Gorham Antique Sterling Silver Covered Tankard, Providence, RI, 1873

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This large 3.5 pints tankard is a lovely example of a very uncommon form in American 19th century silver. The flared base is undecorated as is the major portion on the body except for a lovely engraved 'LKM' monogram on the front. Engraved underneath is 'From a loving friend.' The top of the body is decorated with a classical band of winged cherubs riding hippocampi (the sea horses Poseidon used for his chariot) along with dolphins against a stippled background.

Rosettes decorate the applied handle flanked with spreading hops vines with cones and leaves - so apropos for the item.

The domed, hinged cover has a simple curved thumb piece with decorated sides and back

This lovely tankard is marked with Gorham's trademark and /STERLING/ 3½ PINTS/ 5' and the 'F' date mark for 1873. It measures 5 inches in diameter at the base by 7.75 inches high, weighs 23.35 troy ounces and is in very good antique condition.

According to the Cost Records at the Gorham Archives at The John Hay Library, this tankard cost Gorham $78.00-$80.00 to make and would have cost about $100.00 retail.

Here is an archival photograph of what they call a 'Wine Tankard'. Gorham used 'Wine Tankard' and 'Ale or Wine Tankard' in their photographs interchangeably (see here) although I think 2.5 pints of wine (40 ounces US) may be a little much!

Image courtesy of the Gorham Archives, John Hay Library, Brown University.