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

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

1970 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1979 Gorham Sterling Silver Snowflake Christmas OrnamentsSuperb Large 1931 Gorham Co Sterling Silver Wine Water Juice Pitcher Jug VaseGorham Rare Man In The Moon Tea Ball Infuser Strainer Sterling Silver No ReserveGorgeous Large Gorham Floral Repousse Sterling Silver Cut Class Perfume Bottle1628g (40 Pieces) Sterling Silver Beautiful Gorham Strasbourg Pattern.Amazng Antique Gorham Co. Sterling Silver Chinese Dragon Repousse Snuff Pill BoxFine C1900 Gorham Sterling Silver Raspberry Pattern Repousse Candy Bowl Nut DishJapanese Sterling Teapot 1872 Gorham 57 Oz16 Piece "gorham" Strasbourg Sterling Silver 4 Piece Place Settings Flatware Nr1930 Gorham (durgin) Sterling Silver Swan Centerpiece Vase Flower HolderSuperb C. 1863-1890s Sterling Gorham Repousse Perfume Bottle Signed 5 Troy OzSet Of 3 1930's Gorham (durgin) Sterling Silver Swan Nut/candy Dishes1979 Gorham Sterling Silver Snowflake Christmas OrnamentRare 1900---bryan Dollar--gorham Mfg Co. Hk-783--s-12-- Ngc Au-55 No Reserve Early Sterling Silver Durgin / Gorham Engraved Fairfax Tea Pot No Reserve L@@kSuperb C1900 Whiting Gorham Sterling Silver Floral Repousse Bread Serving BowlGorham Sterling Silver Monogrammed Oval Plate 435g1971 76 77 Gorham Sterling Silver Snowflake Christmas Ornaments1970 Gorham Sterling Silver Snowflake Christmas OrnamentAmazing Victorian Art Nouveau Gorham Sterling Silver Floral Repousse Pin Cushion66 Piece Gorham "etruscan" 1913 Sterling Flatware Set Service For 6 W/ Extras4 Antique Gorham Versailles 1888 Sterling Silver 925 Shrimp Cocktail Oyster ForkBeautiful C1888 Gorham Versailles Sterling Silver Figural Tomato Entree Server1908 Gorham Arts & Crafts Sterling Silver Tri Handle Tyg Loving Cup Trophy VaseVintage Gorham Bronze Sculpture Brown University Bear, Ojgg ?1971 Gorham Sterling Silver Snowflake Christmas Ornament2 ~ Antique Gorham Sterling Silver Butterfly Master Salt Cellars Set RareGorham - Fairfax Edition 36 Piece Sterling Silver Set SilverwareRare 1898 Gorham Arts & Crafts Hammered Sterling Silver Cream Jug & Sugar BowlGorham Antique Silver Plated & Bone Handled Toffee Hammer ? Engraved HandleExceptional 19thc Gorham Arts & Crafts Art Nouveau Sterling Silver Handled Vase2013 Gorham Snow Flake Sterling Silver Christmas Ornament Medallion 1971 72 75 Gorham Sterling Silver Snowflake Christmas Ornaments1971 72 73 Gorham Sterling Silver Snowflake Christmas OrnamentsAntique Gorham Sterling Strasbourg 1897 8 3/4" Solid Salad Serving Spoon UtensilAntique Gorham Sterling Silver Lot Of 4 Cream Soup Spoons "chantilly" 6 3/8"Gorham Chantilly Pattern Sterling Silver Tomato Server And Butter Knife1976 Gorham Sterling Silver Snowflake Christmas OrnamentGorham 1978 Sterling Silver Snowflake Christmas OrnamentVintage "gorham" Strasbourg Sterling Silver Sugar Shell Spoon No Monogram Nr( 4 ) Antique Sterling Silver Chamber Candle Stick Holder Vtg Gorham 98.2gr Rare10 Gorham "buttercup" Pattern Sterling Demi-tasse Spoons - Nr - Free ShipVintage Gorham Sterling Silver .925 Plate 10" 373 Grams (1190)Antique Gorham Sterling Strasbourg 1897 8 1/2" Solid Salad Serving Fork FlatwareGorham Sterling Sugar Bowl. Heavy 11.1 Oz(not Weighted), Plymouth Design A2413 1979 Gorham Sterling Silver Snowflake Christmas Ornament 1976 Gorham Sterling Silver American Heritage Society Christmas Locomotive AdV.fine C1888 Gorham Versailles Sterling Silver Figural Gravy Sauce Ladle SpoonGorham Silverplate Newport Punch Bowl, Underplate & Ladle Excellent!Sterling Silver Gorham Strasbourg Large Serving ForkLot Of (4) Vintage "gorham" King Edward Sterling Silver Tea Spoons No Monos NrLa Scala Gorham Sterling Silver Slotted Spoon 107.4 Grams 8 3/4" No MonogramLg Gorham Sterling Silver Soup / Punch Ladle Marie Antoinette Pattern 13" 345gGorham Baluster 8 Teaspoons Stainless Flatware .... Brand New In Plastic SleeveLot Of 12 Sterling Silver Silverware In Gorham Etruscan 1913Gorham Sterling Silver Bread TrayGorham 1970 Sterling Silver Snowflake Ornament, 1st In Series W Bag And Box!!!!!8 Knives Sterling Silver Beautiful Gorham In Strasbourg Pattern.Gorham Chantilly Sterling Silver Sugar Shell Spoon Signed. NrSet Of Six Gorham ( Lion, Anchor, G ) Oyster Forks 1897 Strasbourg