Sterling Silver Punch Bowl, early 20th century
Gift of Michael D. Coe in 2012
This striking punch bowl with deer antlers is a style of ornamental silver that became prevalent in high quality production during the late 19th century. It is representative of a type of sought after bowl made to celebrate successful hunting expeditions. In Europe and America hunting deer, bears and game birds, became an increasingly prevalent leisure pastime or the wealthy. In the U.S. hunting was pursued nationwide. In New York the Adirondacks was a place for extensive hunting expeditions by well-to-do New Yorkers, but the Coe family mostly hunted in Wyoming where William R. Coe and his wife Mai Coe owned over 200,000 acres. They also hunted in Virginia and the Carolinas.
American silver companies like Gorham, Tiffany, and Shreve, Crump & Low were famous for their fine ornamental silver. Though the Planting Fields bowl has no identification mark of a specific maker, it is likely that it is an early 20th century American design. The late 19th century cup below made by Shreve, Crump & Low is one example of similar works being produced during this period.
Today, antler décor has been experiencing a resurgence in popularity, and antler horns and deer related themes are once again being featured as decorative objects for the home. Dining wares, chandeliers, pillows and furniture sold for the mass market are showing antlers and natural history inspired themes to be enjoyed by all.
Silver cup, late 19th century by Shreve, Crump & Low
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