This rare 19th century sterling silver tea caddy spoon was made by Gorham and features an ornate reticulated handle. The handle has a neoclassical Florentine motif with curvilinear scrolls bearing floral and foliate accents. There is a female figure at the center standing with her arms raised over her head as if grasping the handles of a swing. The handle terminates in a large figural scallop shell with ribbed detail. The bowl of the spoon has a large oval form reminiscent of a stylized clam shell with linear accents where it meets the handle and bears its original gilt wash. The piece has not been monogrammed.
The spoon is in excellent original condition with no removals or repairs and has not been buffed. The decoration has not been over rubbed and remains well defined. As an antique item, the spoon shows appropriate signs of age consisting of light scratching to the back of the bowl and wear to the gilt wash which are mentioned for accuracy. The piece bears Gorham's three part mark along with the word "STERLING" and design number "450". The spoon measures 4.5" in length while the handle is 1.25" wide. The bowl of the spoon is 2.5" across. The piece weighs in at 43 grams.
This Gorham tea caddy spoon displays beautifully and would be a fantastic addition to a collection of antique silver. A lovely and useful piece by a highly regarded maker.
Gorham was founded in 1831 by Providence, Rhode Island based silversmith Jabez Gorham and his business partner, Henry Webster. Jabez Gorham's' son John succeeded him as head of the company in 1847, and his efforts to incorporate innovative production techniques while simultaneously expanding the company's product range propelled Gorham to great achievement. Gorham went on to become an influential player within the burgeoning 19th century American silver industry and counted First Ladies Mary Todd Lincoln and Julia Grant among its well heeled clients.
Antique Gorham Sterling Silver Tea Caddy Spoon with Reticulated Shell Motif Handle