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Gorham Figured Old "Paris" Large Sterling Silver Tongs

Gorham Figured Old "Paris" Large Sterling Silver Tongs
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Lengthy at 5", and weighty at 1.7 T. oz., this pair of tongs are heavily ornamented in a way that is reminiscent of the dominant architectural style popular in the period of the piece.

The pattern, "Paris" by Gorham, was issued in 1900, at the crest of the Gilded Age, and reflects the same Beaux Arts design sensibilities that generated, for instance, many of Newport's grandest mansions and innumerable monumental public buildings throughout the country that yet stand as iconic reminders of their time.

These are an old example of the pattern, marked "lion, anchor, G" and "Sterling," and not a later reissue of the line.

The imagery incorporates a woman on a swing, putti, birds, and a columnar structure, all festooned with acanthus leaves and floral sprays.

The grips are like no others. Vaguely talon form, they incorporate much of the same detail as the main pattern, only more densely so, and two of the three legs embody shifting imagery that suggests a dolphin or coi figure.

One arm is lightly engraved with a flowing script "OA" or "CA" monogram.

In flawless condition, the fine elements of the pattern remain remarkably well-defined; they are free of the softening from polishing that this low relief design is subject to. There are no bends or cracks and the overall, slightly gray, finish is warm and even.

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