Gorham Coin Silver Child's Cup with Romantic Repoussé Scenery, c. 1857
This outstanding and wonderful child's cup was made by Gorham in the mid 1850's. This is, simply put, as good as early Gorham gets. We've had one of these "number 9" (the model number stamped on the base) cups before about 10 years ago, with a California inscription, figural repoussé work and dated 1856. This example is in much better condition.
The repoussé work on this cup is of the very best caliber that Gorham produced in the 1850's (in fact Gorham didn't start making holloware until 1850). This cup is of tapered cylindrical form, with matching drawn applied bands at the lip and foot. Each side is repousséd with a romantically inspired exotic scene.
One side is a church, somewhat Palladian, somewhat Chinese in appearance. The other side features a three towered building of Eastern inspiration. ("In Zanadu did Kubla Kahn a stately pleasure dome decree..." apologies to Coleridge.) The cast handle is in the form of a Romanesque window, with foliate decoration similar to that seen on the capitals of Romanesque columns. The cartouche that holds the inscription is formed from two trees, one a large towering deciduous tree, the other a classical column with a Willow tree wrapping around it.
It is inscribed:
Henry Spingler Fonerden Davis from his Great Grand Mother Eliza M. Fonerden Nov. 11, 1857
With the exception of a small dent on the top of the handle (and consequently a small split in the seam), this mug is in extraordinary condition. The pattern is as 'crisp' as the day it was made. It weighs a hefty 8 troy ounces, measures 4 inches high and 4.75 inches wide across the handle.