Gorham Antique Sterling Silver Special Order Centerpiece, Providence, RI, 1918
Featuring striking design throughout, this spectacular centerpiece is a unique 'Special Order' created by Gorham with "Baronial"-style decoration, one of their finest and most expensive designs of the era.
Bold, cast, hairy claw feet raise the rectangular base decorated with classical laurel leaf-and-berry design around its edge. Above this area, beautifully chased foliage decorates the front and back while leaves emanating from shells decorate the corners.
The body is a tour-de-force in design and execution. The decoration molds itself around the rounded forms of the body with stunning rectangular panels rising from the base. Executed on both sides are chased cornucopia bearing fruit and swirling foliage surrounding blank cartouches below lion masks. Expressive castings of lion heads with bound reeded ring handles protrude from the sides flanked by swirling chased foliage.
A cascading rim of classical design is applied around the body's edge. The handle of the original silver plate pierced cover is in the form of a cast tureen with shell decoration and lion head handles. This cover is used for arranging flowers. Without the cover, this large centerpiece can be multi-purposed for use as a punch-bowl, a tureen, or server for a myriad of meals, a display of fruits, etc. Just imagine the magnificent floral arrangements one can create with such a spectacular objet d'art.
According to the Gorham Mfg. Co. Archives, this unique special order Centerpiece, coded "PRO," was made in 1918 and cost $920.00 to create. The retail price would have been around $1,100.00, a substantial amount of money back then.
This extraordinary centerpiece is marked underneath with Gorham's trademark and /STERLING/ PRO.' The cover is marked 'ELECTRO PLATE PRO.' The centerpiece measures 17.25 inches long by 11 inches wide by 7.5 inches high. The cover adds another 3 inches in height. It weighs a hefty 128.5 troy ounces. This wonderful centerpiece has never been engraved and is in excellent antique condition with traces of original gilding on the interior flutes.
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