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Flatware Set (for Twelve)

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Flatware Set (for Twelve)

Maker: Gorham Manufacturing Company (active Providence, Rhode Island, 1831-present)

Date: c. 1890
Medium: Sterling silver
Overall: 3 x 24 3/4 x 17 1/2in. (7.6 x 62.9 x 44.5cm)
Markings: Impressed on all of the pieces except butter knives, Gorham hallmarks: "GORHAM/ [LION] [ANCHOR] / 6/ STERLING" Butter knives impressed with Gorham hallmarks: "[LION] [ANCHOR] [6] / STERLING" on blade and engraved "N B JOSEPH" on handle
Inscribed: "L" engraved on back of all pieces except butter knives.
Credit Line: Gift of Marion E. Holbrook in Memory of Horace Norton Holbrook
Object number:
Label Text
Economic growth along with developments in machine technology during the second half of the nineteenth century made silver plate and sterling silver more affordable to middle class consumers. A complete, formal, matching silver service could consist of dozens of forms ranging from strawberry forks to salt spoons. A more moderate service included serving utensils and luncheon and dinner knives, forks, and spoons.

This flatware service for twelve is decorated with a bright-cut pattern of stylized foliage and wheat. When used in reference to silver motifs, bright or brilliant cut describes a design created when a silversmith uses engraving tools to cut away metal to form a faceted pattern that increases the reflected light on the surface of the metal so that it seems to sparkle.