Coffee urn

Object Number: 
1920.18ef
Date: 
1874
Medium: 
Silver, ivory, gilt
Dimensions: 
Overall: 10 3/8 x 11 1/2 x 9 7/8 in. ( 26.4 x 29.2 x 25.1 cm ) Silver Weight: 49 oz (troy) 5 dwt (1531 g)
Marks: 
stamped: on base: "STERLING" above a lion passant in a chamfered rectangle, an anchor in a rectangle and a "G" in gothic script in a chamfered rectangle over "690/ G" engraved: on front: overlapping, "J/ R"
Description: 
Spun and cast silver coffee urn in the Egyptian style with gilt decoration; matte-finished, circular urn-shaped body with a squared shoulder, a narrow cylindrical neck and a flared, applied, molded rim; matte-finished, low domed lid, incurved at the edge and surmounted by a gilt winged sphinx finial; two squared strap handles with cast, gilt female heads with acanthus leaf crowns on the sides; base of the handles are spear-headed; tops of handles attach to the shoulder with split scrolled flanges; applied, cast, gilt pharaoh's heads between floral scrolls at the shoulder on the front and back; molded circular pedestal with four rectangular notches sits into the stand; cylindrical spigot applied to the lower front with matte cartouches on the sides and cast flowers in ovals below the tap; gilt, pharaoh's bust spigot finial screwed over an ivory insulator into a octagonal beaded tap with two ovoid grips at the sides; engraved, "J/ R" overlapping, above the spigot; maker's marks on the base.
Gallery Label: 
This coffee urn was part of a tea and coffee serviced presented to John Roach (1815-1887) on April 30, 1874 at a lavish gentlemen's dinner held at Delmonico's restaurant in New York City. Honored by eighty-two businessmen for "all he had done to revive American shipbuilding," Roach was regarded as a champion of the industry and its workers. The Roach presentation received extensive attention in contemporary newspapers. The New York Times described it as "a magnificent collection of plate, worthy in every way of the high reputation of the Gorham Manufacturing Company." Made in the years following Gorham's expansion, the service required the work of numerous specialist craftsmen with its construction taking more than sixty-four hours to complete.
Credit Line: 
Gift of the Children and Grandchildren of John Roach
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group