This is an exceptional pierced ladle or sugar sifter in Gorham’s very rare 'Bird's Nest' pattern. Introduced c.1865, this pattern is one of the rarest and most unique of the American naturalistic designs in silver. It is comprised of multiple castings which were later hand-finished for detail and assembled into the various serving pieces. The handle is in the form of a tree branch that splits into 3 branches at the top which holds the bird's nest. The base of the handle has 2 large leaves which act as both decoration and support. The beautifully cast, 3-dimensional nest contains 3 gilded eggs. The fully cast bird with wings spread is perched on the handle watching over the eggs.
The bowl is in the shape of a bucket The flat bottom has circular holes and the sides are pierced with foliage displays.
This lovely ladle is marked on the back of the bowl with Gorham's trademark and 'STERLING'. It measures 6.25 inches long, weighs 1.10 troy ounces and is in excellent antique condition.