Gorham No. 588 Sterling Cast Figural Bonbonniere
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Bonbonnieres are bonbon spoons set large. In some instances, the size exceeds 10" long and that alone makes them commanding pieces. Add to that intricacy of design and the net effect can be quite compelling.
The form was popular in the late 19th century, and no company was more successful in producing impressive examples than Gorham. This example is model number 588 offered by that company.
It is medium-sized, measuring 6 1/8" long, has a bowl that is roughly 2 3/4" in diameter, and weighs just under 2.0 T. oz.
It is cast rather than die struck, as these forms generally were. The benefits of casting were that it allowed for the introduction of intricate detail and supported greater contouring of the form than would otherwise be possible.
The design on this features a number of elements including three figures. Two of these are profiles of winged, youthful cherubs, one on each shoulder of the pierced and gold vermeil bowl. One is a male and the other a female. The third figure appears at the top of the handle and appears to be a classical female image.
The lower center of the bowl shows an urn full of an array of flowers. There are all manner of additional elements that in their sum contribute to a lavish overall net effect. The backside of the piece is plain, save for the marks.
The condition is mint. The are no signs of damage or wear whatsoever.