Magnificent, Marvelous Martelé: American Art Nouveau Silver : the Jolie and Robert Shelton Collection

Front Cover
New Orleans Museum of Art, 2001 - Antiques & Collectibles - 522 pages
The Martcle line of handwrought silver in the Art Nouveau style by the Gorham Manufacturing Company is justly regarded as a major expression of that style on this side of the Artlantie Ocean. Officially introdticed at the intluential Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900. Martele silver was widely admired, and was awarded a Grand Prix and many gold medals. The excitement created then by the new artistie line of Martele silver has been rekindled by this premiere exhibition of nearly three hundred works from the collection of Jolie and Robert Shelton. The mammoth and highly regarded Gorham Company developed from a small rewelry manufactory founded by Jabez Gorham (1792-1869) in Providence, Rhode Island, to the world's largest producer of sterling silver wares. In the process of this growth, the company Jistinguished itself by successfully combining new technological advances in the industry with exemplary design. So successful was Gorham in the closing years of the nineteenth century that it could devote considerable time, money and expertise to create an art line of hollowware produced entirely by hand. The new line in the latest cutting-edge taste departed dramatically from Gorham's flourishing line of machine-made commercial that and hollowwares. It was named Martele, from the French verb murteler. "the hammer." The line probably never would have come into existence without the driving influence and vision of two men, Gorham's energetic chief executive. Edward Holbrook (1849-1919) and its chief designer William Christmas Codman (1839-1923). To connoisseurs of silver, Codman is justly renowned for the development of the lavish Martele line, starting with designs in 1896 and commencing a limited production in 1897.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


by John Webster Keefe
The Chasers of Martele Silver
by Samuel J Hough

6 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2001)

John Webster Keefe is the RosaMary Foundation Curator of the Decorative Arts at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

Samuel J. Hough, a distinguished antiquarian bookseller at The Owl at the Bridge in Cranston, Rhode Island, is credited with saving the Gorham archives and preserving them at the John Hay Library of Brown University.

Bibliographic information