L22

Vincent Laforme Antique Coin Silver Water Pitcher, Boston, MA, c. 1859


Of bulbous form, this lovely coin silver water pitcher is hand raised with an applied handle and stepped ring foot. The cartouche, which is inscribed 'CP & MCS/ to / Helen', features big and bold repousséd oak leaves, branches and acorns which flow onto the sides of the pitcher. The shaped rim is decorated with acanthus leaf designs (as is the thumb rest of the handle). It is inscribed under the base 'June - 1859'.

Vincent Laforme, son of a German immigrant silversmith, ran a small shop in Boston during the mid 19th century using only hand-powered tools. He did not achieve the critical mass to compete against the larger factories, such as Gorham, that were turning to power machinery and work with his mark is rarely seen today. He sold custom ordered 'bespoken' items and through other retailers. (See American Silver at Winterthur.) This pitcher was sold by Samuel Crosby, successor to the great Boston maker Obadiah Rich.

It is marked underneath 'S.T. Crosby', 'PURE COIN', Boston', and with Laforme's gothic 'L' and spread eagle marks. This piece measures 9.5 inches high at the handle (8 inches at the rim), weighs 23.1 troy ounces and is in excellent condition.
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