This wonderful server was a prototype for a rare line of Gorham holloware. Pictured in Gorham Silver (fig. 126) by Charles Carpenter is a Gorham Archive photograph of an oyster tureen in this same pattern. Carpenter describes the design as 'exotic', having the 'energy and wildness of High Victorian, and the undulating forms have in them the seeds of Art Nouveau'. Incorporating many exotic - especially Persian - designs, the floral repoussé work is reminiscent of Gorham's Cluny pattern.
According to a report by Sam Hough derived from the Gorham Archives, this was the prototype for a vegetable serving dish which was 'part of a set of hand crafted holloware, made with no machine processes at all'. At the time, this line was extremely expensive to make and purchase.
This wonderful piece is marked underneath with Gorham's trademark, the star year mark of 1888, 'STERLING', the prototype number '510' and the line number '437'. It measures 13.75 inches long by 11.75 inches deep by 6 inches high, weighs 63.65 troy ounces and is in very good condition with light wear to the highlights.