Boxed Gorham "New Tipt" Sterling Pea Spoon, Mint
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While the appellation "New Tipt" would imply a plain, unembellished, design, Gorham's pattern that bears this name does not follow this assumption.
It is quite detailed, trending toward an Egyptian Revival style. The lower portion of the handle is tubular, with beaded margins on either end. The broadened end features a pair of flanking leaves, possibly lotus, and an array of grassy elements set against a stippled ground.
This item is a rare, 8 5/8" long, 2.1 T. oz., pea or ice spoon with its original presentation box. It has a highly decorative, pierced bowl with notched shoulders and a pointed end. The design of the piercing mirrors that of the pattern itself.
The top of the blue satin lined box is inscribed "Katie Porter Chaffin." in period gold lettering. The end of the spoon handle is engraved "KPC" in a handsome period monogram, so the pairing between box and server is clearly original.
A search on the internet yields the following biographical detail about this woman, "b. March 22, 1852, at Davenport, Mass.; daughter of Aaron W. and Katherine K. (Shattuck) Chaffin," married Miles Newton (b. Aug. 8, 1844, Berlin, Erie County, Ohio) Reed Aug. 26, 1874. Given the wedding date and the 1871 year of issue for this design, this was likely a wedding gift, or one in anticipation of a wedding.
Both the item and the box are in outstanding condition. There is no pattern wear on the spoon, nor any dings, nicks, or breaks in the piercing, and the finish is lustrous. The hinge and latches on the box are intact, the lining is without tears or fading, and the leather is free of scuffing.
The spoon is marked with the Gorham lion, anchor, G, and the words "Patent 1871.", and "Sterling."