About This Artwork

Gorham Manufacturing Company
American, founded 1831
Providence, Rhode Island

Tureen, 1883

23.5 x 21.6 x 26.7 cm (9 1/4 x 8 1/2 x 10 1/2 in.); 1524 g
Engraved on rim: "Ida Macdonald October 24th 1883"/marked on base: "290"

Mary Swissler Oldberg Fund, 2016.48

This masterful tureen exemplifies the highly imaginative and technically advanced hollowware that made Gorham one of the leading silver manufacturers in the 19th century. In 1869 the firm was the first major American silver company to introduce Japanese-inspired designs into their product line, ahead of their competitors Tiffany and Company. This vessel features interpretations of Asian motifs, likely drawn from print sources: giant carp and a turtle, articulated in deep relief, thrash in violent waters, while the undulating body of the tureen itself suggests the movement of the sea.

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Publication History

Judith A. Barter, Elizabeth McGoey, et al, "American Silver in the Art Institute of Chicago" (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016) cat. 62 (ill.).

Ownership History

With Sotheby's, 2016, lot 1209; sold to the Art Institute, 2016.

Interpretive Resources

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