Our illustrated guide highlights the subtle ways you can discover the origins of any piece of silver. One of the most common inquiries at antique shows often has to do with authenticity: How do you know whether or not something is made of real silver? Collectors aren’t always looking for pure sterling silver , per se, but they should be able to know the value and composition of the pieces they’re buying. Most of the time, you can find the information you’re looking for by simply taking a closer look at the teaspoon , fish fork, ice cream saw, or cheese scoup that you’re eyeing. More often than not, you can find an indented mark or a series of marks that can tell you a lot about the item: what it’s made of, where it was made, when, and by whom. You can find many different kinds of silver in the marketplace today. Some of the oldest American silver is “coin,” which contains at least Mint after the American Revolution-which rose to 90 percent in the years after
The prices are not current but the line drawings are invaluable. It is indexed and cross referenced so you will be able to find you pattern listed. Once you know that name of your pattern you can go online and look up what pieces are available and the price for them. There are literally s of patterns of silver plate flatware. Here is a short list of popular patterns that we have handled through our store. Baroque Rose.
Gorham Date Marks for Sterling Silver Holloware. date mark on Gorham bowl. c. – Martelé – Return to Silversmiths.
But, to be honest, some are much better than others. Use this guide to discover some of the favorite spots where those in the know go online. You will learn to understand and research silver origins, craftsmen, and manufacturers using hallmarks, along with a few online value guides to help you with that daunting task as well. There are many different grades of silver, and even antique items that look like silver such as German silver, nickel silver, and alpaca but are not at all what they appear to be.
This guide will help you decipher the basic marks associated with silver and understand exactly what they mean. This popular site is highly recommended by avid collectors and antique dealers alike. Also has a section of silver plate marks, which can sometimes be even more obscure and harder to identify than sterling silver maker’s marks.
If you’re sure your piece is American made, this is a great place to start your research. This collection of American manufacturers and retailers of sterling silver, coin silver, and silver plate marks are listed alphabetically by manufacturer.
History Of Gorham Silver Marks
Jabez Gorham, founder of Gorham Corporation, was born in Providence, Rhode Island in and at 14 began his seven year apprenticeship to Nehemiah Dodge. Clark and Harvey G. Mumford about at which time he purchased his own shop to manufacture small items and became known for his “Gorham chain” unequaled at the time.
Apparently some early Gorham silverplate holloware IS marked with the and sometimes a date stamp (usually s) on the sterling handle.
Our goal is to include every important online source of silver, gold, and jewelry marks on this list. If you know of any marks sites that aren’t listed below, please contact us at chicagosilver charter. For an index to this master list of marks, click here. Chicago Silver Marks. Kalo Marks. Deciphering Numbers on Silver from Assn. Initial Marks. Pictorial Marks.
Gorham & Co.
The Gorham Manufacturing Company is one of the largest  American manufacturers of sterling and silverplate and a foundry for bronze sculpture. The company also made thimbles, combs, jewelry, and other small items. In , the Congress enacted a tariff which effectively blocked the importation of silverware from outside the United States, which aided the American silver industry.
Check out our gorham silver selection for the very best in unique or Vintage Silver Plate, Plate Cover, The Gorham Silver Company, Date Mark for
Silverware purity defined: What is Sterling? Is it pure silver? Sterling made in the USA after approximately the ‘s always has a sterling mark. It may say Sterling. It may be. If it does not have this mark then it is likely not sterling, unless it is foreign made not in the USA and has other hallmarks that designate its silver content. It can also be tested with an acid to determine its content.
This should only be done by a professional. Silver plate has no intrinsic silver value. It is not worth the refining costs to try to redeem the silver. It has very little resale value as tableware. Sterling will last forever if you want to use it and take care of it.
How to Date Gorham Sterling Silver
I had always thought that the Lion Anchor G trademark was only used on solid silver, first coin and then sterling. I had also thought that an anchor alone meant that the piece was plated. Well, it isn’t always true. Apparently some early Gorham silverplate holloware IS marked with the Lion Anchor G, just like the coin and sterling pieces. I did not believe it at first, but I was directed to an ongoing eBay auction where just such a piece was being sold, as coin silver.
Fortunately for us, there is an easy way to idntify this early plate.
When one looks to decipher the early hallmarks on this silver, books usually refer to tables where the lists are categorized by the authorized large.
The marks on the bottom of a piece of silver can be an indication of the age, maker, and origin of the piece. This is a list of American silver marks and solid American silver. Other lists include silver-plated wares and pewter. It will not help you to identify other silver. Four or five small pictorial marks usually indicate England as the country of origin.
Queen Victoria faces left. Queen Elizabeth faces left. Silver was stamped with a lion for London, a thistle for Edinburgh. The harp indicated the piece was made in Dublin. Glasgow silver-smiths used a fish or tree.
Antique Sterling Silverware and Flatware – Silver and Silverplate
Sure, that fabled brand has a long history and many enduring achievements, not to mention great public relations from the get-go. But for nearly years, the Gorham Manufacturing Company , of Providence, Rhode Island, turned out a wide range of beautiful silver pieces, indelibly influencing the field of decorative arts in ways that still resonate. It has since been passed around in a series of mergers and acquisitions.
Gilded details also adorn an Gorham tea and coffee service in the show. Tiffany, at first, was not a maker.
Elkington. Elkington Electroplate and Silverplate Marks (from ). Gorham. Gorham Date Codes (from Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks).
Company , Gorham Corp. The company moved into a new headquarters in Providence, RI in as employment surpassed , and in they opened a retail outlet on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Throughout the latter half of the 19th century and into the 20th, Gorham attracted some of the best designers and silver artisans in the world.
Their rapidly expanding business of doing one-of-a-kind pieces on commission for major world figures and events expanded their profile and introduced Gorham to an international clientele. The decline of Gorham began in , when the company was purchased by Textron, a move that some critics claim decreased quality due to management’s lack of understanding of Gorham’s specialty, producing high-quality sterling silverware and holloware.
Textron sold the company to Dansk International Designs in Brown-Forman Corporation acquired Gorham from Dansk in and in resold the unit to Department 56 in the Lenox holdings transaction, with the resulting company renamed as Lenox Group. However, in Lenox Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and it was subsequently acquired by Clarion Capital Partners, now operating under the name Lenox Corporation, which has three operating divisions, Lenox, Dansk and Gorham.
New showrooms were opened in Ely Place, Holborn. In they took an English factory, previously owned by Henry Emanuel of Birmingham who remained as superintendent.
Silver Plate Pattern Identification Guide
Marks on precious metals have been regulated by law since ancient times. From pharaohs, Roman emperors and continuing today, fineness, or standard marks, have been used to guarantee minimum amounts of precious metal in relation to non-precious metal. At least that’s the theory.
The Gorham Manufacturing Company is one of America’s biggest manufacturers of silver-plate and sterling pieces, along with a foundry for.
Are pieces with the old marks more valuable? It depends. With all other things being equal, the older pieces probably are a little more valuable. But value is influenced to a much greater degree by the condition of a piece. A newer piece in excellent condition is preferred by many buyers to an older piece with extensive signs of wear. There are several earlier posts on this blog that discuss markings of various kinds. You should read them in order to have a more complete picture of markings you may find.
We have a baby spoon that looks like chantilly pattern, and has a stand alone mark: “pat95” on the back of the handle. Is this a Gorham spoon? Could the other mark be a script “G”? If so, the piece sounds like a Gorham piece. The “pat95” also corresponds well with the Chantilly introduction year,
30s vintage Gorham Cavalier silverplate flatware, 1937 patent date silverware lot
Gorham is one of the oldest U. Its long history goes back to a small silversmith’s shop in Providence, Rhode Island, in the early s. You can trace its history through the use of the company’s hallmarks on sterling silver. Knowing what the hallmarks mean can tell you if you have an old or rare piece of Gorham sterling silver.
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The silverware pattern shown on the opposite page is neither the plainest nor the fanciest ever made by the Gorham Company of Rhode Island. Perhaps it is this balance between abundance and austerity that explains the overwhelming success of Chantilly. To date, Gorham has sold 1,, pieces, making it the most popular pattern any company has ever produced. It is, in the words of the historian Charles H. Carpenter, Jr. The Rhode Island silver business dates back to the Os.
By , when Jabez Gorham formed a partnership with Henry Webster to make coin-silver spoons, American silver was a wellestablished craft industry, with spoon makers in most leading cities and towns. Events of the next twenty years, however, conspired to create a true industry of American silver at affordable prices.