Silver Identification Guide

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. Use a good magnifying glass to see small lettering, and polish your piece to brighten up the hallmark. The earliest hallmarks simply consist of the person’s name. This is usually his first initial and last name, or just the last name.

Gorham Manufacturing Company

Silver Appraisers. Collectible silver includes such items as early spoons, English and Continental tea and coffee sets, candelabras and trays as well as statuary and religious items. Horn Co. Stephen Vaughan Washington St.

Gorham Sterling Silver Marks Gorham Silver Marks Dates Encyclopedia Of Silver of silver-plate and sterling pieces, along with a foundry for bronze sculpture.

Their beginning was as a manufacturer of coin-silver flatware in which Gorham started to gain acclaim, especially in once the flatware was selected by Mary Todd Lincoln for the White House. In , Gorham was a major player in plated silver. In , they had made the switch from coin silver for sterling silver and produced everything from knives, forks and spoons, to other desired pieces such as coffee pots and serving bowls. Again, highly desired by several White House administrations, Mrs.

Ulysses S. Being able to identify a piece of sterling silver , whether it is a silver plate mark or a tea set, as a Gorham piece is fairly simple thanks to the consistent silver markings that were used during the manufacturing of the pieces. Dating a piece of Gorham silver is a question of decoding the hallmarks on the back or bottom of each piece.

Hallmarks on the silver pieces were not consistent in the first few years. Sterling tea sets and some other hollowware items manufactured by Gorham, were assigned numbers in a decimal sequence. For example, the earliest tea set design was assigned the number ten, the second tea set was assigned the number twenty, and so on. From to about , there were variations within those numbers available to customers. A great example of this is known as the Mary Todd Lincoln set, or the 30 design tea set , first made in Variants with the chasing and engraving in the pattern and design would then result in the pieces to be numbered 31 , 32 , 33 , 34 , and

Gorham Silver

Size: 6. Weight – 4 troy ounces. Condition: very good, no monogram, with only a tiny ding to body see photo detail , no wobble, stamped with a complete set of matching hallmarks on the body and on the cover and with manufacturer’s full name struck on underside of base. An antique sterling silver sugar shaker by Howard and Co of New Antique silver biscuit tin with elaborate engraved monogram.

In , Jabez Gorham partnered with Henry Webster to found the silver company that Gorham Sterling Silver Tray Victorian Antique Floral Serving Rare.

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.

In the British firm of Elkington developed silver plate and began exporting it to America; by the early Os American smiths were so threatened that they successfully lobbied Congress for tariff protection against British plate and sterling. In the Os and Os the domestic silver supply was scarce, and most wares were made from coin silver; after about , with the acquisition of Western lands in the Mexican War, a vast supply of domestic silver became available.

Silver Plate Pattern Identification Guide

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.

Gorham Sterling Silver Marks Gorham Silver Marks Dates Encyclopedia Of Silver The Silver Queen Sterling Silver Flatware, Plated Silverware, Stainless Steel.

To ensure you the best experience, we use cookies on our website for technical, analytical and marketing purposes. By continuing to browse our site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. It was Edward I who first passed a statute requiring all silver to be of sterling standard — a purity of parts per thousand — ushering in a testing or assay system that has survived for over years. The statute made it the responsibility of the Wardens of the Goldsmiths’ Guild to mark all items of sterling standard with a leopard’s head stamp.

Today there are still offices in Edinburgh, where hallmarking has been regulated since the 15th century, and in Birmingham and Sheffield, where assay offices were established by an Act of Parliament in The leopard’s head silver hallmark, which has been used in various forms as the symbol of the London Assay Office since hallmarking began.

Most British and Irish silver carries a number of stamps indicating not just the standard or purity mark typically the lion passant but also the initials of the maker, a date letter and the place of assay. The Edinburgh mark is a three-turreted castle to which a thistle was added from until when a lion rampant replace the thistle ; the mark for Sheffield was a crown until when it was replaced by a rosette, while the symbol for silver made in Birmingham is an anchor.

Dublin silver is struck with a crowned harp, to which a seated figure of Hibernia was added in Sequences of historical marks for the following offices can be viewed through the links below reproduced courtesy of the British Hallmarking Council.

Researching Silver and Silverplate Online

It was not to describe a dish to eat off of at the table. So, when one hears or sees the phrase English plate , it refers to good, old silver that was made in England by their expert goldsmiths and then assayed or hallmarked in the appropriate manner. These items were They were allowed to be called sterling although the technical jargon was silver plate.

Gorham silver is widely sought-after among collectors. Discover how the A four​-piece silver tea and coffee service resting upon a silver tray.

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 Sterling, on the other hand, must be at least This standard


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. But while most governments strictly monitor standard marks, very few regulate marks not related to the content of precious metals.

It is perfectly legal, for example, to stamp silver with trademarks or brand names of companies no longer in business or whose trademark is no longer registered.

Gorham Corporation: an article by Gianmarco Baldini for ASCAS – Association of Small Collectors of Gorham also produced fine silver plated holloware and flatware. The complete list of Gorham date code is available on the web in.

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. Bridal Wreath. Charter Oak.

Silver Plate or Silverplate?

Over the next 50 years, Birks expanded by buying up established jewellers across the country. They also took over their rivals in manufacturing until they had a virtual monopoly on the production and sale of sterling silverware in Canada. Birks acquired several more designs from Gorham and other manufacturers later in the century and also designed a few of their own patterns like Tudor and Laurentian.

Large sterling silver cast tray with wide border and everted rim, with double reticulated handles; marked with Gorham hallmark, Sterling and date mark for

The vast majority of English, Scottish and Irish silver produced in the last years is stamped with either 4 or 5 symbols, known as hallmarks. The prime purpose of these marks is to show that the metal of the item upon which they are stamped is of a certain level of purity. The metal is tested and marked at special offices, regulated by the government, known as assay offices. Only metal of the required standard will be marked. It is a form of consumer protection, whose origin goes back almost years.

There are so many different hallmarks found on British silver that to know all of them would be impossible. Fortunately, with the use of a single reference book, it is possible for even a complete novice to decipher the vast majority.

30s vintage Gorham Cavalier silverplate flatware, 1937 patent date silverware lot

The first step in identifying and establishing the value of silver is to ascertain whether the piece is silver or silver-plated. Sterling silver objects are made of Unfortunately, silver-plated items hold almost no monetary worth. There is not enough silver content to have melt down value and generally, these pieces do not retain their resale value. Begin with looking for the hallmarks or stamps on the item.

British silver can be a bit more complex, as the history of British hallmarking dates back to the 14 th century.

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.

The Incomplete Guide to Silver Hallmarks