Gorham Manufacturing Company ( American, 1831 )
- c. 1875
During the 19th century, high tea was a daily ritual of many wealthy Americans and a symbol of feminine domesticity and hospitality. At its most lavish, the ritual required not only tea services, but also elaborate tea flatware sets. The innovative pattern (no. 285) of this knife, and the set it belongs to, was available only in specialty flatware. Other items included an ice cream knife, a fish fork and knife, a nut spoon and pick, and a melon knife and fork, forms that attest to the specialization of silverware precipitated by the introduction of new foods into the American diet.
Charles L. Venable, Silver in America, 1840-1940: A Century of Splendor (Dallas, Texas: Dallas Museum of Art; New York, New York; Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1994), 128, 130, 337.