SMP Logo
SM Publications
Silver Salon Forums - The premier site for discussing Silver.
SMP | Silver Salon Forums | SSF - Guidelines | SSF - FAQ | Silver Sales

The Silver Salon Forums
Since 1993
Over 11,793 threads & 64,769 posts !!
American Sterling Silver Forum
How to Post Photos REGISTER (click here)

customtitle open  SMP Silver Salon Forums
tlineopen  American Sterling Silver
tline3open  Unknown Gorham Hollowware Symbols

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

ForumFriend SSFFriend: Email This Page to Someone! next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Unknown Gorham Hollowware Symbols
Richard Kurtzman
Moderator

Posts: 759
Registered: Aug 2000

iconnumber posted 09-09-2010 11:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
[01-2864]

A while back in the "Gorham Versailles trademark question" thread I mentioned that Gorham used a variety of symbols on their late coin silver and early sterling hollowware. I would say that the symbols were employed from about 1865 until the early 1870s.

I've noticed this for years and I have not been able to figure out their significance.

Does anyone out there have any ideas?
Does anyone have other examples?

Symbols on two coin silver pieces.



Symbol on an 1869 sterling piece.



Symbol on an 1872 sterling piece.

IP: Logged

Richard Kurtzman
Moderator

Posts: 759
Registered: Aug 2000

iconnumber posted 01-25-2011 03:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's another one. It's from an 1870 sterling bowl and the symbol looks like a federal shield. These symbols are most curious and as far as I know no one has written anything about them or what they mean.

Has anyone else noticed the symbols posted here or any others?

IP: Logged

Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1768
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 01-26-2011 02:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Several years ago I saw similar marks on a couple Wood & Hughes silver pieces of the same period. Both--perhaps coincidentally--had handwork and at the time, I wondered if these mysterious symbols may have identified the chaser, engraver, etc. who was responsible for the hand-embellishments on the items.

Richard, do the pieces whose marks you show have anything in common other than period, such as repousse, engraving, form, etc?

They were probably meant as some kind of internal code within the factory as they are too cryptic to have been intended for the retailer or customer to interpret. Perhaps to identify a worker, which factory section produced the items, their retail destination, or some other aspect of their manufacture.

Seeing two different items stamped with the same symbol could prove enlightening.

[This message has been edited by Paul Lemieux (edited 01-26-2011).]

IP: Logged

Polly

Posts: 1939
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 01-26-2011 10:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For what it's worth, I too have a Wood & Hughes item (a coin silver ladle) with a mysterious star on it, but my ladle doesn't have any engraving or obvious hand work except a simple monogram.

IP: Logged

Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1768
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 01-27-2011 12:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
perhaps these marks are "journeyman marks" or "tally marks":

quote:
Tally Mark - An extra mark used in shop to identify which pieces a journeyman smith actually made. This mark enable [sic] the journeyman's production to be tallied so that he could be paid appropriately. Most often seen on British sterling and American coin silver.

[This message has been edited by Paul Lemieux (edited 01-27-2011).]

IP: Logged

denimrs

Posts: 102
Registered: Dec 2005

iconnumber posted 01-27-2011 03:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for denimrs     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I also have a Wood & Hughes piece with a mark that seems odd -- unconnected. I had meant to post but never got around to it, so maybe now is a good time. It is this fork, which I think may be a salad fork, or perhaps some sort of pastry fork. It is 6 1/2" long.

And, here is the unusual mark -- or would it be marks since there are two?

It is also marked sterling, but there are no other marks, no engraving, etc. From the design, it looks to me to be sort of Arts & Crafts era, but I could be wrong. Any theories as to the mark would be of great interest.
Elizabeth

IP: Logged

nutmegr

Posts: 58
Registered: Jun 2005

iconnumber posted 01-27-2011 03:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nutmegr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have wondered about the mark on this piece. I had assumed the mark to be a date mark, but it doesn't quite match up with any I could find. I did think at first it could be a Q (1884), but that doesn't fit with the style of the Gorham mark - which looks more mid 1860's.


Slightly OT, but most chatelaines I've seen have had multiple attachments, while this only has room for one. Is this even a chatelaine, or perhaps something for a watch?
-----------------------
Lisa

IP: Logged

Polly

Posts: 1939
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 01-27-2011 04:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Elizabeth, your fork is in W&H's 1875 Angelo pattern.

I have no clue about the other marks, though.

IP: Logged

denimrs

Posts: 102
Registered: Dec 2005

iconnumber posted 01-28-2011 09:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for denimrs     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Polly:
Elizabeth, your fork is in W&H's 1875 Angelo pattern....

Thanks Polly,

It is always good to know pattern name and date. And, given that date I see my idea of it being arts & crafts seems off by some time. Oh well.....

Elizabeth

IP: Logged

Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1768
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 01-28-2011 12:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Elizabeth's W&H fork is the Viola pattern, circa 1875. this type of pattern is very typical of 1870s design.

nutmegr--your chatelaine clip is from 1884; that is Gorham's Q date letter. the trademark, though similar to one of their earlier styles, was used in the 1880s (i most often see it on napkin rings of the period). another clue to the later date is the sans serif style of the word STERLING. the piece is certainly more neoclassical than many medallion pieces were by the 1880s, but nevertheless, it is from 1884.

[This message has been edited by Paul Lemieux (edited 01-28-2011).]

IP: Logged

Polly

Posts: 1939
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 01-28-2011 12:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Paul's right! Viola, not Angelo. So sorry! I even thought Viola, but typed Angelo. Silly little brain.

IP: Logged

Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1768
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 01-28-2011 12:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
on flatware, perhaps the marks indicated different weight classes.

IP: Logged

denimrs

Posts: 102
Registered: Dec 2005

iconnumber posted 01-28-2011 01:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for denimrs     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks everyone. I had actually gone looking for Angelo myself, to see other pieces, and discovered it did not exactly match. So, that set me off to find out what it was and I did come up with Viola, same year of 1875. So, it was a bit of fun for me. Thanks for getting me started, Polly.

Elizabeth

IP: Logged

nutmegr

Posts: 58
Registered: Jun 2005

iconnumber posted 01-28-2011 03:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nutmegr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you, Paul, for that information. The only source I had for that particular Gorham mark was Carpenter - but it always bothered me because that earlier date would likely have been coin, while this was marked sterling.

A clear case of experience trumping books!
---------------------------
Lisa

IP: Logged

Kimo

Posts: 1597
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 01-28-2011 06:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by denimrs:
Thanks Polly,

It is always good to know pattern name and date. And, given that date I see my idea of it being arts & crafts seems off by some time. Oh well.....

Elizabeth


The Arts and Crafts style was started around the 1860s by William Morris but it did not really develop into the dramatic style that people avidly collect today until around the 1890 to 1915 or so era. I would call this style early or proto Arts and Crafts. It is a little on the fru fru side to meet the iconic style that most people think of, but I think it has some of the elments and that might be a better fitting term than some of the other styles. On the other hand, I think the desire many people have to label things has gone a bit far and seems to be driven by marketing hype - I prefer to say it is a pleasing design of flatware and would enjoy it for that.

- Kimo


IP: Logged

Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1768
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 01-29-2011 03:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
some might say the Viola pattern is similar to the Eastlake style of furniture & architecture.

IP: Logged

Richard Kurtzman
Moderator

Posts: 759
Registered: Aug 2000

iconnumber posted 01-29-2011 04:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Below is a photo of the piece that has the shield symbol.

Paul,

Though there is no evidence at this point to confirm it, you may be on to something with the tally mark supposition.

IP: Logged

Polly

Posts: 1939
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 01-29-2011 10:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Are those crawfish handles? Zowie!

IP: Logged

Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1768
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 01-30-2011 02:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
of the various theories in this thread, including the many advanced by me, i think the journeyman/tally mark is the most likely.

IP: Logged

Polly

Posts: 1939
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 02-11-2011 09:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just noticed a Wood & Hughes ladle that's identical to mine--same size, same pattern (gadroon)--and has the same mysterious mark, a five-pointed star with blunt points. (Different monogram, in a different lettering style.)

I guess the star could be the mark of the same journeyman who made mine; no reason he couldn't have made two gadroon ladles. But does anyone think it might be associated with the form or pattern somehow, instead of with the craftsman?

IP: Logged

Richard Kurtzman
Moderator

Posts: 759
Registered: Aug 2000

iconnumber posted 04-22-2011 09:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is another one, this time from 1874. It's very similar to, if not the same as, the first mark pictured.

This is the latest date that I have seen with one of these marks.

IP: Logged

asheland

Posts: 925
Registered: Nov 2003

iconnumber posted 05-07-2015 10:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for asheland     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting thread! I've seen these marks and wondered the same things.

IP: Logged

All times are ET

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.46a


1. Public Silver Forums (open Free membership) - anyone with a valid e-mail address may register. Once you have received your Silver Salon Forum password, and then if you abide by the Silver Salon Forum Guidelines, you may start a thread or post a reply in the New Members' Forum. New Members who show a continued willingness to participate, to completely read and abide by the Guidelines will be allowed to post to the Member Public Forums.
Click here to Register for a Free password

2. Private Silver Salon Forums (invitational or $ donation membership) - The Private Silver Salon Forums require registration and special authorization to view, search, start a thread or to post a reply. Special authorization can be obtained in one of several ways: by Invitation; Annual $ Donation; or via Special Limited Membership. For more details click here (under development).

3. Administrative/Special Private Forums (special membership required) - These forums are reserved for special subjects or administrative discussion. These forums are not open to the public and require special authorization to view or post.


| Home | Order | The Guide to Evaluating Gold & Silver Objects | The Book of Silver
| Update BOS Registration | Silver Library | For Sale | Our Wants List | Silver Dealers | Speakers Bureau |
| Silversmiths | How to set a table | Shows | SMP | Silver News |
copyright © 1993 - 2020 SM Publications
All Rights Reserved.
Legal & Privacy Notices