Gorham Special Order Art Nouveau Sterling Mounted Hoare Glass Decanter, Providence, RI, 1902

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Featuring floral decoration on the silver and clusters of grapes and vines engraved on the glass, pieces of American art nouveau silver mounted on glass don't get much better than this. The Gorham silver is fitted on the glass body and chased with a floral design. The soft, hammered surface and art nouveau chasing of flowing tendrils with flowers are brilliantly executed in a Martelé style.

Pineapples, symbols of hospitality, decorate the neck and dome of the hinged cover. A lovely, pierced base completes the design. Sinuous, fluid, and organic, the form and decoration combine into an exceptional example of American art nouveau design.

Gorham's "Specials" records indicate this "Claret Decanter" was made for the great Pittsburgh, PA retailer 'J.C. Grogan' with glass ordered from J. Hoare of Corning, NY, and completed on October 31, 1902, with a net cost of $242.00 - a hefty wholesale price in 1902. (At retail, this decanter cost about as much as a car.) As Pittsburgh's leading jeweler and silver retailer, Grogan had an extremely wealthy clientele. As a result, Gorham made some of their very finest pieces of this era for Grogan.

The silver is marked underneath with Gorham's trademark, "STERLING," along with the  "Specials" code "BVI." The strap to the right of the handle base is also marked 'STERLING.' This stunning decanter measures 12 inches tall and is in outstanding condition.
Gorham Archives image courtesy of the John Hay Library, Brown University.