Gorham - The Hugh and Julia Murphy Grant 'Kings III' Pattern Sterling Flatware service for 18, c. 1895
A stunning pattern, 'Kings III' features bold shells and classical ornament to both sides of the handles.
A lovely script 'JMM' (Julia Mackey Murphy) monogram is engraved on the front of each piece.
This extensive service of 319 pieces comes in its original blue satin lined fitted oak box with brass mounts and includes:
18 Dinner Forks 18 Dinner Knives 18 Luncheon Forks 18 Luncheon Knives 18 Table Spoons 18 Dessert Forks 18 Dessert Spoons 18 Flat-handled Tea/ Breakfast or Dessert Knives 36 Tea Spoons (18 in separate felt bag) 18 Butter Knives or Spreaders 18 Fish Forks 18 Fish Knives 18 Oyster or Cocktail Forks 18 Ice Cream Spoons 18 Demitasse Spoons
Ice Tongs Asparagus Serving Fork Pie Knife Cake Knife Cheese Scoop Stuffing/Basting Spoon Fish Slice Fish Serving Fork Vegetable Spoon Vegetable Fork Soup Ladle 2 Gravy Ladles Pierced Small Ladle Crumb Knife 2 Serving Spoons Ice Cream Slice Preserve Spoon Sugar Tongs Master Butter Knife 4 Salt Spoons Mustard Ladle Meat Carving Knife Meat Carving Fork Game Carving Knife Game Carving Fork Sharpening Steel
Many of these pieces have wonderfully parcel-gilt functional ends.
This beautiful service weighs a total 533.85 troy ounces of weighable silver (hollow handles not included), a weight comparable to Tiffany's English Kings pattern.
Hugh J. Grant, Sr. (1858-1910) was the first Irish-American mayor of New York City, serving from 1889-1892. At the age of 31, he was also the youngest mayor in that city's history. Grant married Julia M. Murphy (1872-1944), the daughter of New York Senator Edward Murphy, Jr. (1836-1911), in 1895. This service was almost certainly an expensive wedding present, likely from her parents.
A successful real estate investor, Grant lived with his family in their 10,960 square foot mansion at 20 East 72nd Street that was designed by the architectural firm of Rose and Stone. They purchased many of the finest decorative arts then available - including the exceptional Gorham Martelé ewer and basin now in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Grants were important philanthropists and major donors to the Catholic Church, providing the funds to establish Regis High School (a Jesuit school for the poor and gifted), in New York. The Grants fully funded the school until the 1960's. Hugh J. Grant, Jr. gifted their 72nd Street mansion to the Archdiocese of New York. It is currently the residence of the Vatican's ambassador to the United Nations and serves as the Pope's residence when visiting New York City.
This stunning service is in outstanding condition. Two luncheon forks, two teaspoons and three oyster forks have been matched; the roast holder is missing. The original satin lined box is in good/ very good antique condition, missing one bail from a handle and having scratches from age and use