Antique Sterling Silver from Nelson and Nelson Antiques

Gorham Sterling Silver And Mixed Metal Compote 1872


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Directory: Antiques: Decorative Art: Pre 1900: Item # 752025

Please refer to our stock # DD565 when inquiring.
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This is a superb example of American silver at its very best, beautifully crafted by the highly talented silversmiths at the prestigious Gorham Corporation and skillfully enhanced by the addition of mixed metal decoration in the Aesthetic style. Its elegant neo Classical silhouette has been subtly and effectively highlighted at the base, the upper rim and the top of the central column by narrow borders of gadroon work featuring meticulously made leaves surrounded by vines and other organic forms. The design of the upper rim is particularly intricate and this beautifully detailed pattern has been effectively enclosed within bands of miniature beadwork. The bowl of the compote slopes gently downwards and has been simply decorated with a series of incised lines which form a six-sided star shape. The most impressive decoration however occurs at the base which has been elaborately encircled by a truly exceptional applied design of trailing vines bearing extraordinarily realistic sterling silver leaves together with a luscious array of delicious copper colored ripe strawberries extending outwards and just waiting to be picked! A small gold colored bird soars amidst the foliage along side a gold colored butterfly, their presence adding a charming touch to the naturalistic scene. The silver vines, now enhanced by the addition of copper colored leaves, winds sinuously upwards all around the shapely central column where they meet with another butterfly in full flight. The quality of the craftsmanship is of an exceptionally high standard throughout and every part of the beautifully conceived design has been rendered with exquisite precision and a masterful attention to even the smallest detail. The piece is in very good condition throughout, but does have some minor wear in one area around the upper rim consistent with age and usage. The silver has a soft and pleasing patina which contrasts well with the copper and gold colors of the mixed metal decoration and the decorative elements are all crisply and clearly defined. The underside of the base has been stamped with a pattern number, the identifying mark of the Gorham Corporation of Providence, R.I., the word Sterling and an upper case letter E which was the production letter used by Gorham during the year 1872. This wonderful museum quality piece belongs in the collection of any connoisseur of American sterling silver at its very best and would also appeal to any lover of the American Aesthetic Movement. It would add a touch of grace and style to any table or sideboard. It measures approx. 11 ½” in diameter at the top, stands approx. 13” tall and weighs 44 troy ounces.