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Martele Silver Coffee Service

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Martele Silver Coffee Service

- Item No.

This incredibly rare, hand-made silver Gorham coffee service displays the stunning Martelé pattern

Key Features

  • The stunning sterling coffee service embodies the very best of Gorham silver
  • Each piece has the signature hand-hammered, organic Art Nouveau motif of Martelé
  • Only about 1,500 works of Martelé are still in existence
  • This rare four-piece service required an astounding 356 hours to craft

Item Details

  • Period:
  • Origin:
In 1891, the Gorham Company hired William C. Codman to serve as chief designer and, under his direction, they introduced a line of hand-wrought silver that would take the world by storm. The lavish new line was dubbed Martelé, meaning "to hammer" in French. They introduced the line in 1900 at the Paris Exposition Universelle where it was met with critical acclaim. This rare four-piece Martelé sterling coffee service by Gorham, according to factory records, required an amazing 356 hours to craft. Inspired by the Art Nouveau movement, Martelé silver became the crowning achievement for a company already rich with the rewards of their work. Martelé pieces were very labor intensive, entirely hand-crafted by only the finest smiths at the Gorham Company, and were made in very limited quantities. Examples of superior Martelé continue to be among the most highly collected silver in the world.

Dated 1912

Tray: 21 1/4" wide x 14 1/2" deep
 Coffee pot: 10 1/2" high

The service is described as follows in Martelé: Gorham's Art Nouveau Silver by Larry J. Pristo, page 444:
The three hollow pieces were all formed by Henry J. Barker, who required 64, 24 and 30 hours respectively for the coffee pot, sugar bowl and creamer. They then received what the company work order slip calls 'thorn apple' decoration. William Thompson spent just over 88 hours on the coffee pot, Emil Stursberg 40 hours on the sugar bowl, and Karl Wendt 33 1/2 hours on the creamer. William Thompson also decorated the tray for 77 hours, after it was formed by John M. Sorum. The tray slip is dated March 16, 1912, the other pieces April 13th of that year."

Magnificent, Marvelous Martelé: American Art Nouveau Silver from the Jolie and Robert Shelton Collection, 2001, John Keefe and Samuel Hough

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Price: $58,500
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