This rare candelabra is a beautiful design and a 'special,' or unique or limited production piece meant to be used on a desk. It has a plain, conical pedestal base and stem connected to a circular platform that extends outward. Attached to the ends of the platform are the socles. They have hanging, classical drops underneath and removable bobeche on top.
Rising from the center is a raised column flanked by similar decoration to the drops. Atop this structure is a beautiful casting of a young woman holding a spray of fruits and flowers collected in her raised dress. The details are wonderful, including the texture of her bonnet.
It is marked with Gorham's rare 'Union Square' mark, which Charles Carpenter in Gorham Silver said was likely used for pieces made in that shop in New York City.
According to Gorham's costing books, the 'A' candelabra was completed by September 15, 1876 and was meant to go with the the '#5 inkstand', so this is a desk candelabra.
Along with other charges, it took 25 hours of 'making' or assembling and another 35 hours of hand chasing to finish the figure. Gorham's net cost, not including the silver, was $65.00 and there was an additional cost of $3.50 for the 'French' finish, for a total net cost of $68.50. Adding the silver cost of $19.95 (for 15.35 troy ounces), the final cost was $88.45 meaning about a $110.00 retail price. (A lot of money back then.)
Below is an original photo courtesy of the Gorham Archives at the John Hay Library, Brown University.
Below is an original photo of inkstand #5 courtesy of the Gorham Archives at the John Hay Library, Brown University.
This rare, small candelabra is marked underneath with Gorham's trademark and 'GORHAM & CO/ UNION SQUARE N.Y./ STERLING/ I'. The 'I' is the year code for 1876'. An 'A' is scratched above the marks. This lovely item measures 6.75 inches wide by 8.25 inches high, weighs 15.20 troy ounces and is in excellent antique condition with light wear to the highlights.