"Narragansett" Berry Spoon
Gorham Manufacturing Company ( American, 1831 )
- c. 1885
In June of 1884, the Gorham Manufacturing Company introduced one of its most lavish flatware patterns ever - "Narragansett." Named after the bay in southeastern New England, this pattern is in the Japanese taste consisting of dozens of shells, sea creatures and pearls soldered together. Each shell was cast from a natural specimen. The design is so detailed that some shells contain grains of silver sand, as if they had just washed up on the beech. As with most of their elaborate flatware, Gorham only made pieces in the "Narragansett" pattern for serving, not as complete table settings. This pattern was available as a fish knife and fork, salad fork and spoon, oyster fork, sugar spoon, jelly spoon, berry spoon, soup ladle, and gravy ladle. A variety of finishes was also available. While this example is completely gilded, examples in a Dallas private collection are only partially gilded with large areas of silver exposed. The gift of this spoon to the DMA is of great importance to our flatware collection. Only the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, owns an example of this pattern.