Gorham Antique Sterling Silver Massive Punch Bowl, Providence, RI, 1886

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This stunning punch bowl is exceptionally heavy and of beautiful design and quality. A cascading rim is pierced in various areas and decorated with applied foliage. It is further hand-chased along the interior with sprays of flowers and leaves. The interior retains a lot of its original gilding. The oval shape is executed with eight bulbous panels. Repousséd scenes of various flowers decorate the body and are enhanced against a stippled background.

The areas on both ends underneath the handles are undecorated and reflect their outward surroundings beautifully. There is a cartouche on both sides. One is engraved in a lovely script 'CFB' and the other is 'GEF'.

The base is shaped to conform with the upper body and has a thick, applied band around its lower edge.

Gorham records indicate that chasing, or decorating, this bowl took 169 hours.  The 'making', or hand-raising and assembling, took 182 hours - showing just how difficult it is to hand raise an oval bowl.  The net factory price was set at $420.00, meaning the retail price was about $525.00 or $13,600.00 today adjusted for inflation using the consumer price index. (1)

This magnificent punch bowl is marked underneath with Gorham's trademark and 'STERLING/ 2400' and the date mark for 1886. It measures 16.5 inches long across the handles by 13.75 inches wide by 9 inches high, weighs 85.55 troy ounces and is in excellent antique condition with scratching to the interior from normal use.

According to an original picture from the Gorham Archives at the John Hay Library, this punch bowl has a capacity of 14 pints. The 240 model was exhibited at the Paris Exposition of 1889 with a retail cost of $425.00 - an enormous amount of money in 1889.


  1. measuringworth.com, accessed 6/1/2017