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Gorham 'Chicken-leg' or 'Mary Todd Lincoln' Coin Silver Creamer and Sugar, Providence, RI, c. 1860

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One of the most famous and rare forms in Gorham's coffee and tea line is the tête-à-tête set owned by Mrs. Abraham Lincoln, now at the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. The service consists of a tea pot, sugar and creamer. Our lovely creamer and sugar are identical, but not monogrammed 'M.T.L.' The round bodies are decorated with a midsection of engine-turning. Each side has a blank oval with foliate bright-cut engraving emanating from a flower. One side of each piece is engraved 'MET'. The rims and handles are adorned with cast and applied silver balls. Each piece is supported by 3 feet in the form of chicken legs with detailed castings of the hocks, shanks and toes.

This rare coin silver creamer and sugar is marked underneath with Gorham's trademark, '0110' and 'COIN'. The sugar bowl measures 6.5 inches high to the top of the swing handle. The combined weight is 10 troy ounces. They are in very good antique condition, retaining their original interior gilding with minor wear.

This model is quite rare. This is the first example we can remember on the market for about 10 years. For a picture of and more information on the Mary Todd Lincoln's 'chicken-leg' tête-à-tête set, see Gorham Silver, p. 46.