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?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Gorham Corporation, Its Sterling Division and its Markings

What is now The Gorham Corporation dates back to 1831 when Jabez Gorham founded it in Providence, Rhode Island. And in the years following it has been the choice of Mary Todd Lincoln, its pattern Chantilly is used on Air Force One, and it has successfully bought, merged with, or absorbed many of its smaller competitors to become one of the largest sterling silver flatware companies around at one time.

If you ever question whether or not a piece of flatware is a Gorham pattern, look for the markings. Below are the markings they have used over the years. Of course you may have a piece from a company they acquired, years before it was "gobbled by Gorham". 

Some of these companies include: Mt. Vernon, Roger Williams Silver, Whiting, William B. Durgin, Alvin (which remained a separate entity), McChesney, Quaker Silver Co., Friedman Silver Co.,  and Graff, Washbourne, and Dunn. In 2005 The Gorham Company was sold to Lenox. Then 2007 Lifetime Brands acquired Gorham's Sterling Silver division.

And through it all, its most popular pattern has remained Chantilly.

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