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Author Topic:   Gorham mark
jersey

Posts: 1151
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 11-07-2006 02:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jersey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi!
I have a question regarding a Gorham mark. I have checked all over (books, internet) etc. there are no marks for Gorham that match this. I have some simple Gorham napkin rings marked "Gorham Sterling", no other marks. I have seen other Gorham sterling pieces on the web selling with this mark as well and sellers indicating it is an old mark. I tend to disagree but can find nothing out about this particular mark. Can anyone shed some light on this for me.
Thank you all in advance.
Jersey

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IJP

Posts: 326
Registered: Oct 2004

posted 11-07-2006 04:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for IJP     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm not one-hundred percent on this, but I believe that perhaps in the sixties or so, much Gorham silver was marked this way, without the lion-anchor-G pseudo-hallmark. More recently I think there has been a trend to once again mark items with the older, antique-era marks, for the nostalgic appeal, as if the marks alone suggest more value. So, if by older, one means several decades old, then that would be accurate. By no means, however, would an actual antique (late 19th or early 20th century) Gorham piece be marked like this.

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jersey

Posts: 1151
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 11-08-2006 02:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jersey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello IJP!
Thank you for confirming my thoughts about the age of the Gorham mark. When I said web listing of items having this mark were said to be older, I should have said they are describing them as being from the 19th or early 20th century.
Thanks again for your help.
Jersey

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Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

posted 11-08-2006 08:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hate to break the news, but for a lot of people, the sixties were a long time ago. And for them this is a really 'old' mark. Probably the same people who confuse the VietNam and Spanish American wars.

From what I have seen of this mark, it seems to used on 'gift' type items, not standard silverware. Items like napkin rings, picture frams, trinket boxes, tivets and so on. It could indicate that the item was sold outside the usual Gorham outlets, which would have required a new mark due to trade agreements.

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jersey

Posts: 1151
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 11-09-2006 04:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jersey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dale!
Thank you for your input. The items you mentioned are exactly the kind I have seen with that mark. I wonder why that mark is not included in the Gorham marks list.
BTW For me the 60's was yesterday! Wow!
Jersey

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Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

posted 11-09-2006 07:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Seems like yesterday for me too. Well, the mark finding business is sort of focused on flatware and holloware, table type stuff. These other lines are generally not of much interest to hard core silver people.

Reed & Barton used something similar on a line of plated banks they made about 30 years ago. Not the mark that appeared on regular items, but a slightly variant mark like this Gorham one. As far as I can tell the only makers of the last 60 years with consistant marks are Tiffany and Oneida. International was the leader in generating new marks, as well as recycling old ones.

The structure of the silver business seems to be this. Silver makers enter into long term arrangements with their retailers. As part of the agreement, the makers pledge to maintain a consistent mark for the life of a pattern. The retailer also has some sort of exclusive marketing arrangement in a given area. The system still seems to be holding, tho it has been under seige for about 30 years.

However, when approached or seeing the opportunity to enter a new market, the silver maker is bound by this agreement. But with a new mark and slightly different corporate name, in effect a new division, new areas of sales open up. So, the company can have a new venue for sales, with a new name for products they don't want associated with their main line.

This probably happened sometime during Gorham's many conglomerate experiences. Another company in the mix thought that a line of silver accents would really look great with its china. And Gorham designed the items and made them.

Very frequently silver marks are about how things are sold not who made them.

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