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tline3open  Gorham graduated ball pattern cast

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Author Topic:   Gorham graduated ball pattern cast
Scott Martin
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Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 05-20-2006 08:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gorham graduated ball pattern cast

Here is a piece we picked up last January. It is clearly cast. The mark which appears to be a part of the of the casting is the Gorham, “Lion Anchor G”. The sterling mark has been struck. We are not familiar with this pattern, are you? We are familiar with Gorham casting of serving pieces but not of this lessor quality.

We thought the items were interesting and felt there was a story to be discovered but so far we only have what we can imagine. Can any of you provide some insight or have anything else in this pattern to share with us?

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Dale

Posts: 2132
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iconnumber posted 05-20-2006 01:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Older and wiser silverphiles than me have usually refered to Gorham's cast work as 'experimental'. Meaning that Gorham would first do a cast piece to see if it would be worthwhile to make a die for a pattern. Then with an actual piece, they would play around, see how it felt in the hand, try it out on friends and retailers for a reaction. All to see if it would be a worthwhile investment. And if the piece was worthwhile it would serve as a model for the diemaker. If not, it would be sold off somehow. Maybe go home with the designer? Not much is known here, just reasonable speculation drawn upon industrial practices. The cast pieces were a 'mock up'.

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Paul Lemieux

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Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 05-22-2006 11:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Have seen recast knockoffs of Gorham and other serving pieces. The trademark (which would have originally been stamped) came through blurry, but on many examples, a new sterling mark was struck, so it showed up crisply. I have only seen Gorham flatware with marks that were either stamped part of the die. Have not seen cast servers with the trademark incorporated into the mould. I am wondering if this beaded set is a recast of an original. I can't tell if the trademark really is part of the casting, or simply very worn. Does this set have the feel of being a recast?

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 05-22-2006 12:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It a casting. Whether it is a recasting of a casting or of an original struck pattern, I can’t say.
The mark is not worn but is poorly a part of the casting.
The sterling mark is struck and is crisp.
The pieces are a little sloppy on the back side but generally look nice/good for a prototype. We may even use them for an up coming diner. smile
If they are a knock off then of what pattern? Does anyone have an example of the original?

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Dale

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iconnumber posted 05-22-2006 01:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
FWIW people I have known who did make copies, by casting methods, have always stuck to highly popular patterns. Like Old Colonial, Georgian, Chantilly. They never fooled around with anything obscure. Despite fervent pleas from their outlets. They also spent a great deal of time ducking Towle's attorneys.

Which is why I don't think this is a current copy. Turner does not show this pattern, nor does it look familiar.

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Paul Lemieux

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Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 05-22-2006 02:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have seen more recast Gorham Virginiana servers and Narragansett-style 5 o'clock coffee spoons than recast Chantilly. Recently saw a recast George Sharp squirrel item.

This graduated bead pattern would probably have been introduced by Gorham in the mid-1880s as one of their many not-full-line patterns. I used to have a ca 1885 cocktail fork of which the handle was the exact same series of cast, graduated balls.

[This message has been edited by Paul Lemieux (edited 05-22-2006).]

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Brent

Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 05-22-2006 02:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm afraid I will have to vote for modern fantasy fake. I have seen more than a few instances recently where a handle design from one manufacturer has been combined with a bowl from another. One was a known Tiffany Bon Bon handle attached to a plain bowl with very authentic-looking Gorham marks. I have also seen the elaborately decorated bowls from Durgin Chrysanthemum attached to unidentifiable pattern handles. The marks you show look just like the fakes I have seen, unfortunately.

Brent

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hello

Posts: 200
Registered: Jun 2005

iconnumber posted 05-22-2006 07:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hello     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I "think" I have seen this around the popular auction site. I don't think it would be fake, only for the reason I can think of alot better things to fake than this pattern. Not that it is not nice, but that's what it is, nice. If I were a faker, I would stick to things that might be profitable.

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Paul S

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Registered: Dec 2000

iconnumber posted 05-24-2006 07:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul S     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have in my possession what I think is probably the original version of this spoon. I'm no expert in silver construction, but I don't feel the spoon is cast. It is fairly light (about 2.5 oz troy) and doesn't have the "pebble" texture your spoon appears to have. It looks like my spoon was stamped or raised in some manner and the balls and leaf decoration applied. The Gorham hallmark is distinct and it is not sterling but 900 fine. The bowl is also gilded and engraved. I'm with the others on a modern sand cast....although I don't know why they would choose this piece.

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Brent

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iconnumber posted 05-25-2006 11:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Son of a gun! Your piece is undoubtedly original, and Scott's set is not a fantasy piece after all, but simply a cast fake of an original. The 900 fine mark is odd, but real; I don't think it was used for long, or on many pieces.

Thanks for sharing!

Brent

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Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 05-25-2006 12:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Have any other posters here meet people who make these copies? Have they come up to you at shows or shops and offered completed items? And asked you what you would like to have duplicated?

I have, at least twice. Both were sort of left over hippies who made silver jewelry. And had expanded into flatware.

Would this be a worthwhile topic to persue?

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Paul Lemieux

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Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 05-25-2006 12:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I see a lot of recasts at antique shops. There is a group shop on Cape Cod where one of the booths is displaying 4 or 5 horrendous recasts of Whiting Ivory servers, where the ivory portion of the original was recast as silver. Most of what I see is atrocious quality--very blobby and shiny--and usually offered by generalists who do not know anything about silver and are selling the recasts as old/antique, although I do not believe they are doing so dishonestly.

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William Hood

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Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 05-25-2006 02:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for William Hood     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As regards the "900 FINE" mark, in our article on stag head flatware in the May/June issue of Silver Magagzine we showed a gravy ladle in Gorham's Saxon Stag with this mark (Figs. 8, 8a). We had never encountered this before.

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dragonflywink

Posts: 975
Registered: Dec 2002

iconnumber posted 05-25-2006 04:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Used to know a dealer with a son that ran a dental lab, he made some very nice quality casts of salt spoons for her (bit nicer than the common repros found online and in most shops), all marked only 925 and clearly tagged as reproductions. Unfortunately, once these copies are sold to someone else they often become "antique" pieces. My mom has a fairly large collection of salts and spoons and truthfully, if she likes a piece, she'll buy a repro, but that's with the knowledge of what it is and paying the much lower price. Personally, I want the original pieces (though a low price is always good!).

Cheryl ;o)

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Paul S

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Registered: Dec 2000

iconnumber posted 05-27-2006 04:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul S     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone have an idea of the date for the 900 Fine marks. I was thinking 1870ish or am I way off base?

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hello

Posts: 200
Registered: Jun 2005

iconnumber posted 05-27-2006 08:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for hello     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gorham began using sterling, and marking it as such in 1868. Maybe they marked pieces already made at that time 900 fine? Could explain why so few pieces come up.

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