Immaculate Gorham Figural "Paris" Sterling Silver Cold Meat Fork
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An extravagant design, Gorham's "Paris" portrays an array of emblematic imagery.
These include figures such as a standing woman with an arc of stars around her head and a banner reading "Genovepha Parisis," and a pair of cherubs flanking the top front of the handle.
City landmarks are represented by a rendering of the full façade of "Notre Dame," while other, more generic, symbols include a wooden ship powered by sail and oars, birds with raised wings, acanthus, ivy, and laurel leaves, floral clusters and swags, and even a shell.
All of the preceding is artfully proportioned and of a sculptural quality, essentially raised relief. To be sure, the scale of this 8 1/2" long, heavy, nearly 3.1 T. oz., large cold meat fork accommodates the intricacies of this pattern to advantage.
It is without a monogram or removal of same.
"Paris" is readily subject to loss of detail from polishing and normal wear. This is an exceptional example in that is it completely free of any such wear, meaning the imagery remains precisely defined, with a clarity that just is not found in old pieces of this design.
Apart from several dulled spots (where tarnish was polished away) in the heel of the bowl, and one nick of the handle backside (probably a gross gesture to check it for silver content), the piece is in mint condition.
Marks include Gorham's "lion, anchor, G" emblem, "Sterling," "Pat. 1901," and "B.B. & B. Co.," for Philadelphia's Bailey, Banks & Biddle Company.