Maker: Gorham Manufacturing Company (American, 1831–present)
Geography: Made in Providence, Rhode Island, United States
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)
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Hugh J. Grant, 1974
Accession Number: 1974.214.27
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.