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Large Gorham 1880 Sterling Silver Mug with Notable Provenance

Large Gorham 1880 Sterling Silver Mug with Notable Provenance
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Model number "1907," as imprinted on the underside, along with Gorham's "lion, anchor, G" emblem, "Sterling," and a date letter for "1880," this mug is large and exceptionally attractive. Furthermore, it references significant historicity in its inscription.

It stands 3 5/8" tall, has a diameter of 2 7/8", a maximum span of 4 3/8" to the end of the handle, and weighs just under 6.0 T. oz.

The body is plain walled and has a satin finish on the upper section, while the lower portion has a 1 1/2" wide band that is densely chased in a handsome wild rose blossom and leaf design that very closely resembles Gorham's "Cluny" pattern of the same period.

The flat-topped, hollow handle is large and has a block form with a rosette at the join between its vertical and horizontal portions.

The inscription evokes a rich story, reading, "Charles Boyden Jr., from his Aunt, FCA."

Charles Boyden Jr.'s biography is well-documented and describes a life that followed after that of a Boston Brahmin of his time.

While his father died shortly after his birth on February 19, 1880, his mother was of sufficient means to purchase a series of properties in Boston's now historic Back Bay (see backbayhouses.org for an architectural history of this area), and see him through Harvard University, from which he graduated in 1901. He worked in finance, married, was a member of the legendary Somerset Club in Boston, and was buried upon his death in 1960 in Mt. Auburn Cemetery, now a National Historic Landmark District.

That would seem to be the end of the tale, save for the portion of the inscription that reads "from his Aunt, FCA."

Research reveals that Boyden's mother, Cora, was born a "Crowinshield," again a name long associated with Boston society. Cora had a sister, "Fanny Crowinshield," who married John Quincy Adams Jr., hence the "FCA." Her husband was the grandson and namesake of the sixth President of the United States, linking Charles, through his mother's sister's marriage, to Presidential lineage tracing back to the earliest decades of the Republic.

This presents in very fine condition. It remains round and flat bottomed, without any dents, although there are two shallow creases on the body, and a number of small divots on the edge of the lower rim. The chasing is well-defined, without polishing wear, and the engraving is crisp. The handle is absent splits, dents, or bends. The overall finish is even.

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