Gorham Manufacturing Company ( American, 1831 )
This tray is part of a line of copperwares made by Gorham between 1881 and 1885. Its design is derived from Japanese art and features pine and cherry branches. The image of the figure on the yak may well have been lifted directly from a Japanese printed source.
Many of the copperwares produced by the firm were masculine in nature, such as smoking sets, inkstands, ale mugs, and loving cups. Evidently the dark brown and red patinas given to these articles were felt to be particularly appropriate for men.
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),176 and 344.
Charles L. Venable, DMA unpublished material.