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Gorham Antique Sterling Silver Nautical Butter Pat, Providence, RI, 1884

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This cast, small, heavy, exquisite dish is one of the loveliest butter pats we have ever seen. It is an intricate display of swirls in wave-like motion with a flowing-shaped edge. Amongst this design is a series of marine animals. There is a crab in the center and a crab at each end protruding outward. Various fish are present among the waves, and there is also a shell in one of the corners. The monogram 'M.T.A.L' is engraved on the back.

This rare butter pat (or plate) is marked with Gorham's trademark and 'STERLING/ 2140' and with the 'Q' date symbol for 1884. It measures just over 3.5 inches long by just shy of 3 inches, weighs 2.30 troy ounces, and is in excellent antique condition.

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