Dating gorham silver plate marks
Gorham & Son (1841-1850), Gorham & Thurber (1850-1852), Gorham & Company (1852-1865), Gorham Mfg. 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.
In 1831, Jabez Gorham, in partnership with Henry Webster, founded the silver company that bears his name in his native Providence, Rhode Island.
Originally a manufacturer of coin-silver flatware, Gorham soon gained acclaim, selected by Mary Todd Lincoln for the White House in 1859.
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.
The common commonly made spoons, jewelry and small items at this time. These hallmarks are the Lion Rampant (attacking) facing right, 1852 to 1865; Lion Passant (walking) facing left, just like English sterling, 1855 to 1860; and Lion Passant facing left (the final version), from 1860 to the present. It morphed from a block letter with a serif (the decorative little tails on the tips of letters) from 1852 to 1862 and then to the Old English Script (1863 to the present).
From 1896 through the 1930s, Gorham made Martelé silver.Beginning in 1863, Gorham became a powerhouse in plated silver, and it left coin silver behind for sterling silver in 1868, producing everything from flatware such... Knowing what the hallmarks mean can tell you if you have an old or rare piece of Gorham sterling silver.This line of silver holloware is made from fine silver, 950/1,000, and is all completely hand-worked.In fact, the hammer marks from the craftsman's labor is not buffed out, but is a part of the beauty of the piece. Gorham employed this Danish silversmith from 1925 to 1929.
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You can trace its history through the use of the company's hallmarks on sterling silver.