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Author Topic:   what is this gorham ivory
hello

Posts: 200
Registered: Jun 2005

iconnumber posted 06-05-2005 10:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hello     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
[26-0479 13-0187]

I know its Gorham 1890 (has rooster mark), but is a mere four inches long and 2 inches wide. The fish suggest some type of seafood server but I would very much like to know.

It has the number 535 by the hallmark and 26 to the right (upside down) of the hallmark.

Thanks for the help.


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Dale

Posts: 2132
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iconnumber posted 06-05-2005 11:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is a wonderful piece. It seems that the pierced part appears in other Gorham items of the period. Just not in such small ones. Not a clue, but thanks so much for posting it.

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hello

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Registered: Jun 2005

iconnumber posted 06-06-2005 07:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hello     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does this mean that ivory servers from Gorham served no specific purpose, or are the records for them not available?

I have not managed to justify spending $300 on the catalog's on CD just quite yet so I don't know if they were ever included in there regular catalogs. If they are, the date mark of 1890 would make it easy to find.

Another question; I understand that SMP has a silver magazine, but for some reason can't find any links to it on the site. I only got this impression from reading through other posts so if someone could point me in the right direction...

Thanks again
Winston

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t-man-nc

Posts: 327
Registered: Mar 2000

iconnumber posted 06-07-2005 07:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for t-man-nc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A couple of things that have caught my attention... one you say 535 are you sure it does not say 585 (alternant coding for 14kt), and the second... is the size is odd and from the picture, I don't think I have ever seen anything like this...Hum... almost seems to be to little for much of anything I can think of...I would have to guess maybe some kind of teething toy for babies...Just don't have a clue... But if I saw it at a show, I would most likely have to pony up and buy it... Neat Peice!

As for the CD, if it is the one from Sam Hough I understand it is something to see and represents a major portion of the Gorham Archives. I have not seen it my self so I can only pass on what I have heard. Maybe someone else can comment on the CD that may have seen it...


"Smaug"

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Dale

Posts: 2132
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iconnumber posted 06-07-2005 12:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wonder if this could be a very upper end mysterious sewing item?

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hello

Posts: 200
Registered: Jun 2005

iconnumber posted 06-07-2005 12:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hello     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No definately 535. I have scanned a close up of the marks. It is gold wash, but the sterling makes it obvious. Can't really see a implemntation for sewing. I was thinking maybe caviar or escargot? (I have never even seen such things so...) Seems a bit much for a teething stick.

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Paul Lemieux

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Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 06-07-2005 05:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I will try to consult the Gorham CD ROM catalogs this evening. I find the CD ROMs to be a great reference tool for identifying whatzits. Since so many eBay sellers do not picture makers' marks, most mfr. catalog reprints (e.g., this set, the Unger reprints) can be helpful in identifying items that aren't familiar or readily attributed to a maker. They're also fun to look through. They have a handy search feature so the user can simply search for a specific model number, form, or pattern.

[This message has been edited by Paul Lemieux (edited 06-07-2005).]

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hello

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iconnumber posted 06-07-2005 07:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hello     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Now that I have figured out how do this, I have provided some better pictures to provide perspective. I am also interested in the long-term care of this item(as it is the only piece with ivory). I've read that it is good to buffer it from the outside environment so currently it is in a plastic box with cotton cushioning it.

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S. Eaves

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Registered: Jun 2005

iconnumber posted 06-08-2005 06:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for S. Eaves     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The caviar idea sounds pretty likely to me too. Or maybe it's a salesman's sample miniature of a larger server? Not that it would make any difference but, might those fish be the old stylized dolphins? I've seen baby rattles that were very similar, but yours doesn't have any dangles to rattle. Hmm, pretty little thing though. Good "whatzit".

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Kimo

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Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 06-08-2005 11:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm looking forward to hearing what it really is as soon as someone figures it out. In the meantime I am not sold yet on the idea that it is a server - the three dimensional design on the face with all of the nooks and crannies would seem to be not only a problem to clean, but more to the point it would be a problem to slide food off of it and onto a plate or such. In that it is not flat and given the attachment of the handle in the center of the design it would also be hard to slide under food to pick it up.

One additional question - is the handle ivory or is it bone? Telling the difference is not always easy at first glance.

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dragonflywink

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iconnumber posted 06-08-2005 12:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Perhaps it's just me, but this looks like a stunning little bon bon or nut spoon. The short handle, wide pierced bowl, and decorative qualities seem typical. Doesn't seem that the stylized dolphin motif would necessarily mean that this was intended for use with seafood. Dolphins frequently show up as a decorative element on all sorts of items (silver, furniture, etc.), believe that on French pieces, they were often a nod to the Dauphin (heir to the throne).

Cheryl ;o)

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hello

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iconnumber posted 06-08-2005 12:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hello     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A bonbon server is a possibility as I know they do exist (I seen one for sale on a replacement site somewhere-with no picture of course). The end of the handle comes to an edge, so I think that rules out a teething stick(I changed one of the pictures to show this) and wouldn't want my daughter jabbing it in her mouth! Also I'm not sure if they are dolphins as the mouth is wide open and attaches to the outer rim (it's hard to tell that they are in fact the mouths by the pictures, in fact when I first glanced at it I thought they were birds.) Anyways, thanks for all the help. Maybe someone has seen a bonbon server with ivory before? Maybe I'll do some more searching on the web.

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salmoned

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iconnumber posted 06-09-2005 03:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for salmoned     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I may be imagining it, but the two small circular holes at the top (away from handle) of the piece seem significantly different from the other piercings - perhaps they were functional?

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hello

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iconnumber posted 06-10-2005 10:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hello     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am still thinking this has got to be some type of server(maybe it is a bonbon?) But the fish as well as the size suggest something specific. Maybe we'll never know?

[This message has been edited by hello (edited 06-11-2005).]

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salmoned

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iconnumber posted 06-11-2005 07:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for salmoned     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think the fish/dolphin image is off-base, those figures seem more like bird heads to me - or just floral decorations. I can't imagine what this might have been good for serving, other than silver dollar-sized pancakes, perhaps.

[This message has been edited by salmoned (edited 06-11-2005).]

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hello

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iconnumber posted 07-15-2005 07:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hello     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Took this to a ex(recently retired, and also the person who got me into this smile antique dealer and he said that the dolphins would be typical style for the period, as mentioned earlier(I stand corrected) as well as that his best guess would be an almond/nut shaker. After looking up a few others made by gorham, I would say I have to agree. He said that back then they were used to shake off the salt, hence the piercing. He also said that he couldn't be 100% positive, but I don't think anyone could be without direct documentation. I consider it case closed!

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hello

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iconnumber posted 03-16-2006 09:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hello     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
after a little more experience...
the only explanation for these would be a small bon-bon server, as far as I can tell. Too small, awkward for a nut shaker.

[This message has been edited by hello (edited 03-17-2006).]

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jersey

Posts: 1203
Registered: Feb 2005

iconnumber posted 03-17-2006 12:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jersey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Hello!!!!!
Who cares..........it's gorgeous!!!!!!!!!!!!
It's to take out the raisins from the farina.
(But I know what you're going for).
Enjoy!
Jersey

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Tad Hale

Posts: 120
Registered: Jul 2005

iconnumber posted 03-17-2006 02:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tad Hale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I couldn't find this item in the Gorham CD's but I think it is either a Bon-Bon or a Baby's rattle. The two round holes drilled in the top seems like they could have held the rattles and are now missing from this piece.

Almond or nut servers are shaped more like a scoop.

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Richard Kurtzman
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Registered: Aug 2000

iconnumber posted 11-18-2009 09:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I came across this thread this while doing a search.

This piece is indeed a bonbon scoop, first introduced by Gorham in 1890.

Please see the article GORHAM'S "WHITE GOLD" FLATWARE by William P. Hood Jr., Dale E. Bennett and Richard A. Kurtzman in the September 2008 issue of "The Magazine ANTIQUES" for more information on Gorham's production of ivory flatware.

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dragonflywink

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Registered: Dec 2002

iconnumber posted 02-19-2019 03:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Can remember, years ago, thinking how much I'd like to have one of these pieces in my collection, and now I do. Pictured with a page from the excellent article in 'The Magazine Antiques' showing three of the six designs, mine appears to have a muscular little putto holding a pair of wyverns, with a grotesque mask at the tip; 4-1/2" long, 2" wide, the production number is '525' and the date code for 1891.

~Cheryl


[This message has been edited by dragonflywink (edited 02-19-2019).]

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ahwt

Posts: 2173
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 02-20-2019 02:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great piece. The wyverns are as interesting as the putto.

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June Martin
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iconnumber posted 02-23-2019 05:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for June Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bravo, Cheryl!

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Polly

Posts: 1939
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 02-23-2019 06:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Beautiful!

Are the handles in fact ivory? That must be an issue for collectors and dealers, if so.

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dragonflywink

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Registered: Dec 2002

iconnumber posted 02-27-2019 12:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not really a big fan of putti, but am very fond of mythical creatures, so I like this one a lot.

Polly, they are ivory, and most likely from African elephants. The last ivory pieces I sold, some years ago, were Chinese napkin rings, and I panicked because the buyer was in China and they couldn't be sent out of country, fortunately she used an American address. There is no problem with owning ivory, only in how it's purchased or sold, haven't kept up since I'm no longer an active dealer, and I just keep any ivory pieces found, but do know the regulations have been further strengthened (if able to be sold at all, cannot cross state lines). Not that this piece will leave my collection, but given the 1891 Gorham date code and documented years of production, there should be no issue in certifying it as 'antique' - as to specific federal and state regulations concerning sale, I'm pretty clueless at this point...

~Cheryl

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ahwt

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iconnumber posted 02-28-2019 01:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The dealers at the antique shows I go to do not seem to be concerned with selling antique tortoiseshell or ivory items. I think most of the restrictions apply to shipping overseas or for items that do not qualify as antique.

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