Gorham Antique Coin Silver Presentation Coffee Service of Civil War Interest, Providence, RI, 1863
Produced in 1863 during the Civil War, this rare coffee set is a spectacular example of early Gorham silver consisting of a coffee pot, two teapots, covered sugar bowl, creamer, and waste bowl. The beautifully designed and formed bodies are decorated with stunning engine-turned areas that sparkle.
Lovely butterflies create the finials on the flat covers with the pots having lovely tubular hinges. Bands of overlapping rings decorate the midsections of all the pieces and the upper rim of the waste bowl. Circular motifs are also incorporated into the rare and boldly executed handles with foliate thumb-pieces.
The oval and circular wreath-decorated cartouches on one side are engraved:
To Col. & Mrs. E.F. Noyes
From the Officers of the 39th Reg't. O.V.I.
The other side is engraved:
Feb. 15th. 1863.
Margaret Proctor wed Edward Follensbee Noyes on February 15, 1863. Edward Noyes (October 3, 1832 – September 4, 1890) grew up in New Hampshire and after graduating from Dartmouth College at the age of 23, he went to Cincinnati, Ohio to attend law school. He served in the Union Army and helped form the 39th Ohio Infantry (Ohio Volunteer Infantry). (1)
Receiving such a splendid gift from his regiment is quite a testament to the admiration and respect from those he served with. In 1871, he became Governor of Ohio and in 1877, 'was appointed to represent the United States as Minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary to the government of France.' (2)
This unusual set was designed with choices for finials. Photos from the Gorham Archives show this model 6-piece service displaying various finials of butterflies, crickets, and storks (see below). It is also interesting to note the two teapots - a configuration more commonly found in the mid-Atlantic region, not New England.
This rare and magnificent service is stamped underneath with Gorham's trademark and 'COIN/ 170.' The coffee pot measures 10.25 inches tall. The total weight of the set is 106.15 troy ounces and it is in excellent antique condition with replaced ivorine insulators.
Edward Follensbee Noyes, Wikipedia.
Photo courtesy of the Gorham Archives at the John Hay Library, Brown University.
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