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Gorham 'Medallion' Pattern Antique Sterling Silver Ice Tongs, Providence, RI, c. 1870

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These rare serving tongs are in the 'Medallion' pattern which features classical profile portraits against a stippled background. One portrait is Ceres, with wheat in her hair, and the other is Achilles. 

The ends of the long handles terminate with a bowl and chicken claws. Each of the ends are covered in lovely gilding.  While these tongs are popularly known today as 'fried chicken' serving tongs, they were originally intended for ice and would have played an important role at a party. 

This rare server is marked with Gorham's trademark along with 'STERLING' and the Baltimore retailer 'GEO. W. WEBB & CO'. It measures 11.5 inches long, weighs 5.90 troy ounces and is in excellent antique condition with light wear to the gilding.