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Gorham Antique Sterling and Mixed Metals Berry Bowl, Providence, RI, 1880

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This delightful bowl exhibits some of the finest mixed metals we have seen. The square bowl with convex sides on Japonesque feet has an unadorned, matte exterior surface. The interior also has a matte finish and is covered in gilt. Many appliques are 3-dimensional and wonderfully executed. Along with a large copper bird in flight, there are three scenes wrapping around the corners of the bowl. All have a pebbled sand foundation with berries. One scene is of a brass branch with copper leaves and clusters of blackberries. Another has an exotic bird behind a leaf with a plant with folding leaves. The largest features a large salamander with copper and brass foliage.

Lois K. Etz
Sotheby's, Important Americana, January 28, 1988, lot 997.
Victor Niederhoffer

This rare bowl is marked with Gorham's trademark and 'STERLING/ M/ 1615' along with a heart mark we have seen on other high-quality items but haven't found documentation as to its significance. The bowl measures 8.25 inches wide by just under 4 inches high, weighs 26.15 troy ounces, has never been engraved, and is in very good antique condition with slight tarnish to the surface.

Here is an original photo courtesy of the Gorham Archives at the John Hay Library, Brown University.