Gorham Sterling Silver Set of 6 Cups and Ladle from the Early 20th Century
Gorham, sterling silver, early 20th century, set of 6 cups and ladle. The cups have a frieze motif around the rim, a gilt interior, and a monogram to L. Clark Seelye, the president of Smith College to whom these cups and ladle were given in 1910 by the faculty. Each measures 3 5/8'' in height by 4'' from handle to cup. The ladle has a gilt wash bowl as well as engraved, stylized palmette motifs, centered around Seelye's monogram. It measures 13 1/3'' in length by 4 1/2'' in width. Total weight is 34 troy ounces. Each piece bears hallmarks as shown.
During the heyday of American silver manufacturing–approximately 1850 to 1940–Gorham was one of the most influential. The White House has used Gorham silver services during many administrations. Mary Todd Lincoln purchased an impressive tea and flatware service for use in the White House in 1859. Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant asked Gorham to commemorate the country's one-hundredth anniversary with a spectacular Century Vase that contained over 2,000 oz (57,000 g) of sterling silver, and in 1899, it produced a grand "loving cup" composed of 70,000 dimes was designed for Admiral George Dewey. Colonel Henry Jewett Furber placed the largest single commission Gorham ever received for what became known as the famous Furber service. The opulent 740-piece service represents Victorian era dining at its most elaborate. The monumental silver and parcel-gilt "Neptune" epergne made for Furber as part of this service was displayed at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876. Gorham artisans also sculpted the famous monument of George Washington in the Capitol's Rotunda.
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