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Modern American Pair Of Cocktail Cups, 1928–1930

This is a Pair of cocktail cups. It is dated 1928–1930. Its medium is sterling silver. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

In 1928 Gorham hired the Danish silversmith Erik Magnussen to develop modern designs in order to update their existing traditional offerings. Although when Gorham hired Magnussen he was little-known, the manufacturer presented him to the American public on a national tour to lecture, demonstrate silversmithing, and publicize the possibilities of modernism in American silver manufacture. Here Gorham was capitalizing on the trope of industrial design to emphasize the face behind the name and in this case, the designer behind the finished products. These cocktail cups belong to the Modern American line, Magnussen’s second line of designs for Gorham. The range included flatware, candlesticks, plates, and a range of hollowware. These cups went to a larger matched set of a cocktail service. The cups lack any added decoration and instead their visual interest is found in the severity of their form. Although designed for serial production, the line was never made in large quantities.

This object was donated by George R. Kravis II. It is credited Gift of George R. Kravis II.

Our curators have highlighted 5 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

  • Book, The Savoy Cocktail Book, 1930
  • printed paperboard binding, gilt-lettered cloth spine.
  • Smithsonian Libraries, Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Library, TX951.C76 1930.
  • 43.2016.17
  • Cubic Coffee Service, 1927
  • silver with gilding and ivory.
  • Lent by Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, The Gorham Collection.....
  • 51.2016.1a/d

Its dimensions are

H x diam.: 13.3 × 10.2 cm (5 1/4 in. × 4 in.)

It has the following markings

“GORHAM [lion, anchor, gothic “G”]/ STERLING/A14083/ “em" [stylized and conjoined], incuse around inner ring of underside of each cocktail cup

Cite this object as

Modern American Pair Of Cocktail Cups, 1928–1930; sterling silver; H x diam.: 13.3 × 10.2 cm (5 1/4 in. × 4 in.); Gift of George R. Kravis II; 2018-22-26-a,b

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Modern American Pair Of Cocktail Cups, 1928–1930 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=12 August 2020 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>