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Ice Bowl

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Ice Bowl

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

Date: c. 1870
Medium: Silver (30 oz.)
Overall: 11 1/4in. (28.6cm)
Inscribed: "[3 Gorham marks]/125/Sterling/ 58 No# [Scrafito] 6"
Credit Line: Museum Purchase by exchange in part with funds from the Sarah T. Norris Estate Bequest and Mrs. James L. Lowery
Object number: 2002.3
Label Text
During the nineteenth century, American entrepreneurs developed the technology to harvest, ship, and store ice, making it readily available to consumers. As a result, the use of ice at the table, and the making of ice cream, grew in popularity. Silver manufacturers responded by marketing suitable tablewares. The form of this bowl-an iceberg with two polar bears-expresses its use and reflects contemporary interest in Acrtic exploration. American artists, such as Frederic Church, embraced Arctic subject matter traveling to areas such as Labrador and Newfoundland in the late 1850s. In 1867 the United States government purchased Alaska from Russia, introducing new subject matter for artist-explorers.

Gorham introduced this bowl model (no. 125) on April 15, 1870 at the manufacturing cost of $81.96.