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 Victorian Gorham American Sterling Silver Repousse Dresser Trinket BoxBeautiful Engraved Sterling Silver Vintage 87.35 Dwt. Gorham ? Cup - Ps5677Antique Gorham Sterling Chantilly Countess Teaset Teapot Sugar Creamer Waste +Superb Gorham Pineapple Form Sterling Silver Jam Jar Honey Pot W Original SpoonGorham Sterling Silver Flatware Set, Strasbourg, 1897, Service For 12, Nice !!Rare 1874 Gorham Aesthetic Sterling Silver Bowl Matte Flat Finish Gilt Interior Gmp(gorham Model Products) Nitro Rc HelicopterSuperb C1920 Art Deco Gorham Co Sterling Silver Cut Glass Vanity Dresser Jar BoxLot Of (6) "gorham" Luxembourg Sterling Silver Demitasse Spoons W/monos NrRare Gorham Repousse Sterling Silver Shaving Brush--with MonoSuperb Large C1920 Gorham Co. Sterling Silver & Cut Glass Perfume Cologne BottleGorham Sterling Tea Set Greek Revival 168oz Antique Vintage (8) 1895c Sterling Gorham Chantilly Dinner Forks No Mono'sSterling Silver Gorham Lily 1991 Dinner Forks 6 7/8 Monogrammed 4 PiecesSterling Silver Gorham Lily 1991 Dinner Forks 6 7/8 Monogrammed 4 PiecesGorham Cottage Sterling 13" Soup Punch Ladle C1861 Large 205 Grams ExcellentGorham Sterling Silver Sugar Tongs In The Etruscan PatternGorham Camellia Sterling Silver Flatware 67 Piece Box Set Scrap Or UseSet Of Four Gorham Sterling Silver King Edward Iced Tea Spoons 3.95 Ozt.Sterling Silver Flatware Gorham Camellia 41 Pcs Service For Six +extrasAntique Gorham / Whiting Sterling Silver Fish Serving Fork "lily" Pattern 1902Set Of Four Gorham Sterling Silver Melrose Round Cream Soup Spoons 5.44 Ozt. Gorham Melrose Sterling Silver Set For 8 Eight 87oz No Reserve Set #2 Of 2Vintage Gorham Sterling Sugar & Creamer, 272 Grams Gorham Sterling Silver Snowflake 1970 Christmas OrnamentGorham Melrose Sterling Silver Service For 8 Not Scrap 30pc 1611 Grams No ReservGorham Large Medallion Sterling Silver Berry Serving Spoon No Reserve C.1864Gorham Sterling (.925) Silverware 3 Serving Spoons "chantilly" PatternRare Exquisite Sterling Silver Gorham Narragansett Original Crab Cast AppliquGorham Etruscan Sterling Silver Pair 2 Sugar Tongs Etruscan Serving Pcs No ResrvGorham Silver Plate Reissmann 1891 German Patent Decorative Rollover CorkscrewGorham Chantilly Sterling Silver 6 Six Dinner Knives No Mono No Reserve!Antique Gorham Sterling Silver Large Round Soup Spoon In Buttercup PatternGorham Sterling Silver Dinner Knives - Chantilly Pattern - Very Nice Condition10 Rare Gorham Etruscan Ice Cream Forks Spoons Rare Set No Reserve 190gs RareGorham Sterling Silver Chantilly Duchess Pattern Console Candleholder No Mono NrKing Edward By Gorham - Sterling Service For 8 - No Mono - Great Serving PiecesEstate Vintage 1970's Gorham "fleurs Des Siecles" Jane Hutcheson Enamel Flowers5pc Gorham Sterling Silver Coffee Tea Set Pot Creamer Sugar 52ozAntique Gorham Sterling Silver Repousse Tea Ball On ChainPair Of Elegant C. 1950’s Gorham Sterling Silver Candelabra 3-branch Style #68312 Gorham Sterling Nut Dishes 3 1/2" Long Antique Gorham Silver Soldered Vegetable/serving Dish 1869 Gorham Buttercup Sterling Iced TeaspoonVintage "gorham-wood & Hughes" Sterling Silver Strainer Spoon With Monogram NrVintage Gorham Strasbourg 925 Sterling Lion Anchor G Sugar Tongs 4 7/8" 36.9g NrLarge Gorham Chantilly Sterling Silver Flatware Set Rare Servers Old Mark NomonoKing Edward Gorham Sterling Silver Place Setting For 8,60 PiecesChantilly - Gorham - Service For 10 - No MonogramsChantilly Sterling Silver Ice Cream Forks By GorhamA+ Rare 19thc Gorham Sterling Silver Apostle Spoon Pair - Saint St Simon & JamesRare Jane Hutcheson - Gorham Enameled Gilt Flower Arrangement Fleus Des Siecles!Superb Elegant C1920 Art Deco Gorham All Sterling Silver Dresser Vanity Jar BoxSet Of Four Gorham Sterling Silver Melrose Teaspoons 4.67 Ozt.Round Gorham Sterling Silver 9" Footed Bowl - 21.39 Oz. - Use Or ScrapMonogramed Gold Wash Tumblers 10.365 Ounce 925 Antique Gorham? Sterling N Scrap Pair Gorham Sterling Silver Candelabra 3 Light Candle Sticks Convertible 64ozVintage Gorham Rosewood Tea Set Coffee Tea Pot Waste Sugar Creamer SilverplateAntique 1938 Bronze Gaspee Gorham Medal Providence Steamboat Company *nr*Vintage "gorham" Buttercup Sterling Silver Lemon Fork No Monograms No Reserve