SMP Logo
SM Publications
Silver Salon Forums - The premier site for discussing Silver.
SMP | Silver Salon Forums | SSF - Guidelines | SSF - FAQ | Silver Sales

The Silver Salon Forums
Since 1993
Over 11,793 threads & 64,769 posts !!
American Sterling Silver Forum
How to Post Photos REGISTER (click here)

customtitle open  SMP Silver Salon Forums
tlineopen  American Sterling Silver
tline3open  Narragansett or Naragansett style?

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

ForumFriend SSFFriend: Email This Page to Someone! next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Narragansett or Naragansett style?
ksrabe@earthlink.net

Posts: 14
Registered: Jul 2002

iconnumber posted 03-30-2003 12:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ksrabe@earthlink.net     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have some Narragansett style pieces which I would like to share with the forum. There was an extesive article on Narragansett in the September 2002 issue of The Magazine Antiques. It appears that they are quite rare according to the article.

Would you say these are Narragansett or Naragansett style?


IP: Logged

Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1758
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 03-30-2003 02:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Karen. Cool pieces! They are in the Narragansett style, not examples of the pattern itself.

The two spoons on the left were described in Gorham's catalogs as "5 o'clock tea spoons". There were twelve designs in all. Five were in the Narragansett style, one had a large fish as its handle, and one used the Hizen pattern. The other five were less interesting. I think the spoons first appeared in 1888.

The oyster forks are something I haven't seen before. They use the handles from 3 of the aforementioned 5 o'clock spoons. Gorham produced a Narragansett-style set of forks called "Blue Point," but these forks are different. Presumably yours date from the same period as the spoons, but I was unable to locate them in the Gorham catalogs. Maybe they were a special order (or I just missed them in the catalogs). Are the forks marked with any numbers?

Here is the 1888 Gorham catalog page from the CD-ROM set.


IP: Logged

ksrabe@earthlink.net

Posts: 14
Registered: Jul 2002

iconnumber posted 03-30-2003 03:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ksrabe@earthlink.net     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Paul for your reply and posting the catalog pages. Yes,I think they are very cool too.

I quickly checked the forks and found no numbers on them, just the Gorham lion, anchor and G mark near the throat, along with "sterling" higher up on the handle.

I purchased the forks at a flea market in Ohio, and the two spoons in California. I would love to find more!!!
Four of five of the spoons recently sold for a considerable sum at Northeast Auction last fall and they labeled them as "Naragansett". O f course, that was to their advantage. The Antiques magazine article labeled them as Naragansett style which is why I posed the question.

IP: Logged

Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1758
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 03-30-2003 03:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wish I could find that kind of stuff at my local flea markets!

Gorham also produced teaspoons with those handles. Rather than having shell bowls, they have regular smooth teaspoon bowls.

Click here for a discussion we had previously about Narragansett and related silver. You might find it of interest. Brent pictures an example with a Narragansett style handle and a teaspoon bowl.

IP: Logged

Brent

Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 03-30-2003 10:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Those certainly are interesting forks. I guess I am not surprised to find oyster forks with these handles, but I had not seen any before.

A word of caution though; the spoons at least have been faked through casting. I recently saw a cast fake of the spoon with the crab handle and shell bowl. It was well done and superficially convincing, but if you looked carefully you could see where all of the decoration was simply part of a single casting, rather than having each piece formed and applied separately. You could also see the traces of the original STERLING stamp on the stem where the casting picked it up. As I recall it had a decent looking fake Gorham mark on the the back of the bowl.
Your forks do look pretty good from the picture, but they might be worth a close examination to see if the seaweed and animals are applied as they should be. Because of the high prices these things are bringing, they would be a natural choice for the faker, unfortunately. I have one of the original spoons with the shell bowl and fish handle, and I was crazy enough to pay about $100 to have a new tail put on one fish where it had broken off!

Brent

IP: Logged

Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1758
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 03-30-2003 11:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Gorham shell motif silver I've seen faked the most is one of the shell motif dishes. I've seen at least 10 on eBay and at shops. And some have been paired with a recast of the crab motif spoon.

The dishes are heavier and because the "sand" isn't applied, but part of the cast, it looks more like blobs than grains. The marks are ill-defined too. I've seen the recasts fetch $300+ on eBay before.

IP: Logged

ksrabe@earthlink.net

Posts: 14
Registered: Jul 2002

iconnumber posted 03-31-2003 10:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ksrabe@earthlink.net     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Brent,thanks for the heads up on the fakery. These are the real thing and definitely not a casting. To much detail.

Any way, I doubt if anyone would cast these and then sell for for a few dollars each. That wouldn't be very cost effective.

BTW, how do I get a copy of the Gorham catalogs on CD??

IP: Logged

Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1758
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 03-31-2003 02:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I purchased mine from Spencer Marks. Go to their book section, then the catalog reprints section. When I got mine, they were running a special. I don't know if they still are, but they're a great reference even if not.

IP: Logged

Polly

Posts: 1910
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 05-23-2018 10:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's interesting to me to read this old post and see that these Gorham Narragansett-style pieces were already being faked 15 years ago. They seem to be quite popular now, but I've seen enough fakes that I've never bought one before (also because the prices people ask for them are eyebrow-raising).

I just won an auction for one of the larger Narragansett-style nut dishes or master salts at my favorite charity shop (for a reasonable price), so I went online to see what else is out there. Out of the 14 listings I saw for Gorham Narragansett-style nut dishes/almond dishes/salts, two are obvious fakes/recasts. The others look okay, as far as I can tell from photos. The dealer offering the fakes wants astronomical prices for them. I wonder whether s/he's just careless, or actively dishonest.

And I wonder who made the recasts, and whether they're still being made, or whether the ones we're seeing were all made earlier than 15 years ago, when Brent mentioned their existence.

I'm pretty sure the one I just won is genuine. I'll post photos after I pick it up tomorrow.

IP: Logged

asheland

Posts: 917
Registered: Nov 2003

iconnumber posted 05-24-2018 10:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for asheland     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've seen these fakes, too. It disgusts me. frown
I do believe, however us Gorham collectors will be ok determining the real from the fake. It's the new collectors that are mainly at risk. This is a much larger problem with coins however. There are some SCARY fakes out there in the coin market.

IP: Logged

Polly

Posts: 1910
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 05-24-2018 11:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just saw another fake online, so make that 3/15 fakes--one in five. The seller of the third fake presents it as "possibly Gorham"--I think they honestly don't know, and are not trying to pass it off as real. They're also not charging anything like as much as the other sellers are asking for it.

But the seller of the other two is very experienced and ought to know better! And maybe DOES know better.

I find it interesting to think about what happens to fakes as the market changes. When a particular item, period, or style is hot, fake-makers may cash in by making fakes. The fakes might help bring the market down by making the items seem less rare and untrustworthy. And fashions might change, bringing the market down as well.

But once the market has fallen, the fakes still exist. I've sometimes found myself reasoning, "This item is not that valuable to begin with, so why would anyone bother faking it? It's probably real." But while the item may not be valuable at the moment, maybe it was in the past.

And then, of course, there's a whole vast discussion to be had about the meaning of an object that's such a good fake nobody can tell it from an original.

IP: Logged

Polly

Posts: 1910
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 05-24-2018 06:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I picked up my dish at the charity shop this afternoon. I got to feel good about giving money to an excellent cause, and about having gotten a bargain on a nice piece of silver:

I'm confident mine is one of the real ones. The marks are nice and sharp, in a different spot from the fakes', which have them inside the little shell-shaped foot. The sand on mine is sharp and applied, rather than part of the casting, and it's a different shape from the sand on the fakes, which all have the same sand as each other (or all the ones I've seen do, anyway). The edges of mine are finished with applied weathering: they have "cracks" that were clearly cut out with a saw; on the fakes, they're filled in, since the casting isn't fine enough to capture them. And mine has a nicely engraved monogram; I wouldn't expect a fake to have a monogram at all, let alone a convincing 19th century-looking one. And the fakes I've seen have an additional STERLING stamp in a different typeface.

I'm pointing out these details in case they help other collectors to recognize the fakes.

IP: Logged

Polly

Posts: 1910
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 05-24-2018 06:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The marks:

IP: Logged

asheland

Posts: 917
Registered: Nov 2003

iconnumber posted 05-25-2018 09:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for asheland     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Polly, your example is unquestionably genuine and original. A very splendid example!!!

This is a type of Gorham I haven't found yet for my collection. It's terrific stuff!

IP: Logged

Scott Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 11321
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 05-25-2018 10:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I really like the creature/snail cut in on the edge.

IP: Logged

Polly

Posts: 1910
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 05-25-2018 02:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you, asheland! Me too, Scott.

I wonder whether they got the basic shape of the mussel shells by casting actual shells, then manipulated them to make them more individual. Some of the shells on those spoons look lifelike enough that I'd believe it if you told me they were based on casts of actual shells.

The saleswomen at the charity shop were very amused by my excitement when I picked up the bowl.

IP: Logged

All times are ET

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.46a


1. Public Silver Forums (open Free membership) - anyone with a valid e-mail address may register. Once you have received your Silver Salon Forum password, and then if you abide by the Silver Salon Forum Guidelines, you may start a thread or post a reply in the New Members' Forum. New Members who show a continued willingness to participate, to completely read and abide by the Guidelines will be allowed to post to the Member Public Forums.
Click here to Register for a Free password

2. Private Silver Salon Forums (invitational or $ donation membership) - The Private Silver Salon Forums require registration and special authorization to view, search, start a thread or to post a reply. Special authorization can be obtained in one of several ways: by Invitation; Annual $ Donation; or via Special Limited Membership. For more details click here (under development).

3. Administrative/Special Private Forums (special membership required) - These forums are reserved for special subjects or administrative discussion. These forums are not open to the public and require special authorization to view or post.


| Home | Order | The Guide to Evaluating Gold & Silver Objects | The Book of Silver
| Update BOS Registration | Silver Library | For Sale | Our Wants List | Silver Dealers | Speakers Bureau |
| Silversmiths | How to set a table | Shows | SMP | Silver News |
copyright © 1993 - 2020 SM Publications
All Rights Reserved.
Legal & Privacy Notices