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Coffee Pot

Maker: Gorham
Material: Sterling Silver
Size: Height - 13", Width - 9 1/2"
Marks: Lion (facing right), Anchor G
41/3 (model number 41, most likely 3rd in the set)
Year: 1861-1867
2013.05.02 Gift from Elsie Landis Quigley

Adelicia purchased this sterling silver coffee pot as part of a set which is known to have contained a tea pot, creamer and sugar bowl. These ancillary pieces survive with other descendants. Stylistic features of this piece would suggest Adelicia made this purchase in New York City either before or after her European Grand tour in 1865-66. The engraving of the name Acklen on the coffee pot helps date this purchase prior to June of 1867, when Adelicia married Dr. William Archer Cheatham in June of 1867.

Adelicia’s coffee pot is in the latest fashion of the post-Civil War period, the Neo-Grec style. This classical style was first made popular by the French Court of the Second Empire where Adelicia was presented to Napoleon III at the Tuileries Palace. Neo-Grec styling first became popular in the early 1860s as a rebellion against the Rococo Revival style, so popular in previous decades.

Use of the urn form in silver first begins in the neo-classical period at the end of the eighteenth century. This shape was primarily utilized in pots such as this, creamers, and sugar bowls. Primary decoration of this coffee pot consists of an engraved band of anthemion encircling the body. This type of one dimensional decoration was also popular on furniture and other decorative objects. Primary among the decorative elements of the pot are three concentric applied bands of Greek key design, which is also present on both the handle and spout. A prominent profile bust medallion decorates each side of the coffee pot. Such design were often found on flatware and serving piece of the period.

This coffee pot was manufactured by Gorham, America’s leading silver company of the time, founded in 1831 by Jabez Gorham, as Gorham & Webster and operated under variations of the name until 1981. Gorham was the leading manufacturer of silver services throughout the last half of the nineteenth century.

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