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Author Topic:   Gorham silver fork
iva

Posts: 1
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 11-11-2004 08:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for iva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I live in Jerusalem. A young artist friend of my daughter's has just presented me with a lovely "fork bangle." She usually makes these by purchasing silver-plated forks in secondhand stores and using heated pliers to curl back the tines and make a bangle shape. In my case this was a special present, so she told me the fork was solid silver.
It really is a lovely piece -- beautifully moulded, delicately engraved on the handle -- and with the moulding pattern quite different on the inside and outside of the fork's "neck."
When I looked closely for a hallmark, imagine my surprise to see the words "PATENT 1880 GORHAM" quite clearly engraved into the narrow neck of the handle, followed by a small symbol that may or may not be an anchor.
My question is purely out of academic and personal interest, since the fork is no longer in its original state: Did it have any particular antiquarian value before it was bangle-ized? It about 15 cm. total length, so was not a dinner (main course) fork. It really is quite beautiful. If anyone can answer this, I would be happy. It would be something to talk about at dinner parties!
Incidentally, if anyone wants to read about the highly original young lady who makes these bangles, pls go to The Jerusalem Post web site -- jpost.com -- to my bimonthly column called Short Order under Food in the UpFront magazine section, this week's offering, called "Smile as you cook, it helps things along."
Thank you

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Scott Martin
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Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 11-11-2004 09:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You may find this of interest:

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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1768
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 11-15-2004 06:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That "PATENT 1880 GORHAM" mark is found on a silverplated pattern by Gorham. I think the pattern name is Princess Louise. And yes, that little mark is an anchor. The anchor alone denotes silverplate, whereas Gorham's lion-anchor-G denotes silver.

As for value, the conversion of forks into bracelets ruins any value that the forks have in their original form. Even if the item can be bent back into its original form (which would require annealing, which would require the item to be re-polished/buffed), the value is still harmed.

Luckily, silverplated forks aren't worth much money unless they are in a desirable pattern.

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