Ewer and Plateau
Gorham Manufacturing Company American
Retailer Spaulding and Company American
This magnificent ewer and plateau, hand hammered into undulating forms and decorated in repoussé with swirling waves, plants, and female figures, recall Dutch Mannerist silver of the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The soft, misty finish was achieved by hammering. The ensemble was retailed by Spaulding and Company, a Gorham affiliate based in Chicago. A closely related set was exhibited in 1900 at the Exposition Universelle in Paris.
"Martelé" was a term applied to a line of art silver introduced in 1900 by Gorham. It was considered the finest expression of the Art Nouveau style in America. The ewer and plateau, hand-hammered into undulating forms and decorated in repoussé with swirling waves, plants, and female figures, are particularly successful examples of Martelé silver.