The rare Cairo (originally Curio) Pattern was introduced by Gorham in 1879 and is associated with flatware. To date, these vases and the bell in the following lot are the only known examples of Cairo applied to holloware. Both Gorham and Tiffany adopted mixed metal techniques inspired by Japanese metalwork in the late 1870s, although the process of fusing copper, gold and brass speckles to silver remains unclear. Cairo pattern was expensive to manufacture and was probably produced in limited quantities. Its absence from the Gorham catalogue the year after its introduction is indicative of its short life span. For a discussion of Cairo pattern and examples of flatware, see William P. Hood Jr., et al, "That Curious Cairo Pattern," Silver Magazine, September/October 2002, pp. 26-31.