Napkin ring (part of child's set)

about 1873
Possibly by Gorham Manufacturing Company (active 1865–1961)


Object Place: Providence, Rhode Island, United States

Dimensions

Overall: 4 x 4.5 cm, 0.08 kg (1 9/16 x 1 3/4 in., 0.18 lb.)

Accession Number

1991.784

Medium or Technique

Silver

Not On View

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Silver hollowware

The napkin ring is a seamed silver cylinder with mechanically produced bright-cut-style ornament.


Silver spoons, cups, and bells had long been traditional presentation gifts for children. By the last quarter of the 1800s, children’s ware had become a special category for silver manufacturers and was often featured in special sections of company catalogues, which offered a variety of individual pieces as well as matching boxed sets. This Gothic-revival silver cup by Gorham and its related but unmatched and unmarked napkin ring (possibly by Gorham) have been personalized with inscriptions that allude to the tender affection and regard for their young recipient.

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.

Inscription

"Fred" (exterior) in gothic-styled lettering and "From Uncle Fred" (interior) in script..

Markings

No marks but associated with the Winslow family's Gorham child's cup.

Provenance

Given to Dr. Frederick Bradley Winslow (1873 – 1937), son of Walter and Sarah Louisa (Sears) Winslow at his christening (Dec. 25, 1873), by his paternal uncle Frederick Winslow. The set descended to the recipient’s son Frederick Winslow of Wollaston, Massachusetts, the donor.

Credit Line

Gift of Frederick Winslow in memory of his father Dr. Frederick Winslow