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

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.