George Paulding Farnham

Ptarmigan Vase

c. 1900-1903
The vibrant surface of this mokume piece results from the bonding of 18 layers of metal. Form and ornamentation are rich in meaning. The shape of the vase evokes the basketry and pottery produced by Aboriginal North Americans, and this influence is also evident in several of the decorative motifs. The solid gold seal adoring the front bears the British Columbia coat of arms adopted in 1895. The Latin cross immediately beneath is a surveying symbol that indicates the latitude and longitude where the Ptarmigan Mines and Mount Farnham (named for the designer) are situated. The realistic figure of the golden-eyed silver bird is a celebration of the local fauna, the ptarmigan being a type of grouse found in Western Canada.
Title
Ptarmigan Vase
Date
c. 1900-1903
Medium
Decorative Arts
Materials
copper, silver, and gold
Dimensions
63.5 cm high
Nationality
American
Credit line
Purchased 2011 with the assistance of a grant from the Government of Canada under the terms of the Cultural Property Export and Import Act
Accession number
43265