Punch Bowl

Gorham Manufacturing Company American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 706

In the late 1890s, inspired by the ideals of England’s Arts and Crafts movement, Gorham introduced a new line of art silver called Martelé from the French term for "hammered." Its higher silver content (95 percent as opposed to sterling’s 92.5 percent) produced a softer, more malleable metal, which could be hammered into organic forms. The fluid character of Martelé also parallels the contemporary Art Nouveau style. On this massive Martelé punch bowl, night is represented by poppies—symbols of sleep—and by stars, the crescent moon, and bats on a garland held by two female figures. Morning glories and butterflies, chased in high relief on the opposite side, signify morning.

Punch Bowl, Gorham Manufacturing Company (American, Providence, Rhode Island, 1831–present), Silver and silver gilt, American

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