"Morning Glory" Ladle

about 1871
Gorham Manufacturing Company (active 1865–1961)

Object Place: Providence, Rhode Island, United States


33.3 x 9.5 x 7.5 cm (13 1/8 x 3 3/4 x 2 15/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View




Silver flatware

This large soup or punch ladle in the Morning Glory pattern has a slender reeded handle terminating in a morning glory flower set against three pointed veined leaves, with vinelike tendrils wrapped around the foliate support. At the handle base, reeds are clustered above the stamped bowl. A cluster of ivylike leaves are soldered above a lobed bowl, with three scalloped channels for pouring.

The Morning Glory pattern was patented in 1871, during the 1868 – 1877 tenure of Paris-trained Thomas Pairpoint as Gorham’s head designer. Although an example of Gorham’s production work and a traditional form in silver flatware, this ladle illustrates the nineteenth-century drive to domesticate nature. The vining morning glory grew wild but was commonly trained to climb a fence or trellis in a household garden. On this utensil, silver replicas of the flower are brought indoors to embellish the table of a dining room, where an oak or mahogany sideboard may have also been decorated with realistically carved game, fish, or other fauna or flora.

This text has been adapted from “Silver of the Americas, 1600-2000,” edited by Jeannine Falino and Gerald W.R. Ward, published in 2008 by the MFA. Complete references can be found in that publication.




Marked incuse [lion passant] [anchor] [G] / STERLING on outside of bowl below lip.


Early history unknown. Acquired by Stephen Vaughan of Boston about 1980 and made a gift to the Museum in 1997.

Credit Line

Gift of V. Stephen Vaughan in memory of Robert E. Cleaves