Punch Bowl

Maker: Gorham Manufacturing Company (American, 1831–present)

Date: 1901

Geography: Made in Providence, Rhode Island, United States

Culture: American

Medium: Silver and silver gilt

Dimensions: Overall: 12 13/16 x 21 x 15 3/4 in. (32.5 x 53.3 x 40 cm); 223 oz. 15 dwt. (6959.8 g)
Foot: Diam. 9 1/4 in. (23.5 cm)

Classification: Silver

Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Hugh J. Grant, 1974

Accession Number: 1974.214.27


Founded by Jabez Gorham of Providence in 1831, the Gorham Manufacturing Company was one of the best and longest-lived of the American silver manufactories. For much of its history, Gorham produced affordable silver for America's growing middle class, but in the 1890s, in response to the Arts and Crafts movement, it introduced a line of hand-wrought silver with a hammered finish and misty texture. Called Martelé—French for "hammered"—these vessels reflect the sinuous lines and natural motifs characteristic of the Art Nouveau style. On this extraordinary punch bowl, the theme of Night is depicted on one side by poppies (symbolizing sleep), stars, bats, and the crescent moon. On the opposite side, morning glories and butterflies represent Morning.