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tline3open  Dating Gorham flatware

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Author Topic:   Dating Gorham flatware
nautilusjv

Posts: 249
Registered: Nov 2008

iconnumber posted 02-21-2009 11:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nautilusjv     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In the thread "Gorham spoon" in the general silver forum there is some discussion of the dating of Gorham flatware. Here is the link: Gorham spoon

Marc details this relative dating in his post. I was wondering what if a Gorham flatware piece of a known pattern is just marked sterling with the LAG, is there a relative way to date the piece?

Thanks for any info on this subject.

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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1768
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 03-03-2009 04:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gorham rarely dated their flatware. Pieces in patterns (full-line or otherwise) very seldom featured a date mark (one exception I can think of is Limoges, an enameled variation of (old) Medici, which I have only ever seen with a date stamp). Perhaps a few special pieces had date letters, but even really great Gorham flatware I have seen and owned was not dated.

You will have to let patina, wear, and quality be your clues to dating your Gorham flatware.

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Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 03-06-2009 08:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One of the problems with dating silver can be the type of date wanted. Is it production or retail sale? These dates can be far apart. The old jewelers were self financed, and could afford to hold silver for very long times.

Years ago, I worked at closing a number of the old time jewelery stores. Got to know some of their practices. This was 30 years ago and they were quite old then. One had inheireted his store from his father before WW1, had been in business for 65 years.

Jewelers had a 'circular' which was sort of like a chain letter. On it they would put down items they needed for a customer and what they would trade for it. Something like: need Chantilly gravy ladle, will trade same in Buttercup or pattern of choice. A jeweler receiving the letter would then call or telegraph that one was on its way. If it was late in the week, a Sunday trip might be in order. Or it might be sent with a jewelry salesman. Or maybe mailed.

They did this with all their inventory. It was to create the illusion of turning it, to convince the customer that there was competition for items. One even told me of every three months attending a get together where several dozens jewelers brought the merchandise they were tired of and traded off. This was called 'a buying trip'.

Pieces could spend years in this cycle. So, it would not be unheard of for a Gorham piece to be sold 15 years after production and a tour of 6 states.

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Sgt Silver

Posts: 41
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 03-06-2009 10:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Sgt Silver     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dale, that is a fascinating tale. We had no idea that this practice existed.

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nautilusjv

Posts: 249
Registered: Nov 2008

iconnumber posted 03-06-2009 10:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nautilusjv     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very interesting indeed.

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