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. 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 as knives, forks, and spoons to hollowware pieces ranging from coffee pots to serving bowls.

The most important designer for Gorham in the late 19th century was the English-trained William J. Codman, who joined the firm in 1891. Codman helped develop the Martelé line, which was made of an even softer silver than sterling (.950 fine instead of .925), allowing Gorham silversmiths to hammer it into flowing, intricate Art Nouveau shapes (“marteler” is the French verb for “to hammer”). Gorham even created signature show pieces in the Martelé style, most famously a silver dressing table and cushioned stool, which beat Tiffany in the silver furniture category at the 1900 Paris World Fair.

Gorham flatware patterns include the Rococo-style Strasbourg, first produced in 1897, the floral-accented Buttercup (1899), King Edward (1936), and Chantilly, which was patented in 1895 and remains one of the most popular flatware patterns in the world.

Dating a piece of Gorham silver is a question of decoding the hallmarks on the back or bottom of each piece. While hallmarks for its first few years were not consistent, the triad of a lion, anchor, and “G” were used from 1848 on. From 1848 until around 1860, the lion faced left, but subsequent lions faced right. Beginning in 1868, the year Gorham embraced the sterling standard, marks for each year were also added. For example, pieces from 1868 through 1884 were marked with capital letters. Icons were used from 1885 (a wolf head) to 1933 (a parachute). Then, after a six-year gap, decades were identified by a polygon (four sides for the 1940s, five sides for the ’50s, etc.), with a numeral for the year set inside.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Chicago Silver

Chicago Silver

Paul Somerson's incredible reference on handwrought metalwork from the American Arts and Crafts movement of the ear… [read review or visit site]

Silver Marks Encyclopedia

Silver Marks Encyclopedia

An extensive reference guide to silver marks, hallmarks, trademarks and maker's marks found on antique and vintage … [read review or visit site]

Silver at the Victoria and Albert

Silver at the Victoria and Albert

This is a great reference site on silver, courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum. You can view silver items acc… [read review or visit site]

The Gilbert Collection

The Gilbert Collection

The late Sir Arthur Gilbert's collection of European silver, gold, enamel, and other items is now housed at the Vic… [read review or visit site]

Delight in Design: Indian Silver for the Raj

Delight in Design: Indian Silver for the Raj

“Delight in Design: Indian Silver for the Raj” was the title of a 2008 exhibition at Columbia University’s Mi… [read review or visit site]

TheStieffCompany.com

TheStieffCompany.com

Scott Perkins is an enthusiastic evangelist for The Stieff Company, a significant Baltimore silversmith and maker o… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Most watched eBay auctions    

Gorham Sterling Bowl 1880 Hand Decorated Gold WashGorham Sterling Tray 1917 Plymouth 120 OuncesGorham Sterling Silver Tray 1924 Maintenon 48 Ounces12 Gorham Chantilly Sterling Silver Iced Tea Spoons No ReserveGorham Sterling Bowl 1905 Grape & LeafGorham Sterling Silver Tea Set 1895 Gorham Sterling Bowl C1930 Grape & Leaf 30 OuncesGorham Sterling Bowl 1917 Leaf And ScrollVintage Gorham Sterling Silver Candelabras 750 Candle Holders PairVintage Gorham Sterling Silver Bread Tray #4463 250gGorham Sterling Sauce Boat & Tray 1916 Hand HammeredGorham Sterling Tea Cup (2) Yawkey Family - Boston Red Sox 1907Art Nouveau Gorham Sterling Silver Repousse Mirror And Hairbrush Dresser Set #23Fine Pair Gorham 110 Antique Aesthetic Sterling Silver Vases,gorgeous Design,8"Gorham Sterling Entree Dish 1908 Hand Decorated Vintage Gorham Sterling Silver Brush Rare Pattern C 1900Antique Sterling Silver Gorham 1929 Double Sided DishAntique Victorian 19c Gorham Solid Sterling Silver Card CaseGorham 1999 Sterling Silver Snowflake Christmas Ornament 2000 Gorham Usa 925 Sterling Silver Christmas Snowflake Holiday Tree OrnamentAntique Old Mark Gorham Lancaster Rose Sterling Silver Large 4-5/8” Sugar TongsAntique Gorham Sterling Silver Lancaster Sugar TongsAntique Gorham Sterling Silver Sugar TongsComplete Setting Vintage Gorham Sterling Silver Epic Flatware Set Service For 12Gorham Sterling Silver Sea Rose Flatware Set (46 Pcs) Great Condition! Gorham Sterling Silver Camellia 36pc 4 Place Serving Set Silverware Forks 'Lot 33 Sterling Silver Flatware Pieces 28 Gorham & 5 Rw&s Scrap Or Use 578 GramsVintage 1916 Gorham Sterling Silver Platter 14in (834 Grams)Gorham Melrose Pattern - Set Of Six Sterling Silver Dinner ForksGorham Sterling Teapot & Stand 1907 46 Ounces 32 Pieces Gorham "king Edward" Sterling Silver Flatware-no Monograms- Fine!Lot Of 6 Gorham Buttercup Sterling Silver ForksVintage Gorham Sterling Strasbourg 6" X 9" Oval Tray1 Vtg Gorham Sterling Silver Water Goblet 272 No Monogram 6 1/2" Tall Gilded IntLot Of 10 Chantilly By Gorham Sterling Silver 1895 Strawberry Forks No MonoLarge Gorham Sterling Silver Ladle11 Oz. Sterling .925 Mixed Lot Gorham Nut Dish, Lunt Revere 620-d, Shoe Or ScrapGorham Sterling Bowl C1920 Leaf And BerryLot Of 6 Gorham Buttercup Sterling Silver Salad ForksGorham Sterling Silver Tea Pot "19th" Century Beautiful Piece!!Gorham Sterling Chippendale Hollowware Covered Serving Dish (925)Gorham Sterling Silver Camellia 8 Pc Serving Set Cake Carving Fork Knife Ladle 'Antique 1874 Gorham Sterling Silver Tea PotSet Of 4 Gorham Sterling Silver Cordial Cups W/ Original Velvet Case Marked 955 Gorham Imperial Chrysanthemum Sterling Silver 7-7/8" Slotted Tomato Server 2382Set Of 6 Gorham Sterling Silver Wreath Pattern 7" Long Dinner ForksGorham Wreath Pattern Sterling Silver Pickle Fork Berry Server & Cheese SpoonGorham Sterling Chantilly 4 Piece Place Set Mint .. No MonoSet Of 8 Gorham Sterling Silver Wreath Pattern 5 7/8" Long Salad ForksLot Of 4 Gorham Buttercup Sterling Silver Teaspoons4 Old Sterling Rose Marie Pattern By Gorham 1933 Pat. Soup Spoons 143.6 Grams A4 Old Sterling Rose Marie Pattern By Gorham 1933 Pat. Soup Spoons 143.3 Grams BSterling Gorham Chantilly 8 3/4" Long Scalloped Serving Spoon ***100 Grams***Lot Of 8 Chantilly By Gorham Sterling Silver Tea Spoons. No MonoSet Of Six Early 20c Gorham 'strasbourg' Sterling Silver TeaspoonsGorham Sterling Chantilly 5 Piece Place Set Mint .. No MonoAntique Gorham Sterling Silver Gravy Boat And Saucer Lot Of 10 Chantilly By Gorham Sterling Silver/stainless Butter Knives. No MonoVintage Gorham Sterling 46 Silver Floral Repousse Eyeglass CaseVintage Gorham Chantilly Sterling Silver 6 3/4" Chipped Beef Fork