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Soup Tureen

Not on view

Soup Tureen

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

Date: July 1900
Medium: Silver
Overall: 9 3/8 x 14 3/4 x 10in. (23.8 x 37.5 x 25.4cm)
Markings: on bottom of base impressed: [eagle]/ [lion] [anchor] [G]/ 950-1000 Fine/ B-27-37 (scratched on) Inside edge of foot stamed: 9518 (inside a rectangle)
Inscribed: Monogram "AMB" in center reserve on one side. In art nouveau script.
Credit Line: Museum Purchase
Object number: 2005.2.a-b
Label Text
"It is usual to commence with soup, which [one should] never refuse. . . . When all are seated, send a plate of soup to everyone. Do not ask anyone if they will be helped, as everyone takes it, of course."
An American Lady, True Politeness, 1853.

The Gorham Manufacturing Company marked its goods and kept thorough production records, which survive today at Brown University. From these archives it is known that this tureen is one of twenty-five pieces in the "Fleur-de-lis line" that were made by Gorham for Alice M. Burridge of Boston. A tea and coffee service, entrée dishes, a centerpiece, and candelabra were among the items that completed the Burridge order.

An example of Gorham's Martelé line, this organic outline of the tureen rises from an undulating base. Flowing irises and leaves adorn the body of the tureen and prominent flowers flank the leafy, art nouveau-style script monogram on the front. Sinuous leaves and fluid iris buds grace the top of the tureen, which culminates with a motif of four curving leaves that suggest a blossom.

The name of the silversmith for the tureen, which was completed in July 1900, was not recorded. However, the company records note that the silversmith working in Gorham's PP room (experimental silversmiths' room) labored 85 hours on the form. The tureen was then chased by Ernest W. Regester (1861-1930), who devoted 110 hours to its ornamentation.