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Gorham (attr) 'Medallion' Pattern Antique Coin Silver Asparagus Tongs, Providence, c. 1870

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These rare tongs with a claw end are exquisite. Made from multiple parts and assembled, they incorporate various designs and construction techniques. 

The long shaped handles are made from a single piece of silver bent at the top to create a smooth elbow. On each side of the elbow are two discs with a spring support between them that keeps the serving ends expanded. A finial at the top with a beaded edge secures the medallions and spring mechanism.

Each of these discs is a stunning classical portrait medallion set against a stippled background with one side depicting a woman (Ceres, symbolized by wheat) and the other a man (Achilles, wearing a helmet with ten stars). A gothic style engraved 'D' monogram is engraved at the top next to the elbow.

Stabilizing and guiding the long handles, a bar travels through holes in the handle. The ends are capped with small discs withmedallionsdepicting classical male busts.

The flat bottom blade is rectangular in shape and beautifully pierced in an architectural design. The upper blade is a dramatic claw with long talons. Although originally made as asparagus tongs, this rare server can be used for many foods.

These stunning tongs are marked with John Westervelt's trademark. Westervelt was fine silversmith, known as “Honest John,” who retailed these from his shop in Newburgh,NY. They measure 13 inches long, weigh 8.25 troy ounces, and are in excellent antique condition.