Tripod bowl

designed about 1928
Designed by Erik Magnussen (Danish (active in the United States), 1884–1961), For Gorham Manufacturing Company (active 1865–1961)

Object Place: Providence, Rhode Island, United States


Overall: 9.3 x 11.2 cm (3 11/16 x 4 7/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Silver with gilt interior

Not On View


Americas, Europe


Silver hollowware

The wide spun bowl has a gilded interior and is stamped with a scored rim. The bowl is supported on the backs of three stamped two-dimensional giraffes. The giraffes are balanced on small spheres with collars, which in turn stand on a flat ring. The bowl has a flat, doughnut-shaped base. The bowl has a scored rim, three lobes, and a circular center.

The giraffes that serve as tripod supports for this petite candy dish were among a menagerie of designs that Erik Magnussen created for Gorham. Storks, deer, and pelicans are but three of the many animals the artist included in similar designs that Gorham put into production sometime in 1928. All featured a circular ring-shaped base. The pelican version, which included an agate ball beneath each of the three feet, cost $43.34 to produce and retailed at $75.

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.


Shaded, sans serif initials "M [pellet] W" are engraved on surface of circular foot.


Base is stamped, incuse, with "GORHAM" in roman letters; "EM." monogram; [lion passant] [anchor] [gothic letter "G"] / 62 / "STERLING" in sans serif lettering.


1986, purchased John Axelrod, Boston, Mass., from Historical Design, Inc., New York City, October 17, 1986; 1999, given by Axelrod to the MFA.

Credit Line

The John Axelrod Collection