I have a silver 5 piece tea set from the late 1800’s. I don’t want to sell it but I would like to get more information about it because internet searches have left me with more questions then answers. It is Gorham & Co. sterling silver and dated in the late 1800’s from approximately 1850-1870 I am guessing. The silvermark on a few of the pieces show the lion going right while the other’s go to the left (indicating they are older) but they are all matching with the same pattern. Two have a butterfly on the top while each of them has the intersecting circles around them and the same handles. The only other defining mark that would indicate a pattern is the number 170 on a few under the Gorham & Co. silver marks with Coin…but it is not on all of them. Internet searches are not finding anything. I have looked online for local appraisers and have not found any.
My great uncle (You can find tons of info on him and his peices online as they are much easier to track…) Alfredo Sciarrotta was a silver maker who made some pieces for Gorham and although he did not make this he gave this set to my mom when she got married 40+ years ago. She gave it to me when I got married along with some his leaf pieces over a decade ago and they basically sit in a china cabinet and besides the sentimental factor attached to them curiosity has gotten the best of me and I really want to know more about them.
I have attached a picture 2 of the pieces to show the difference in silvermark. Excuse the fact its dingy from being stored and I haven’t had a chance to clean them up.
i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii67 … oto3-1.jpg
i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii67 … oto4-1.jpg
i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii67 … oto4-2.jpg
i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii67 … photo5.jpg
Hi there and thanks for joining us. The one marked “coin” is probably older than the one marked “sterling”. I can’t quite read the letters at the bottom of the mark in pix 1 (the 'sterling" one) and it may be a date mark, as Gorham dated most of its top end holloware starting in 1868. Coin silver (usually 90% purity vs. sterling’s 92.5) was being replaced in the USA by sterling in the latter half of the 19th century, so it is entirely possible that the same pattern could have been made just a few years apart by Gorham in both coin and sterling. The numbers are the pattern number and you may try looking at the various Gorham patterns on www.replacements.com and see if you can match up the pattern number; otherwise its a hit-or-miss on the pattern.
Please post a clearer close-up of the sterling mark or describe the letters at the bottom. Gorham’s date marks were letters from 1868 until 1884 then shifted to various symbols such as a bell, a horn, etc. into the 1930s when the system changed again. The date marks only appear on certain holloware.
Thank you! I have looked on replacements.com and the only pattern 170 does not even come close to matching this at all. The letters on the one stamped sterling are K J W. I did try to look these up with no luck on what this stands for. So I am guessing since these are letters verses symbols they are within the time frame as I thought (late 1800’s) but yes, still does not lead me to many more answers hahaha!
Gorham used single letters in their system from 1868 to 1884, so the thre letters are not date letters. They are probably either the initials of the owner or perhaps the retailer, or a longr shot, the initials of the craftsman who made the item.