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Gorham Antique Coin Silver Butterfly Tea Set, Providence, RI, c. 1860

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This rare tea set is a spectacular example of early Gorham silver, consisting of a teapot, covered sugar bowl, and creamer. Applied, bold elements such as the various beading, protruding spout, and use of three different handles give this set a wonderful presence. The reserves and side of the sugar bowl are engraved with 'LM' monograms. Adorning the covers to the pot and sugar bowl are wonderful butterflies. The beautifully designed and formed bodies and covers are decorated with stunning engine-turned areas that sparkle.

This rare and lovely set is stamped underneath with Gorham's trademark and 'COIN/ 200.' The coffee pot measures just under 5.75 inches tall by 8 inches across the handle and spout. The total weight of the set is 30.75 troy ounces, and it is in excellent antique condition. According to the Gorham Archives costing information at the John Hay Library, Brown University, this set in 1860 had a factory cost of $78.26.

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