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    

Antique Complete Service For 8 Gorham Sterling Silver Chantilly Pattern Flatware2 Large Antique Gorham & Ellis Barker Handled Silverplated Serving Tray PlattersGorham Sterling 3207 Corinthian Column Candlesticks 10 1/4" $0.99 Start Price!Boxed Gorham Strasbourg Sterling Silver Flatware Set 74pc Svc For 12 Plus ExtrasGorham Antique Aesthetic Sterling Silver Card Case Holder Id Cash Chain HandleVintage Gorham Individual Small Tipping Tea Pot Tipping Tea Pot With BurnerGorham Sterling Silver Chantilly Flatware Serving Pieces Berry Spoon Fish KnifeAntique Gorham Chantilly, 6 Pc Set For 8, Sterling Silver Flatware, 58 PiecesSet Of 6 Sterling Silver - Teaspoons - Gorham Old MediciLot 3 Different Heirloom, Gorham, Lunt Sterling Silver Bon Bon SpoonsGorham 1900 Buttercup Sterling Silver Saratoga Chip Server Large Pierced ScoopGorham Chantilly Pattern 8 /34" Large Ice Serving Spoon Sterling Silver 9251899 Gorham Buttercup 7 ½” Sterling Silver Pieced Tomato Server 78gAntique Gorham Victorian Grape Vine Silver Folding Fruit Knife Pocket Knife Antique 1891 Gorham Sterling Silver Solace Repouss2 Vintage 1992 Gorham Sterling Silver Snow Flakes Tree Ornaments 14 Gorham Strasbourg Sterling Silver TeaspoonsGorham Chantilly Pattern 10 1/4" Salad Serving Fork Sterling Silver 925Gorham Sterling Silver Cherub Victorian Cobalt Glass 6 Footed Open Salt CellarFine 1893 Gorham Sterling Silver Pocket / Hip Liquor Flask 5/8 Pint - 210 GramsStrasbourg 6 Sterling Silver Cocktail Forks By GorhamGorham Sterling Silver Fairfax 6 Iced Tea Spoons 7.5" 7.5 Oz Scrap Or NotGorham Sterling Silver Compote, Strasbourg, 1897, 305.2 Grams, NiceLovely 8" Tall Jane Hutcheson For Gorham Fleurs Des Siecles Enamel Flower VaseSet Of 3 Buttercup By Gorham 103.9g Sterling Silver Soup Bouillon? Spoons 6 ½”5 Antique Gorham Sterling Silver 925 Strasbourg 1897 Knife Spoon Fork Flatware Set Of 5 Sterling Silver Cream Soup Spoons, Buttercup By Gorham, Nm, NrGorham Sterling Silver Cherub Victorian Cranberry Glass Footed Open Salt CellarGorham Sterling Silver Tomato Server, Strasbourg, 1897, 79.2 Grams, Old HallmarkHuge Gorham Silver Plate Tea Service Tray Very Nice ConditionGorham Strasbourg Sterling Silver Flatware 84 Piece SetGorham Sterling Silver Flatware Service King Edward 102 Pieces "h Gorham St Pat"Jane Hutcheson For Gorham Strawberry Basket Enameled Flowers, Fleurs Des Siecles6 Gorham Sterling Silver Butter Spreaders, 1897 Strasbourg, 125.3 GramsAntique Gorham Chantilly 10" Cake Knife Server W/sterling Silver Handle~sp Blade6 Antique Gorham Sterling Silver 925 Strasbourg 1897 Spoon Fork Knife Flatware2 Gorham Buttercup Sterling Bullion Soup SpoonsWhiting Gorham Louis Xv Rare Sterling Silver Asparagus Server 10 1/4" No ReserveGorham Sterling Flatware, Chantilly, Cream Soup Spoon, 6 1/4 Inches Decorative Set Of 6 Gorham Solid Sterling Silver Coffee Spoons, 87 GAntique Small Gorham Sterling Silver Night Before Christmas Decorative SpoonLot Of 4 Gorham Versailles Sterling Silver 6" Gumbo Soup Spoon W/ MonogramsGorham Sterling Silver Salt & Pepper Shakers, Strasbourg, 1897, 81.8 Grams, NiceAntique Gorham Sterling Silver Strasbourg 1150 Repousse Napkin Rings Gorham Fairfax Sterling Silver 8 Pieces Salad & Dinner Forks Knifes & Spoons Antique Gorham " Max Kalish" Dark Bronze Older Gentelman1900 Buttercup By Gorham 67.6g Sterling Silver Serving Spoon 8 ½”Sterling Silver Gorham Snowflake Holiday Christmas Ornament 1993Antique Gorham Plaza Hotel Chicken Claw Tongs1905 Gorham Sterling Old French Stew LadleAntique Gorham Baronial Sterling Silver 82 Piece Flatware Set, 3571.5 Grams!Gorham Sterling Silver 5 Lamp / Light Candelabra, Buttercup, 1895, Nice ! # 987Strasbourg Sterling Silver Iced Tea Spoons By Gorham, Set Of 42 Sterling Silver Gorham Dinner Fork Fairfax Pattern 7 1/2"1978 Gorham Sterling Santa In Sleigh Christmas Ornament - American HeritageAntique Gorham Sterling Silver Art Nouveau Repousse Bon Bon Dish ~ 3 Oz Troy4 Vintage Sterling Silver, Spoons,letter Opener & Serving Piece,gorham, HandmadeBaronial Old (1898) By Gorham 32g Sterling Silver Sugar Tongs 4 1/2"Three (3) Sterling Serving Spoons Gorham Lancaster Pattern45 Pieces Gorham Sterling Silver Flatware - Lyric Pattern - 66 Oz.