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Author Topic:   Gorham Versailles

Posts: 4
Registered: Apr 2003

iconnumber posted 04-30-2003 07:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lisar     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What makes Gorham's Versailles pattern from 1880 more valuable than the modern day Versailles pattern?

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Posts: 625
Registered: Jan 2003

iconnumber posted 05-04-2003 07:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Stephen     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Are these two different patterns?

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Posts: 4
Registered: Apr 2003

iconnumber posted 05-04-2003 07:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lisar     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Originally posted by Stephen:
Are these two different patterns?

No, they are both Gorham Versaiiles. The former is from 1888, the pattern was discontinued for a period of time, then reintroduced. The second version of the pattern was made in 1991. I am not sure if one is worth more than the other or not. Per [snip], they are similar in price. But, I would think that older silver is more valuable? What do you think?

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Posts: 625
Registered: Jan 2003

iconnumber posted 05-05-2003 06:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Stephen     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I looked at Versailles teaspoons.

Replacements is actually charging about five percent more for the "new" teaspoons so apparently they don't think so. Note that their prices are also about five times as much as the average price realized on eBay.

I think a Versaille collector needs to jump in here.

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Ulysses Dietz

Posts: 1265
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 05-05-2003 09:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From a curatorial perspective, the 1991 re-issue of Versailles has no intrinsic aesthetic or historic value, hence would be less desirable than "first period" Versailles. I can't imagine a collector (rather than just a consumer) of Versailles, wouldn't feel the same. This is a parallel issue with both Tiffany's "Audubon" (originally Japanese, which is still made today) and all of Georg Jensen's flatware and silver. A curator wants pieces that are historically connected with the time at which they were designed--ie they want them to have been made relatively close to the time they were designed, when they were still "new." Secondly, the dies for an elaborate pattern such as "Versailles" would inevitably have "blurred" or gone dull over the decades, and therefore the restrikes would probably be less good than the originals--unless Gorham recut the dies, in which case they're not the same anyway. The new "Versailles" is essentially a reproduction--even tho' produced by the same maker with the same dies. It does not have the authenticity of the original issue of the flatware.

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Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 05-05-2003 09:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've also found that reissues tend to be a bit less sharp in their details - even when they use freshly recut dies. As was said, it could be due to using worn dies, but even with recut new dies they just don't seem to have quite the same feel and presence that the old ones do. I think it is because they try to keep the prices down and profits up by not putting in as much time to making and finishing them.

I think that the reason why Replacements and others charge a bit more for new ones is that the bulk of the clients are looking for flatware to complete or expand a set that is for use and people want things that are new and shiney rather than old and warmly glowing.

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Bob and Carol Carnighan

Posts: 63
Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 05-05-2003 10:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob and Carol Carnighan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We would have agreed with previous comments. Rocky's Gold and Silver placed an order for St. Cloud luncheon forks with Gorham many years ago. Recently the order was delivered. These forks frequently appear on Ebay mainly from Rocky. We recently had a chance to drop by Rocky's and discuss this with the owner. The new forks are TOO crisp and sharp. They instantly feel different from all other St. Cloud. You feel as if you might cut yourself. They are crudely finished with file and die marks. We now believe that in the olden days, the freshly stamped piece was buffed before sale.

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