Everything You Need to Know About Identifying Silver

The marks on the bottom of a piece of silver can be an indication of the age, maker, and origin of the piece. This is a list of American silver marks and solid American silver. Other lists include silver-plated wares and pewter. It will not help you to identify other silver. Four or five small pictorial marks usually indicate England as the country of origin. Queen Victoria faces left.

Silver Plate Pattern Identification Guide

Goorham is not on the hallmarks. Accented with the date When buying either your tray, tray, maker,

To find Kovels’ silver hallmarks’ database, go to Look for your mark. double, EPNS, and EPWM indicate that the ware is silver plated. Gorham Silver Company used a special mark for their Martelé silver from to

Over the next 50 years, Birks expanded by buying up established jewellers across the country. They also took over their rivals in manufacturing until they had a virtual monopoly on the production and sale of sterling silverware in Canada. Birks acquired several more designs from Gorham and other manufacturers later in the century and also designed a few of their own patterns like Tudor and Laurentian. Birks manufactured their own flatware and some of their hollowware in their factory in Montreal up until the early s when the factory was closed and production was moved offshore.

In the early part of the century, the factory employed nearly people. Some of their hollowware was purchased from manufacturers in the UK and the US and sold under the Birks label. Birks sterling marks varied throughout their history which helps us to date their pieces.

How to Date Gorham Sterling Silver

Marks on precious metals have been regulated by law since ancient times. From pharaohs, Roman emperors and continuing today, fineness, or standard marks, have been used to guarantee minimum amounts of precious metal in relation to non-precious metal. At least that’s the theory. But while most governments strictly monitor standard marks, very few regulate marks not related to the content of precious metals. It is perfectly legal, for example, to stamp silver with trademarks or brand names of companies no longer in business or whose trademark is no longer registered.

Gorham Date Marks for Sterling Silver Holloware. date mark on Gorham bowl. c. – Martelé – Return to Silversmiths.

Silver Appraisers. Collectible silver includes such items as early spoons, English and Continental tea and coffee sets, candelabras and trays as well as statuary and religious items. Horn Co. Stephen Vaughan Washington St. Shapiro is an avid match safe collector and member of the International Match Safe Association. He offers free appraisals and research including names of makers or manufacturers, history, or materials of a particular match safe.

If he can’t help I will refer you to someone who can. Silver Identification. Flatware Style s.

Sterling Silver Flatware Frequently asked questions

I had always thought that the Lion Anchor G trademark was only used on solid silver, first coin and then sterling. I had also thought that an anchor alone meant that the piece was plated. Well, it isn’t always true. Apparently some early Gorham silverplate holloware IS marked with the Lion Anchor G, just like the coin and sterling pieces. I did not believe it at first, but I was directed to an ongoing eBay auction where just such a piece was being sold, as coin silver.

Fortunately for us, there is an easy way to idntify this early plate.

Gorham & Co. A VERY LARGE AMERICAN SILVER-PLATED, BRASS, Sale Date: August 12, Auction Closed.

The firm’s chief product was silver spoons although they also made thimbles, combs, jewelry, and other small items. In , a tariff which effectively blocked the importation of silverware from outside the United States was passed, which served as an impetous to the American silver industry. Jabez Gorham did not take full advantage of this opportunity, but in Jabez retired and his son, John Gorham, succeeded him as head of the company.

John Gorham was a man of notable foresight, he introduced mechanized production methods, enlarged the premises in downtown Providence, improved the designs, and expanded the product line. In , he toured many of Europe’s silver workshops and manufactories, speaking with individual specialists, including master craftsmen and toolmakers. He also sought out highly skilled foreign workmen to train his American workers.

George Wilkinson, a premier designer and workshop manager, was hired from England. During the heyday of American silver manufacturing, approximately – , Gorham was highly influential. The White House has used Gorham silver services during many administrations. Mary Todd Lincoln purchased an impressive tea and flatware service for use in the White House in The tea service was presented to the National Museum of American History in Ulysses S.

Confusing Marks on Sterling Silver and Silver Plate

The vast majority of English, Scottish and Irish silver produced in the last years is stamped with either 4 or 5 symbols, known as hallmarks. The prime purpose of these marks is to show that the metal of the item upon which they are stamped is of a certain level of purity. The metal is tested and marked at special offices, regulated by the government, known as assay offices. Only metal of the required standard will be marked.

It is a form of consumer protection, whose origin goes back almost years. There are so many different hallmarks found on British silver that to know all of them would be impossible.

In , Jabez Gorham partnered with Henry Webster to found the silver company that Gorham Sterling Silver Tray Victorian Antique Floral Serving Rare.

Gorham is one of the oldest U. Its long history goes back to a small silversmith’s shop in Providence, Rhode Island, in the early s. You can trace its history through the use of the company’s hallmarks on sterling silver. Knowing what the hallmarks mean can tell you if you have an old or rare piece of Gorham sterling silver. Use a good magnifying glass to see small lettering, and polish your piece to brighten up the hallmark.

The earliest hallmarks simply consist of the person’s name. This is usually his first initial and last name, or just the last name.

Dating mappin webb silver plate

Our illustrated guide highlights the subtle ways you can discover the origins of any piece of silver. One of the most common inquiries at antique shows often has to do with authenticity: How do you know whether or not something is made of real silver? Collectors aren’t always looking for pure sterling silver , per se, but they should be able to know the value and composition of the pieces they’re buying.

Check out our gorham silver selection for the very best in unique or Vintage Silver Plate, Plate Cover, The Gorham Silver Company, Date Mark for

Size: 6. Weight – 4 troy ounces. Condition: very good, no monogram, with only a tiny ding to body see photo detail , no wobble, stamped with a complete set of matching hallmarks on the body and on the cover and with manufacturer’s full name struck on underside of base. An antique sterling silver sugar shaker by Howard and Co of New Antique silver biscuit tin with elaborate engraved monogram.

View auction details, art exhibitions and online catalogues; bid, buy and collect contemporary, impressionist or modern art, old masters, jewellery, wine, watches, prints, rugs and books at sotheby’s auction house. Discover today’s best-selling flatware patterns and its current value, at CountryLiving. The excellent original condition and clear detail,. Shop with confidence on eBay! Gorham Strasbourg my pattern.

Gorham Silver

To ensure you the best experience, we use cookies on our website for technical, analytical and marketing purposes. By continuing to browse our site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. It was Edward I who first passed a statute requiring all silver to be of sterling standard — a purity of parts per thousand — ushering in a testing or assay system that has survived for over years.

When one looks to decipher the early hallmarks on this silver, books usually refer to tables where the lists are categorized by the authorized large.

Sure, that fabled brand has a long history and many enduring achievements, not to mention great public relations from the get-go. But for nearly years, the Gorham Manufacturing Company , of Providence, Rhode Island, turned out a wide range of beautiful silver pieces, indelibly influencing the field of decorative arts in ways that still resonate. It has since been passed around in a series of mergers and acquisitions.

Gilded details also adorn an Gorham tea and coffee service in the show. Tiffany, at first, was not a maker. Her use of the word maker is no accident. In an era when design has become hip and craft is no longer a foreign concept, the world is primed to see Gorham in a new way. A detail shot of a cream jug from a six-piece coffee and tea service dating to reveals its surface intricacies.

Shell motifs large and small ornament the Narragansett salad set, which takes its very apt name from the waterfront town in Rhode Island. Webster founded the company. As it grew in popularity and influence, the firm commissioned and built several grand downtown-Manhattan showplaces, two of which are still standing: — Broadway and Fifth Avenue, the latter designed by no less than Stanford White.

The Original American Silver-Making Company Is Back in the Spotlight

The first step in identifying and establishing the value of silver is to ascertain whether the piece is silver or silver-plated. Sterling silver objects are made of Unfortunately, silver-plated items hold almost no monetary worth. There is not enough silver content to have melt down value and generally, these pieces do not retain their resale value. Begin with looking for the hallmarks or stamps on the item. British silver can be a bit more complex, as the history of British hallmarking dates back to the 14 th century.

Hallmarks. Silver hallmarks in the UK date back to the medieval period and in Ireland and Scotland seldom sent their plate to Edinburgh, Glasgow or Dublin to​.

But, to be honest, some are much better than others. Use this guide to discover some of the favorite spots where those in the know go online. You will learn to understand and research silver origins, craftsmen, and manufacturers using hallmarks, along with a few online value guides to help you with that daunting task as well. There are many different grades of silver, and even antique items that look like silver such as German silver, nickel silver, and alpaca but are not at all what they appear to be.

This guide will help you decipher the basic marks associated with silver and understand exactly what they mean. This popular site is highly recommended by avid collectors and antique dealers alike. Also has a section of silver plate marks, which can sometimes be even more obscure and harder to identify than sterling silver maker’s marks. If you’re sure your piece is American made, this is a great place to start your research. This collection of American manufacturers and retailers of sterling silver, coin silver, and silver plate marks are listed alphabetically by manufacturer.

While the information here isn’t as extensive as that held in the guides mentioned above, it is a very useful introduction to silver hallmarks used on antique and vintage jewelry from around the globe. Anyone getting started buying or selling silver jewelry will find this information to be useful and a great point of departure for learning even more on the topic. Need to identify your grandmother’s silverware pattern or one you picked up at an estate sale?

Stainless flatware patterns are also available on this site.


The prices are not current but the line drawings are invaluable. It is indexed and cross referenced so you will be able to find you pattern listed. Once you know that name of your pattern you can go online and look up what pieces are available and the price for them. There are literally s of patterns of silver plate flatware. Here is a short list of popular patterns that we have handled through our store.

Gorham Sterling Silver Marks Gorham Silver Marks Dates Encyclopedia Of Silver The Silver Queen Sterling Silver Flatware, Plated Silverware, Stainless Steel.

Their beginning was as a manufacturer of coin-silver flatware in which Gorham started to gain acclaim, especially in once the flatware was selected by Mary Todd Lincoln for the White House. In , Gorham was a major player in plated silver. In , they had made the switch from coin silver for sterling silver and produced everything from knives, forks and spoons, to other desired pieces such as coffee pots and serving bowls. Again, highly desired by several White House administrations, Mrs.

Ulysses S. Being able to identify a piece of sterling silver , whether it is a silver plate mark or a tea set, as a Gorham piece is fairly simple thanks to the consistent silver markings that were used during the manufacturing of the pieces. Dating a piece of Gorham silver is a question of decoding the hallmarks on the back or bottom of each piece.

What Is Gorham Silver?

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