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Fish Service

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Fish Service

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

Date: c. 1884
Medium: Silver
Overall: 8 3/4in. (22.2cm), fork
Overall: 12in. (30.5cm), slice
Markings: Both with impressed mark: "[Gorham hallmark of lion, anchor G] / STERLING"
Inscribed: Monogram on reverse of fork: "JN"
Credit Line: Museum Purchase
Object number: 2003.9.1-2
Label Text
Sea life inspired the Gorham artisans who introduced the naturalistic pattern Narragansett in 1884; it was produced in limited quantities. Cattails, limpets, spiral sea snail shells, corded dove shells, seaweed, and even grains of sand are featured in the pattern. A long, narrow blade of sea grass coils around this collection of sea life. The fish fork is in the shape of a three-pronged trident with an unusual pierced middle tine. In Greek mythology Poseidon, the god of the sea carries a trident. The fish slice is in the shape of the thin shell of a steamer clam.

The name Narragansett has two associations in Rhode Island. The Narragansett were a tribe of Native Americans which was part of the Algonquin family. Located in south-eastern Rhode Island, Narragansett Bay is an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean.