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Author Topic:   The "H"
Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1768
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 05-06-2001 10:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Around the 1890s-1910 or so, Gorham seems to have made a bunch of flatware marked "H#" in addition to the usual marks.

I have pondered over just what the "H" means, since the flatware styles I have seen it on are all over the place. Did Gorham use it on specific lines of flatware? On some/all not-full-line flatware from this period? Something else?

Here is a breakdown of what I have seen the "H" mark on:

  • Art Nouveau period serving pieces: these are very pretty and ornate, and include berry spoons, bon-bon/nut spoons, etc.
  • State souvenir spoons; marked with H followed by a number in the 900s.
  • Fairly plain or mundane patterns from the 1890s or so; (ex. [gone from the internet] on eBay)
  • Floral teaspoons.
  • A Narragansett pattern style spoon, but with a small teaspoon or large coffee bowl, rather than the realistic shell bowl usually seen.
  • I once saw a salt spoon, in the same mode as the figural Florence pattern, with an H number.
  • In the Gorham pattern section of Carpenter's book, Carpenter illustrates an H83 pattern from c. 1870, and several H patterns from c. 1900: H108, H109, H200, H252, H316, H385, & H451. I have a feeling that the c. 1900 ones are not-full-line patterns; about the c. 1870 one I am uncertain.
  • Finally, I have a two-piece youth set with a handle that is shaped like the Antique pattern and is completely plain except for a cast and applied cherub's face among some scrolls at the top of each handle. The knife is marked 1465M, the fork, H1466M--I have no clue what the M means. The fork does not have an H, just M. The fork has the 1898 date mark; both pieces have the post-1893 French import swan mark.

Also, I see the letters A and B pretty regularly as a prefix to the item's number (these are on hollowware), but I can't recall offhand seeing all of the letters C through G. So why H, I wonder--is it just random, or is there a special reason?

One thing I sure of--all of the pieces I have seen date to the 1890 to 1910 period (except the c.1870 pattern shown in Carpenter).

Any insights or ideas would be appreciated.

[This message has been edited by Paul Lemieux (edited 05-06-2001).]

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M H Bradshaw

Posts: 32
Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 05-09-2001 01:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for M H Bradshaw     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To further complicate the issue, I have sugar tongs marked H115 that are a perfect match for Berry Spoon H86 indicating that the pattern doesn't appear to be the controlling factor.

I also have a plainish lemon fork, marked H824 & GORHAM, instead of lion, anchor, G. Has Gorham used the H series in any of their recent remakes? I've seen quite a few of these for sale on Ebay.

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William Hood

Posts: 271
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 06-01-2001 09:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for William Hood     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I recently asked Sam Hough, the Gorham expert, what the "H" mark signified. He said that around 1900, Gorham changed its numbering system and started prefixing pattern numbers with the letter H. It apparently has no specific significance other that that.

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