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Gorham "Old English" aka "Seal Top" Large Coin Silver Serving Spoon

Gorham "Old English" aka "Seal Top" Large Coin Silver Serving Spoon
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Although commonly referred to as "Old English," this pattern is identified in the Gorham archives as "Old English." It follows after an early English pattern that is characterized by a flat disk that surmounts the end of the faceted shank. The disk has a knurled edge, and in this case is engraved with an "E.N.T." monogram.

Almost never marked, it frequently goes unrecognized for what it is, namely coin silver produced by the above maker. Wood & Hughes made a nearly identical pattern with the same c. 1860 date, but that company's pieces are invariably marked "W&H" and thereby readily distinguishable from Gorham's.

These two patterns are discussed in the footnote section of Venable's comprehensive work, Silver in America 1840-1940:A Century of Splendor. In fact, a facsimile of this very spoon appears on the dust jacket and frontispiece of this volume (see illustration 2).

Specifically, this is a commanding, large, 9 3/4" long, weighty, 3.0 T. oz., serving spoon.

The bowl form is unique to Gorham or any other maker. It is generously proportioned, measuring 3 1/2" by 2 1/2" by 3/4" deep. The edge is scalloped while the interior has five, circular, coffered, i.e. sunken, decorative areas.

The interior is extensively engraved in a pattern that compliments the shape of the bowl, and both the front and back sides are finished in a lustrous gold wash.

The piece is in essentially mint condition. Apart from a slight flattened spot that shows only on the backside of the bowl where it rests, there are no signs of use. The engraving remains crisp, the gold is intact, and the overall surface is bright.

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