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Author Topic:   Gorham Spoon?
tmockait

Posts: 963
Registered: Jul 2004

iconnumber posted 11-10-2005 03:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tmockait     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
[01-2353]

I am posting this on the "General Silver Forum," since I am not sure it really is Gorham. The mark is badly effaced. It clearly has an anchor in the middle, preceded by what looks like a rearing lion, and followed by what I am guessing is a G. The hallmark is preceded by a "T", which I understand signifies "trade" weight, and followed by "Sterling." It seems to correspond to the 1852-65 mark, judging by the shape of the anchor and the supposition that the lion is rearing. However, I thought the word "sterling" was added to US silver much later. Can anyone verify or correct my conclusions? I found a book on Victorian silver catalogs that suggests the pattern is "antique tip." If this is correct, when might the spoon have been made.

Tom

PS I found a copy of Rainwater in the local library reference section!

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Ulysses Dietz
Moderator

Posts: 1265
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 11-11-2005 11:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm not as well versed in GOrhams marks as I should be; but remember that Jabez Gorham started out as a spoon maker, and his early patterns were produced much later by the firm. The design of the spoon looks like a late 19th-early 20th century "Colonial" pattern. The marks might indicate late 19th century. Gorham supplied a lot of silver for retail stores that didn't care about the Gorham name.

Any more insight out there?

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tmockait

Posts: 963
Registered: Jul 2004

iconnumber posted 11-11-2005 11:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tmockait     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Ulysses. Gorham used a very different style punch for the late 19th c. The lion, anchor, and letter G were set in crests. Perhaps a reproduction preserved the earlier mark as well?

Tom

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Brent

Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 11-11-2005 12:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm afraid you have a standard piece of MOTHERS, introduced around 1875. I'm not usre why Gorham used the older style trademark on this pattern, but it seems to be consistent, based on the pieces of MOTHERS I have seen.

Gorham trademarks often vary in style and execution from pattern to pattern and piece to piece, and are not strictly chronological. Getting to know what mark to expect on a given pattern is, unfortunately, the only way to go.

Brent

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tmockait

Posts: 963
Registered: Jul 2004

iconnumber posted 11-11-2005 12:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tmockait     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Brent. So last quarter of the 19th century is a good bet for when it was made? In any case, I spent very little on the spoon and had lots of run researching it (which is a good definition for a hobby!).

Tom

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mdhavey

Posts: 164
Registered: Dec 2003

iconnumber posted 11-11-2005 04:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mdhavey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The original version of Mothers was made by Gorham in 1874-5. They re-issued the pattern in 1926.

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mdhavey

Posts: 164
Registered: Dec 2003

iconnumber posted 11-11-2005 05:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mdhavey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just to confuse things further, it could also be Gorham Plain, which is almost identical to Mothers but with a slightly less pointy handle. From 1933, but that seems pretty late for the old mark.

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tmockait

Posts: 963
Registered: Jul 2004

iconnumber posted 11-11-2005 06:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tmockait     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks. If they reissued the pattern, would they have kept the original mark? Also, when was the "T" adopted and how long did it stay in use?

If I had to pick, the early date seems more likely judging by the wear on the spoon (not very scientific and perhaps tinged by wishful thinking!)

Tom

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Brent

Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 11-11-2005 07:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gorham PLAIN is a little wider, and the tip turns up, rather than down (at least on the pieces I have seen). I'd stick with MOTHERS.

I have seen the T in a diamond mark on pieces of PLYMOUTH, ETRUSCAN and other patterns issued around 1910. The letter designations as given in Carpenter are unfortunately not very reliable. There are plenty of similar letter marks that we still have no explanation for. Even Sam Hough doesn't know what they all mean.

Basically, all "rules" about Gorham marks should be taken with a grain of salt. There is at least one exception to everything, and if you look at enough silver you will run across one eventually. It is all part of the learning process, so don't get discouraged when your recently acquired knowledge, even from a a normally reliable source, turns out to be less than perfect.

Brent

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tmockait

Posts: 963
Registered: Jul 2004

iconnumber posted 11-11-2005 10:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tmockait     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Brent,

Disappointed?, let me see: I spent $9 on a spoon that gave me as many hours of enjoyment, provided an excuse to go spend time at the library reading Rainwater and checking other books, and had fun on the forum. If this is disappointment, I could use more of it.

Thanks for sharing your information and experience as a collector.

Tom

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