This stunning and rare tray was made by Gorham in 1886. The raised edge features scrolling foliate and rocaille elements bordering a hammered and stippled background. This background contributes to the 3-dimensional effect of the leaves. With their stems joined off-center, the oak leaves spread towards the edge of the tray. The overlapping leaves are strongly three-dimensional in effect.
Originally, this tray was meant to hold a similarly decorated after-dinner coffee pot with the same model number. This "black" coffee pot is pictured in the Gorham CD collection. An example of a very similar coffee pot and tray now in the collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts is illustrated in Silver In America by Charles Venable, fig 6.10, p. 133.
Marked on the back with Gorham's trademark, 'STERLING', the model number '2995' and with the date mark of 1886, this beautiful piece measures 8.5 inches square, weighs 12.85 troy ounces and is in very good condition.