Gorham and Thurber "Albert" Pattern Antique Silver Fish Slice, Providence, RI, 1850-52
This wonderful - and very early - Gorham server features a blade with scrolling foliate decoration. The "Albert" pattern was popular about 1850 and named after Queen Victoria's Consort, Prince Albert, and hence known as "Prince Albert" in England. It is extraordinary: an identical example was exhibited by Gorham at the 1851 Rhode Island State Fair, illustrated in the Providence Journal and reproduced by Carpenter (see Charles H. Carpenter Jr., Gorham Silver: 1831-1981, p. 45).
1850-51 was a challenging period for John Gorham. He was in an unsatisfactory relationship with flatware maker Michael Gibney in New York City. The pattern may have been rolled in Gibney's shop and the blade completed and engraved in Providence. Or it could have been made entirely in Providence after John Gorham bought his own die rolling machines. It was made before Gorham revolutionized the silver industry by introducing steam-powered drop presses to the making of flatware. (See here for more.)
This lovely server is marked "GORHAM & THURBER" and inscribed on the back "Potter," the name of the first owner. It measures 11.5 inches long by 2 1/2 inches wide across the blade. It weighs 4.4 troy ounces and is in very good/ excellent condition with light wear and scratches from use.
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