Gorham Silver is one of the oldest and most sought after silverware makers in the world. Their history in the world of silver making dates back to the early 1800’s contributing to their success. If silverwares have been passed down through your generations, then maybe it’s time you take a closer look at them as you might actually have a rare find on your hands.
In order to tell how old your Gorham silverware at home is, you need to take note of the markings or designs embellished in them. Gorham silver marks tend to vary depending on its designer, giving you an idea of the timeframe when it was made. Before you start though, you might want to do a little cleaning or polishing first in order to see the markings better, you might also need a good magnifying glass in order to see the details better.
One good determinant of rarity in any silverware is the presence of the silversmiths name and not just the company. During the early 18-1900’s silversmiths would place their names, usually the first, middle initial and last their crafts. Just seeing these markings on your silverware would be sufficient enough to signify its value.
Gorham & Webster is probably one of the oldest Gorham silver marks that you will find today. This is because of the fact that in 1831 when the company was founded, Jabez Gorham partnered with Henry L. Webster which is why all their products at the time carried the mark. So if you’ve got an item with this mark on your collection, there is no further need to check for any indication of value.
If your silverware does not carry it, there’s no need to fret as there are many other markings that you can check for in order to determine age or rarity. Other Gorham silver marks you can check for includes:
- J. Gorham & Son – This mark is carried by silver items manufactured by the Gorham silver during 1841-1850 signifying the entry of Jabez’s son, John, into the company.
- Gorham & Thurber – From 1850-1852 the change in marking was brought about by entry of another Gorham into the company which lasted for three years.
- Three Symbols – Starting from 1852, the Gorham silver marks experienced a major design change from names to symbols. This symbol was patterned after the English mark and is composed of a lion, an anchor, and the capital letter “G”. If your silverware carries this mark, you need to take a closer look at the lion symbol as they tend to change depending on the time they were made. The letter “G” has also undergone some cosmetic changes over time but the greatest indicator would still be the lion insignia.
Aside from the Gorham silver marks mentioned above, there are also others that you need to take note of to tell the age of your item. Browse through the company’s site to get more detailed information about them.