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Author Topic:   A very minor discovery

Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 10-03-2000 10:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As a collector, I have been blessed (cursed?) with a number of different pieces in Gorham's Empress pattern. This pattern, patented in 1880, has always struck me as very Egyptian-revival in feel, with one exception: it has a goofy little spray of flowers in a semicircle at the top of the handle. These flowers hit me as a stylistic dud. The rest of the pattern is very geometric, and even presages Art Deco in places. The flowers just don't fit; they look like an afterthought, or the work of a committee.

At any rate, I was looking at my Empress today and realized that the flowers are actually a variable motif! On the four pieces I have, there are three different flower arrangements. I believe this was done on purpose, much like Tiffany's Olympian or Renaissance. I had never looked at the flowers closely enough to notice the differences among the pieces. Has anyone else noted this before? Is Empress recorded as a variable-motif pattern? Have I made a discovery or not?

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