Gorham Rare Original Set of 12 Antique Sterling Silver Five O'clock Tea Spoons, Providence, RI, c. 1888
This set is pictured in a Gorham catalog from 1888. It is incredibly rare to see the full set of twelve together. The various spoons run the spectrum of simple to incredibly intricate design.
A picture of the first single spoon is stunning with a fish-shaped bowl. It is applied to a twig handle with applied strapping and a shell at the top attached with seaweed. The second spoon has a fluted bowl and a flat handle with a wavy edge. Silver wire is wrapped around the handle and has an applied fish tangled in its weave.
Three applied fish caught with a fishing line are attached at the top of this handle along with wire wrapping around the length of the handle. An attached bowl is formed as a beautiful seashell.
Next is another example of exceptional design. An applied crab rests on the silver-strapped handle. The bowl is in the form of a shell with sand at the base.
Not all of the spoons in the set are nautical in inspiration. The next example has a twist handle with an applied wire around a spool.
The simplest of the designs in this set has angled hatch marks resembling a twist on the front of the handle for decoration.
Another interesting example is the spoon with the handle in the shape of a fish which is detailed on both the front and back. The split fin holds the scalloped bowl.
The various designs of these spoons exhibits imaginative designs and quality craftsmanship. The varying motifs convey great whimsy.
All of the spoons are marked with Gorham's trademark and 'STERLING' and are also marked '1' thru '12'. They weigh a total 5.20 troy ounces, measure 5 inches long and are in excellent condition.