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tline3open  Unknown Gorham Serving Piece (Wilkinson?)

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Author Topic:   Unknown Gorham Serving Piece (Wilkinson?)

Posts: 326
Registered: Oct 2004

iconnumber posted 10-09-2004 04:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for IJP     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

I have been unable to find any information on the pattern of this Gorham serving piece. I have been told that it's called "Hindu," but I cannot locate any documentation. It has been indicated to me that Gorham historian Samuel Hough made mention of it, but I don't know where.

The prism handle design is vaguely reminiscent of Isis, and the functional end bears elaborately engraved decorations as does that other pattern. The similarities would indicate to me that the designers are the same. Sources credit George Wilkinson with the design of Isis, so that's where I would tend to look.

If anyone knows anything about this piece and especially can point me toward any piece of documentation, please reply.


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Posts: 14
Registered: Oct 2004

iconnumber posted 10-18-2004 05:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KillerChihuahua     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I cannot tell anything from the picture, but I don't know of any Gorham pattern "Hindu." They had one called "Hindostanee" - but I don't know of any square-handled pieces in that pattern, and although as I said the picture is too small for my eyes it doesn't look much like Hindostanee to me.

Sorry I couldn't be more help - I realize this is just a lot of "I don't' know" but maybe it will help you narrow your search. OTOH, who told you it was pattern Hindu? I'd ask them about that...

And I hate to ask the obvious, but you've checked to be sure it is Gorham? It has Lion/Anchor/G on it?

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Posts: 326
Registered: Oct 2004

iconnumber posted 10-19-2004 11:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for IJP     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the reply, KC.

This piece does indeed have the lion-anchor-G mark at the back of the functional end near the handle join. The "sterling" stamp, right next to the maker's mark, is at the back of the handle base, which is parcel-gilt, as is the front of the functional end.

There is no question that this piece was made by Gorham. Its resemblance to Isis would be further assurance to me.

I am aware of the pattern "Hindostanee," but of course this piece looks nothing like it. My dilemma is that I have a Gorham serving piece and have only the word one individual and no hard documents as to its identity. I would have to assume that perhaps this piece belonged to a pattern that was either not full-line, or was only briefly introduced, or for some other reason dropped out of the radar of most silver historians.

Again, the resemblance to Isis would encourage me to look around 1870 for its introduction, and possibly attribute it to Wilkinson.

I am confident, however, that someone may know something.

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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1768
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 10-19-2004 05:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gorham produced a variety of similar, non-line patterns through the 1870s and 1880s. These all have hollow handles, or hollow elements, usually in conjunction with rods, disks, other shapes, and engraved and applied decoration. The hollow components were not limited to rectangular shapes. Also produced were spheres, torpedo shapes, etc.

I find that most pieces in these non-line "geometric" patterns are serving items such as cake knives, ladles, etc. The olive "spork" was a form used to exhibit such designs well into the 1880s. Most or all of these pieces would have been sold in a presentation case and would have made nice gifts.

Probably Wilkinson was the designer of these items. The geometric non-line patterns are related to both Isis and Angelo patterns, but as far as I know, there is not a pattern name for designs such as that on your server, although some new information may come out to disprove me. These patterns are quite attractive (to my eye) and are instantly recognizable as the work of Gorham; nobody else was producing work quite like this.

I have had several of these items in the past, so let me see if I can dig up my old images from my computer and post them here. Also I will check the Gorham CD ROM for any examples.

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Posts: 326
Registered: Oct 2004

iconnumber posted 10-20-2004 12:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for IJP     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, Mr. Lemieux. The Gorham CD-ROM may very well have the information I'm looking for. My only lead tells me that his information is from Samuel Hough. I know about this CD-ROM, but have never seen or used it. I only wonder, if I purchased it, how often I would need to consult it. It might, for instance, be very helpful now with this question, but in the future who knows. That period, 1880-1909, would of course be of particular interest to me. If you come across something interesting in reference to this piece/pattern, do let me know.

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Posts: 80
Registered: Nov 99

iconnumber posted 11-06-2004 06:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Trefid     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's a small silver world. I've just received an email from a Rhode Island friend letting me know that Sam Hough said that there is a costing record and a photograph of this pattern in the Gorham archives. It's official name is HINDOO, not HINDU. (It was the style at that time to spell the foreign "oo" sound with the double "o" instead of a "u.") Dr. Dale Bennett also correctly named this pattern when he showed me several pieces of it recently.

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Posts: 326
Registered: Oct 2004

iconnumber posted 11-09-2004 04:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for IJP     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hey, that's more like it, Trefid. Thanks. I don't know if I want to go as far as to hire archive research services, but I wonder how much information there is about this pattern. More particularly, as I mentioned above, I'm most interested in confirming my belief that Wilkinson designed this (if indeed he designed Isis as well). And while Isis and similar patterns of that era belong to a specific Egyptian Revivalist movement, does Hindoo represent yet another trend in silver design, or is it simply another whimsical manifestation of the same style? What, if any, are the events surrounding the interest in this culture? There's a great article in Silver Magazine about the Egyptian movement (May/June, July/August, Sept/Oct 2003) but it focuses exclusively on the Egyptian-inspired patterns. I wish someone would explore some of these other exotic patterns, too. So many questions...

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William Hood

Posts: 271
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 11-29-2004 10:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for William Hood     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just now picked up on this thread. For a little more info on Gorham's Hindoo pattern, see endnote 11 in our article on "American Silver Flatware in the Egyptian Revival Style, Part Three." in Silver Magazine, September/October 2003, p. 33.

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Richard Kurtzman

Posts: 759
Registered: Aug 2000

iconnumber posted 08-07-2008 04:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is a piece in one of those "geometric" non full line patterns Paul referred to. It is a 7 3/4" slotted olive spoon marked with a number 75.

The elongated oval shaped handle is divided into four segments with a small button applied to the top and a striated ball between the stem and the bottom of the handle.

Anyone have other pieces with "geometric" handles?

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