"Bird's Nest" Pattern Serving Spoon
Gorham Manufacturing Company ( American, 1831 )
- designed 1869
Following the opening of Japan to Western trade in the 1850s, Europeans and Americans became increasingly enamored of Japanese art and design, especially in the medium of metalwork. Inspired by the naturalism found in many imported Japanese products, American firms produced silverware well into the 1890s that relied totally on natural forms for its decoration like this spoon by Gorham Manufacturing Company. Gorham, perhaps more than others, excelled at naturalistic trompe l'oeil work.
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), 191, 327, 345, and 346.