Streaming Media

Additional Streaming Media



Download Transcript (146 KB)

Download Williams speaks about this Lady's Writing Table and Chair. (2.2 MB)

Download Blanc speaks about this Lady's writing Table and Chair. (1.2 MB)


Commanding as much attention now as when they debuted at the 1904 World’s Fair, this writing table and chair were conceived as showstoppers in a crowd of stunning objects made by Gorham’s competitors. More than 10,000 hours of labor, 47.5 pounds of silver, and a panoply of exotic materials make up this unique set, which deftly melds sinuous European Art Nouveau floral and figural motifs, 18th-century French Rococo forms, and traditional Hispano-Moresque designs. Intricately wrought symbolism—seen in the daytime poppies and the night owl below the mirror and the decoration of the legs, each representing one of the four seasons, with female masks surrounded by lilies, roses, chrysanthemums, and pine cones—attest to the complexity of Gorham’s design, which brought them the grand prize in silversmithing. 1903

Publication Date



RISD Museum


Providence, Rhode Island


Rhode Island School of Design Museum; table; chair; silver; sliversmithing; floral motifs; French Rococo, Hispano-Moresque


Industrial and Product Design

Lady’s Writing Table and Chair



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.