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tline3open  Dating Gorham & Affiliates- A piece of the Puzzle

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Author Topic:   Dating Gorham & Affiliates- A piece of the Puzzle
Bob Schulhof

Posts: 194
Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 02-02-2000 01:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob Schulhof     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Because of it’s longevity the product of Gorham and it’s acquisitions have been the most problematical for dating. We know that Chantilly and Buttercup have been produced for over 100 years and that Gorham acquired Whiting in 1924 and Alvin in 1928. Were the old patterns actively marketed after the acquisition or discontinued? It has also been said that one could buy replacements on a made to order basis (see MTO).

Two important check points on dating are Turner, who indicated for each of the patterns introduced before 1910, which of them were obsolete by 1929 and Hagan’s Sterling Flatware indicates if a pattern is still in production. However there is very little information in between.

Recently in my scrounging through Antique Malls for lack of a show to go to I came upon a collection of an interesting publication called the “Silver Update”, apparently designed to appeal to appraisers of Silver flatware. It gave prices for all currently produced and “Made to Order” flatware. Available were Spring 1986 vol 2 #2 thru 1992 vol 8 #1. I snapped them up trusting that they would yield new clues to dating some of my favorite patterns. I wasn’t disappointed (the prices given are for a teaspoon, NC means no comment):
Gorham

Pattern………Turner…Update…86…88…92………………Hagan

Old Medici.NC…………MTO… $84…$180…MTO…$110……NC
Cluny………………NC…………NA…………………………………NA…………………NC
St.Cloud………NC…………NA…………………………………MTO…$110…NC
Versailles…Obs………MTO……$84…$180……NA…………………NC
MythologiqueNC………MTO……$102.$235…MPC…$85……NC
Chantilly………NC………REG……$62……$58……REG…$80……CIP
King George…NC………MTO……$84……$180…MTO…$110…NC

Some observations. The price of MTO doubled in 1988 leaving a great opening for Replacements Limited. There was also a die charge of $50 per item. By 1992, the gap between regular and MTO had closed- regular went up and MTO back down.

MPC, initiated in 1991 means MasterPiece Collection, which brought the price of certain popular previously MTO down to a normal level, . Note that even though the above pieces were available in MTO and MPC form Hagan lists only Chantilly, the "Regular" product as currently available. Note also lack of consistency in offerings- Versailles (the only one considered obsolete by Turner) was MTO in 1988 but not available in 1992. I believe it is in the Masterpiece Collection today. St. Cloud was NA in 1988 but MTO in 1992

Whiting

Pattern……….Turner.Update86..88...92………..Hagan

Heraldic...Obs....NA.....NA......NA……………….NC
King Edward.NC....MTO..81.$175…MTO.$75....NC
Lily........NC...…MTO…$81…$175…MTO…$75…...NC
Lily otValley.NC….MTO…$74…$170…MTO…$75……NC

Alvin
Old OrangeBl.NC…….MTO…$81…$175…MPC…$80….NC
Bridal Rose……NC…….MTO…$81…$175…MTO…$81….NC
Majestic……………NC………NA………NA……...…NA…………………NC

Durgin

Dauphin……...…NC………MTO…$81…$175.MPC…$75...NC
Chrysantmum……NC………MTO…$84…$175.NA……...…….NC

First of all it should be noted that Alvin had it’s own section of MTO with 39 different patterns in it, while Durgin had only 5 and Whiting 4 , listed under “Gorham MTO”. From this one might conclude that the Alvin versions retained their own marks while the Durgin and Whiting now had Gorham marks.

I am sure that many of you out there have similar pieces to the availability puzzle, we would love you to fill us in.

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t-man-nc

Posts: 327
Registered: Mar 2000

iconnumber posted 03-12-2004 02:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for t-man-nc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In reading through the thread... I seem to remember talking to some one at Gorham who said the MPC the Masterpiece Collection was being produced and stocked on the shelves with the Gorham Marks, while the Made to Order pieces were just that, you order a number of peices and you could get them by paying a setup charge with a fairly long lead time... the promise Gorham made when the acquired Alvin was that they would make the pieces with the Alvin dies (I would presume the Alvin Marks as well)so that no collectors / customer would bewithout a source of the patterns perviously produced by the company being purched (Alvin).

I would assume the same would have been followed for the rest of the companies as long as they were purchased in the same ti e frames. I make this assumption based on the company communications directly to the previous customers directly as they did in those days.

"Smaug"

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