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Pair of Modern American Cocktail Cups Cocktail Cups, 1928–1930

This is a cocktail cups. It was designed by Erik Magnussen and manufactured by Gorham Manufacturing Company. It is dated 1928–1930. Its medium is 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.

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Its dimensions are

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

It has the following markings

Underside of each cup, incuse in inner ring: [1] GORHAM mark [lion, anchor, gothic “G”] [2] STERLING [3] A14083 [4] em [stylized and conjoined]

Cite this object as

Pair of Modern American Cocktail Cups Cocktail Cups, 1928–1930; Designed by Erik Magnussen (Danish, 1884–1961); silver; H x diam. (each): 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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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Pair of Modern American Cocktail Cups Cocktail Cups, 1928–1930 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=28 July 2021 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>