Gorham Antique Sterling Silver The Rose Service Punch Bowl made for the 1893 Chicago World's Fair or Columbian Exposition, Providence, RI, 1892
Bold and detailed repousséd roses flow around the body of this punch bowl. The everted rim features scroll and foliate decoration, complementing the foliate and shell decoration on the feet. The gilt interior is in remarkable condition.
A large and impressive punch bowl, it was one of the largest (and most expensive) parts of Gorham's famous Rose Service, designed and executed for the Chicago 1893 World's Fair, or Columbian Exposition, where it won an award from the judges. The press widely admired the service, and we quote The New York Times:
There is a dinner set of sixty-four pieces exhibited in the Gorham display which is a complete justification of light oxidization, if that were needed. It is known as the rose dinner service. Is entirely original in design, and the repousse work is a conscientious study of the rose in all its different varieties. Sense of proportions and artistic effect are speakingly illustrated, and it is doubtful whether a finer service, so far as the silversmithing goes, could be made. (1)
Gertrude Rhinelander Waldo purchased the $20,000.00 (2) service early in the fair for delivery after its end, (3) likely for her new mansion at Madison and 72nd, now the Ralph Lauren store in New York City. You can read about her wealth, mansion, debts, and more on Wikipedia here. For a more detailed review of Gorham's pavilion at the fair, see here. The punch bowl bears her "GRW" monogram under one foot.
Gorham spent two and one-half years creating the 64-piece service. According to their records, this punch bowl took 110 hours to raise and assemble, then 315 hours to chase or decorate. The punch bowl had a net cost of $675.00, while new automobiles cost about $300 - $400.
Circa 1893 archival image of the Rose Service punch bowl, courtesy of the Gorham Archives, John Hay Library, Brown University
Provenance: Gertrude Rhinelander Waldo
Exhibition: Chicago 1893 World's Fair, "Columbian Exposition"
Awards: Rose Dinner and Dessert Service, Columbian Exposition (4)
This remarkable award-winning punch bowl measures 18.75 inches long by 14.5 inches wide and 9.75 inches high. It is marked with Gorham's trademark, the sample code 3846, "STERLING," "10 QUART," and the date mark for 1892. It weighs about 117 troy ounces and is in excellent antique condition, with the interior gilding looking great.
"Silver at the World's Fair" in The New York Times, 20 September 1893, p. 5.
"A Glance at the Gorham Exhibit" in The Manufacturing Jeweler, 28 June 1893, p. 860.
Gorham Mfg. Co., Invitation to Visit the Gorham Manufacturing Company Exhibit in the Manufactures and Liberal Arts Building, (Providence: Gorham Mfg. Co., 1893), n.p.
"List of awards, as copied for Mrs. Virginia C. Meredith, Chairman, Committee on Awards, Board of Lady Managers, from the official records in the office Hon. John Boyd Thacher, Chairman, Executive Committee on Awards", World's Columbian Exposition, p. 432, at the Chicago Historical Society.
You may also like
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Sign up to get the latest updates and current musings in our occasional newsletter…