almost 100 years ago.
They are in excellent condition and are superb examples of the art of silver smithing at its very best.
Each compote measures approx. 9 3/4" in diameter at the top and stands approx. 3 1/4" tall.
The total weight is 24.45 troy ounces.