Erik Magnussen for Gorham 'Modern American' Sterling Silver Creamer, Sugar & Tray, Providence, RI, 1928
This set is an exceptional example of American art deco sterling silver with beautiful proportions and streamlined design. Bakelite handles are attached to the bodies by fitting into applied collars and pinning. The removable cover to the sugar bowl has a domed center surmounted by a carved ivory finial.
Magnussen was a well-known Danish silversmith who went to work for Gorham from 1925-29. During this brief period he designed very imaginative and beautiful silver in the modern style. He developed the Modern American line in 1928. When Gorham was marketing this line of silver, the American public was not ready for it and Gorham had a great deal of trouble selling Magnussen designed silver.
As the great depression took hold, Gorham reduced retail prices and still did not sell much of Magnussen's silver. It is generally believed that much of Magnussen's silver was eventually destroyed by Gorham. It is for these reasons that today American Art Deco silver is extremely rare, very much appreciated and highly sought after by collectors. (See Gorham Silver by Charles Carpenter.)
According to a report by Samuel Hough, an independent researcher working with the Gorham Archives, there were only 13 covered sugar bowls and creamers produced. This tray was a special order and the only one made! A copy of the report will accompany the sale.
All three items of this rare set are marked underneath with Gorham's trademark along with 'GORHAM/ STERLING''. The creamer and sugar bowl are also stamped 'EM/ A14052' and 'EM/ A14053' respectively. The tray is stamped 'A13687/1/ 10 In'. The sugar bowl measures 6.5 inches across the handle by 4.5 inches high and the tray measures 10.5 inches long by 7.5 inches wide. The combined weight is 33.50 troy ounces. This stunning set has never been monogrammed and is in excellent antique condition.