Isis fish fork

MAKER:
Manufacturer

Gorham Manufacturing Company ( American, 1831 )


Designer

George Wilkinson ( American, 1819 - 1894 )


Retailer

William Wilson McGrew ( American )

DATE:
c. 1871
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General Description

While designers on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean produced objects in the Egyptian Revival taste, American silversmiths favored simpler forms and more selective application of Egyptian motifs than their European counterparts. Gorham Manufacturing Company's Isis fish set, attributed to its chief designer George Wilkinson, demonstrates the American version of the style. Stylized lotuses engraved and bright-cut on the blade of the matching fish knife (1992.7.12.1) and pierced on the bowl of this fish fork contrast with rectangular grips and conical finials that terminate the bold handles.

Adapted from

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), 64, 331.

Fun Facts

  • The original leather box, labeled WM. WILSON MCGREW / JEWELLER / & / SILVERSMITH / CINCINNATI, survives for this example.

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