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Gorham Antique Sterling Silver Figural Nut or Berry Bowl, Providence, RI, 1870

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This spectacular footed bowl exhibits unique design and wonderful quality. Formed from two separate pieces, the pedestal base has a lower section with a wide, oval spreading foot and the upper section conforms to the shape of the bowl.

The highly reflective body has mirror-like qualities displaying its surroundings. The front has cast and applied foliage decorating a horizontal vine. The large bowl is unusual with its teardrop shape and high back slope.

The handle is extraordinary. Two vines emerge from the rim of the bowl at the top where they are joined and covered with foliage. The vines split into swirling designs and spread outward to attach to the sides of the bowl. The vines are covered with detailed leaves, blossoms and some berries or nuts.

Atop this intricate handle is a cast full figure of a squirrel eating a nut, berry or piece of fruit. As with the handle and other appliques, the squirrel is a lovely example of great casting with fine details. An original post and nut secure the squirrel in place.

This rare bowl is marked underneath with Gorham's trademark and 'STERLING/ 465/ C'. It measures 15.5 inches long by 7 inches deep by 11.5 inches tall to the top of the squirrel's tail, weighs 37.05 troy ounces and is in excellent antique condition.