Gorham lists this model for an ice bowl as no. 125 and it was first introduced on April 15, 1870 at a the manufacturing cost of $81.96. Gorham made several different ice bowls; however, this model was the most popular and best-selling. A spoon and a pair of tongs were also made to be paired with the bowl, although the tongs are much more rare.
The iconography of this bowl and tongs relates to the 1867 purchase of Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million. Also at this time, the Bostonian, Frederic Tudor (1783-1864) developed the technology to harvest, market, and sell ice to an affluent audience. Ice was a luxury, and these bowls provided the perfect accessory. (See: Samuel J. Hough, The Class of 1870: Gorham Sterling Ice Bowls, Silver Magazine, September-October 1989, p.p. 30-33)
An ice bowl and tongs of the same model were sold in these Rooms, January 16, 2003, lots 80 and 81 and other ice bowls in January 18, 2002, lot 265 and June 18, 1998, lot 81. An ice bowl and spoon were also a part of the Collection of Sam Wagstaff, sold Christie's New York, January 20, 1989, lot 86, to the Dallas Museum of Art.