The Story Behind this Blog

Being from the South, Silver is a very big part of my life. It doesn't have anything to do with wealth. Although those with more money - old money, tend to have more of it. New money tend not to spend their money on Silver. They do not have the appreciation for the warmth of the metal, the beauty of the patina, the story it tells of the generations past who have used it. A true southern girl comes of age when she chooses her silver pattern, long before she chooses her mate. If she is smart, she chooses that of her mother, grandmother, or favorite great aunt who in their benevolence will pass their silver on to her. It is the pieces in those sets, the pieces on our tables, along with the pieces we find in the corners of the displays in antique stores that prompted me to start this blog. They are beautiful, they are odd, but what are they, and what in the hell do you do with them?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Versailles by Gorham

Designed by Anton Heller and introduced by Gorham in 1885. The design of each terminal of the pieces of the Versailles pattern is said to be inspired by a scene from the palace at Versailles. Some of the designs come from the windows, some from the statutes, the artwork, etc. Very typical for the intricacy and incredible art of Heller designs. After Olympian, maybe one of his finest work, probably the most popular of the Heller patterns sold by Gorham.



Fish Fork (6 5/8 inches)




Short Handle Chocolate Spoon (4 5/8 inches)




Fruit/orange Spoon  (5 7/8 inches)








Medium Solid Meat Serving Fork (8 1/4 inches)






14 comments:

  1. These are just gorgeous! Thank you for the history and pictures!

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    1. I just appreciate your reading my blog. I wish more people appreciated sterling flatware for the art it is. Instead so many only see it for the value of the metal itself and purchase it only to melt it down and sell it for scrap.Such a sin - such a loss!

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  2. This is the silver pattern I chose when I married. Unfortunately, right after that they discontinued it a second time. Now it's become extremely expensive and almost impossible to fill out my set. Any ideas? I love this silver and it's intricate designs as well.

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  3. You are lucky to have selected such a lovely pattern - but yes, it is pricey. I am sure you have looked at replacements.com and antiquecupboard.com - both great sites and in IMHO, usually have competitive prices on good inventory. That said my only other advice would be to scour ebay (and hope someone has something they know nothing about). I always look at "Buy Now", "Or Best Offer". And I never pass up a flea market, estate sale, or any antique store - the more cluttered the better. I imagine I am not telling you anything new. Best of luck. and, thanks for reading my Blog.

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    1. We have one four-piece place setting of this pattern and also one of Heller's "Olympian." Olympian is more expensive, but then it is a Tiffany pattern and Tiffany patterns are usually heavier, and thus more expensive. Unfortunately we never use it since we don't entertain. Thought we might use it this Christmas, but we will be in NC. Maybe one day!

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  4. Any advice on selling a complete set? No one in family wants a second set of flatware.

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  5. Hello, I am currently building a set. Do you have a complete set of Versailles you'd like to sell?

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  6. Might you, or anyone, know if there is a complete breakdown of the motifs for the Versailles set? Reading another article a while back I saw a wonderful pamphlet referenced for the Mythologique pattern when it debuted, but haven't been able to find such a pattern for the Versailles. Might anyone have a source or ideas for: 1. Discovering if one ever existed. & 2. If so, how one might get a copy. I'm fairly certain I have identified all the characters at this point, but it would be nice to know for sure, & also if there are motifs I haven't seen (since I don't have access to a complete set & have had to use images from replacements.com/antiquecupboard/ebay/etc.). Any help would be wonderful!

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  7. What's the best way to determine an original from a reproduction?

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  8. The"real" pieces will have a sterling mark as well as one of the Gorham trademarks.

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  9. I've always been the "silver expert" even having an item on antiques road show but I have to admit, I'm not sure what those trademarks are haha

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  10. I have a wonderful book (cant remember the name right off my head) that gives the markings for most American silver companies. It really helps when i am searching for sterling, find a piece that i cannot ID. Just getting the Co's name by the markings gives me a place to start.

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    1. Oh nice. If you think of it please let me know.

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    2. Oh nice. If you think of it please let me know.

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