Art Nouveau Silver Bowl, 1905. View and detail of enamel peacock feathers. Photos by S. Butlin.

Art Nouveau Silver Bowl with Peacock Feather Decoration
Artist: Unknown
Date: 1905
Created: Inscribed on base “Athenic, Sterling.” Athenic is the pattern name of an art nouveau style line made by Gorham, an American silver manufacturing company who, in 1905 had a retail outlet on Fifth Ave., in New York City and an international clientele.
Medium: silver, copper, with enamel decoration.
Dimensions: 44 x 20 cm.
Engraved on base, “Geo. C. Gibbons Esq. K.C. In appreciation of many services to the Liberal Party. Xmas 1905”

This bowl was a presentation gift in 1905 from the Liberal Party of Canada to George Gibbons (1848 -1918) who served as Chairman of the Canadian section of the International Waterways Commission from 1905-1911. Gibbons was the father of Lorna C. Gibbons Harris who married Ronald Harris in 1908 and came to live at Eldon House. The large silver bowl is of high quality and the word ‘Athenic’ is marked on the base. ‘Athenic’ is the pattern name of an art nouveau line by the Gorham Company, an American silver company.  The most characteristic theme of art nouveau, a decorative style popular in western Europe and North America around 1900, is the use of sinuous asymmetrical lines based on plant forms. The bowl shape is irregular and curving and is embellished with an undulating pattern of peacock feathers. The handles are made of copper overlaid with blue-green enamel.