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Details Gorham Fork

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Silver2086 of 2491SUGAR BOX (``ZUCKERDOSE``) LOCK Mystery Spoon II 4" w/flatlander image & reindeer (p)Rima NS.
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Posted 6 years ago

(72 items)

Some more detailed pictures to add to my previous post.

Gorham beef serving fork?
1890s mfr.

---See previous post.

Mystery Solved


  1. Bootson Bootson, 6 years ago
    Thanks BELLIN68
  2. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 6 years ago
    Hi, thanks much for the kind words and patience!

    OK, this is the Gorham Chantilly Beef Serving Fork, suitable for serving, e.g., slices of roast beef. I don't have a catalogue to show you. If you decide to add pieces, I recommend that you purchase a facsimile of either the 1896 or the 1910 Gorham catalogue for reference. The antiquecupboard.com has facsimile copies of both for sale at a reasonable price. In the absence of a catalogue, I found an example of your fork and and today asked a professional silver dealer to confirm my 'BSF' identification. (He is Mr. Phil Dreis of the antiquecupboard.com, and the host of the You Tube video I linked yesterday. He's a reputable dealer of many years.) He confirmed that this is a serving piece and not an individual place setting fork. Observe the proportions, the width of the bowl relative to the width of the stem. Now, if I managed to get your fork into my mouth - and with food on it! - I'd choke. Mr. Dreis confirmed that the length is correct for the serving fork. He has the same fork for sale in his ebay boutique and on his webstore. Here's a picture of the same fork on ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/CHANTILLY-BY-GORHAM-STERLING-SILVER-BEEF-FORK-6-1-8-/150484204201?pt=Antiques_Silver&hash=item23098ebaa9

    I confirmed with him that this is not a Cold Meat Fork, not a Salad Fork, not a Pastry Fork, and not a Fish Fork. Here are some examples of Chantilly fork styles.

    cold meat fork:

    pastry fork, salad fork:

    fish forks:

    Now, your fork does closely resemble many old fish serving forks, with the distinctive single broad and pointed outer tine, but it was not issued as a Fish Serving Fork by Gorham in the Chantilly pattern.

    This brings me to a disclosure. There have been a number of revisions to the pattern since its first issue. Thus, I can't guarantee that all the examples of the forks I've above offered (via links) to help illustrate that your fork is not any other fork but the beef serving fork correspond to the original style. You'd have to have an early catalogue to make this guarantee. However, we at least have it that your fork is the BSF.

    I can't tell for sure, but it looks like the utensil-end of yours was perhaps once gold-washed. A deluxe treatment.

    About the link I provided earlier to the Gorham hallmarks: This pattern was patented in 1895 and revised in 1897. The pieces issued in 1897 also bore the 1895 patent hallmark. As I said in my first post on your first listing on this item, the Gorham hallmarks date your fork to the last quarter of the nineteenth century. http://www.925-1000.com/Gorham_Date_Code.html. I thus correctly inferred that the "95" was thus "1895". However, the "95" patent mark is not strictly a date hallmark in the usual sense of the term. This '95' patent mark signifies that the pattern was first patented in 1895, not that your piece was made in 1895. My last posting last night was hedging, for I had remembered a similar patent date mark on pieces in another old American line, and they 'invariably' appeared on all pieces, even those that were manufactured many years later. So, the question is, is your piece 95 or 97 style?

    I have confirmed that the pieces issued in 1897 were simplified by the removal of the 'applied lacing', raised ornate flourishes at the margins of the utensil-end on the face-side of the piece. Based on what Mr. Dreis has told me, I think that your fork is the 97 style because it doesn't have 'applied lacings' on the face at the margins of the utensil-end. I see raised flourishes on the face at the join of stem and utensil-end, and also on the back of the fork near the join. However, Mr. Dreis indicated that the applied lacing flourishes would be extensive on the face of your fork if it were the 1885 issue, and that they would not terminate near the join on the front of the spoon.

    About the the beautiful CAST 'cut card work' on the reverse of the piece - around the join of the stem and utensil-end: it is very fancy, and I thought that perhaps it might indicate a date of issue. However, Mr. Dreis said that it does not. (Real cut card work involves applying small silver design 'patches' to the flatware piece. E.g., applied silver acanthus leaf designs appear on the back of many deluxe French spoons around the join of stem and bowl.) Mr. Dreis said that the design on the back of the pieces did not change in 1897. So, the telling factor is the presence or absence of the applied lacing. Here's an example of applied lacing:


    Hope that helps....

    Silver is a fascinating hobby. I don't buy silver, just admire it. I especially love the old pattern lines. The pieces and their history provide great insight into the values of the day. If you'd like to see these old lines, and you live in a city with a decent sized library, you might be able to find the following book in your libary. I love it!

    American Silver Flatware 1837 -1910 / Noel D. Turner / New York: A. S. Barnes & Company / 1979, 3rd printing

  3. Bootson Bootson, 6 years ago
    miKKoChristmas11 you astound me. where did you find time to do all this digging --since this afternoon? I read through it and visited all the links and i'll do it all over again tomorrow. Its very nice to get such a definitive description.
    I am going to watch for more items that you may post in hopes of returning the favor.
  4. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 6 years ago
    Hi, Bootson. Many thanks for your most gracious and kind words! It was a pleasure, Sir.

    As for 'returning the favor', perhaps one day soon I'll find the time to list something. Many thanks! miKKo
  5. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 6 years ago
    Oops - typo. Ref: "...However, Mr. Dreis indicated that the applied lacing flourishes would be extensive on the face of your fork if it were the 1885 issue, and that they would not terminate near the join on the front of the spoon...." "1885" should be "1895". Thanks, miKKo

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