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    

48pcs.~gorham~chantilly~51+ Troy Oz. Sterling Service For 6 Serving PiecesVintage 20c Service For 8+ Gorham Strasbourg Sterling Silver Flatware Set 67+oztGorham Buttercup Pattern Candelabra Sterling Silver 9 Light Candlesticks Holder Vintage Gorham Chantilly Sterling Silver Set For 12 Plus Extras! 74 Pcs.Antique Gorham Strasbourg Sterling Silver Salad Serving Fork Spoon Set 210gmOld Gorham Sterling Silver Executive Golf Decision Maker Spinning Top Desk Toy12 Piece Set, Sterling Silver, Gorham Chantilly, No Mono, No Reserve5 Dinner Forks~whiting-gorham~lily Of The Valley~1885~sterling Silver~.925 Antique Gorham Sterling Silver Figural Jester Joker Baby Rattle Whistle RareGorham Sterling Silver Chantilly Flatware Set Of Spoon, 2 Forks, And One Knife Gorham Sterling Silver Teapot & Stand Tea Kettle 1913 52 Oz Antique Sterling Silver 925 100 Piece Flatware Set 89oz + W/box Gorham 19th CenAntique 1860's Gorham #53 Medallion Pattern Coin Silver Cup Mug 3" 99gmAntique Gorham #470 Sterling Silver Single Blade Folding Fruit Pocket KnifeGorham Sterling Silver Compote/candy Dish ~ 6"h X 5.75"dAntique Gorham Aesthitic Japanese Style Mixed Metal Tray Silver Bronze On CopperAntique Gorham #751 Repousse Sterling Silver 2 Blade Folding Fruit Pocket KnifeWonderful C1930's Vintage Gorham Sterling Silver Tea Ball With ChainAntique Date Marked 1887 Gorham Sterling Silver Aesthetic Fluted Cup MugGorham Strasbourg Sterling Silver FlatwareScrap/use 2 Lbs 925 Sterling Silver Jewelry,tiffany Spoon,gorham,v.l S/p ShakersLot Of 6 Vintage Etruscan Individual Salt Spoon Sterling Silver Gorham 2 3/4" 2 Piece Set, Lemon Fork & Bon Bon Spoon, Gorham Etruscan, Sterling, No Mono RsrvVintage Old Gorham Sterling Silver Nut Candy Dish No Reserve AuctionAntique Gorham Buttercup Sterling Silver Solid Salad Serving ForkVintage Gorham Sterling Silver Repousse Yoyo Child's Toy Game6 Gorham Chantilly Sterling Silver Cream Soup Spoon Lion Anchor & G Mark No MonoSet 102 Pcs Gorham Camellia Sterling Silver 10 Place Settings + Extra FlatwareVintage Gorham Solid Sterling Silver Tray, 323.20 Grams -- No Reserve - Free S&hGorham Sterling Silver Picture Photo Frame 3" X 4"Vintage Gorham Chantilly Sterling Silver Teaspoons Set Of 12Antique Gorham Strasbourg Sterling Silver Berry Serving Spoon 8 & 3/4" 91gmVintage Mid Century Gorham Sterling Silver & Black Laminate Large 11" TrayAntique Gorham #a12145 Sterling Silver Pierced Bowl 5 & 3/4" 103gmLarge Gorham Chantilly Silverplate 27" Waiter Tray Yc1397-1 W/ HandlesGorham Sterling Silver Sea Sculpture Flatware 62 Pieces Not ScrapVintage Gorham Sterling Silver Water Pitcher~4 1/4 Pt.1970-1976 Gorham Sterling Silver Snowflakes Charm Bracelet Without Clasp7 Gorham Sterling Silver 7 1/4" Forks In Fairfax-311.5 Grams-no Reserve!Vintage Gorham Buttercup Sterling Silver 8 Piece Mixed Lot!Vintage Gorham Chantilly Sterling Silver Teaspoons Set Of 12Gorham Sterling Silver Strasbourg Flatware Set, Spoon Forks Salad Butter Knife8 Gorham Chantilly Sterling Silver Salad Forks Lion Anchor & G Marked No MonoSet Of 6 Antique Sterling Silver Tea / Coffee Spoons By Gorham Mfg Co Dated 1912High Quality Victorian Gorham Sterling Silver St Dunstan Gravy Ladle SpoonGorham 821990 Food & Wine Collection Lucey 20-piece Stainless Steel Flatware SetAntique Late 19c Service For 8 Gorham Strasbourg Sterling Silver Flatware SetGorham Narragansett Master Salt / Almond DishPair Of Chantilly Duchess Candelabra Sterling Silver Gorham 3lbs. 4.70oz. 750Gorham Sterling Silver Chantilly 8.5" Macaroni-oyster Server-173 Gram-no Rsrv!Stately Gorham Sterling Silver Desk Box 300 - 600gVtg Gorham Sterling Silver 5 Knives 1 Fork .925 Not ScrapAntique Gorham Cambridge Pattern Sterling Silver Tomato Server 7 & 1/4" 52gmAntique Gorham Sterling Silver Sugar Shell Unknown Engraved Pattern No ReserveGorham Chantilly Sterling Silver Handle Flatware Butter Knife Gorham Sterling Silver Strasbourg Pattern All Silver Pastry Server OmGorham Sterling Silver Ice Cream Forks, Set Of 6, Fairfax Vintage Mid Century Sterling Silver Gorham Oval Bread Tray #4463 12" 230 GramsUnusual Gorham Sterling Silver Serving SpoonHandsome Gorham Sterling Silver Desk Box 314 302g