Ewer

1880–90
Gorham Manufacturing Company (active 1865–1961)


Object Place: Providence, Rhode Island, United States

Dimensions

Overall: 33 x 14.4 x 3.2 x 8.9 cm (13 x 5 11/16 x 1 1/4 x 3 1/2 in.) Other: 896 gm

Accession Number

1983.21

Medium or Technique

Patinated copper, silver, ivory

On View

Robert P. and Carol T. Henderson Gallery (Gallery 228)

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Paintings

This oviform copper ewer with tall neck was probably spun in two pieces and then soldered together; the seam is likely hidden under the silver floral die-rolled collar. The top of the narrow neck terminates with a silver reeded band at the rim, surmounted by a hinged ball cover with ball finial. The long spout and handle are seamed; the latter has ivory insulators pinned with silver rods. Applied silver pine boughs with four flying birds grace one side; a dragonfly flies above cattails on the other. The ewer retains much of its original red patina; however, it has lost its red luster on the top of the spout, the neck at the handle joint, lid, and handle.


Gorham, along with Tiffany and Whiting, produced the most innovative designs in the Japanesque style, often executed in mixed metals. This ewer is another outstanding example of the late-nineteenth-century penchant for combining exotic forms to fine effect. In this case, Japanesque decorative elements ornament a vessel of Near Eastern shape popularly known as “Moresque.” Other examples of this design have silver spouts or finials.

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.

Markings

Marked with an elongated anchor in a shaped cartouche / "GORHAM CO. / E40" on base of vessel. Inside of rim is stamped "14."

Provenance

1982, MFA purchased in auction at Christie's, New York

Credit Line

Gift of The Seminarians