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Hello Silver Pros,

I purchased a large oval Gorham (silverplate?) tray or platter. The markings on the back are as follows:

ROW 1 - anchor in a shield
ROW 2 - four letters in Old English font - each in it’s own box - the first and second letters are too ornate to read - the first is possibly C or R, second letter possibly D, B, or P - third letter N - fourth letter S
ROW 3 - GORHAM - all capital block letters inside a rectangle with curved ends
ROW 4 - Y417
ROW 5 - 20 1"

Photo of markings attached.

The tray is 19 3/4 inches long and 14 3/4 inches wide at the largest points
It is not ornate - almost looks like a turkey platter with a simple band around the edge
no feet or handles
weighs approximately 3 7/8 pounds
does not say silver or silverplate on the back

What is my tray made of and what is it’s approximate age? It looks like silver or silver plate, but without either of those words on the back, I’m confused. I think it could have been a wedding gift in the 1950’s or 1960’s, but that’s only a guess, as I purchased it from the estate of a man who was close to 90 years old.

I looked on the internet for a similar tray but could not find anything. I did see some meat trays and bread bowls that are similar, but none like mine. My tray looks exactly like the tray pictured at: … -tray.html but my tray is marked Gorham.

Thanks in advance for any light you can shed on this Gorham marking mystery.

I have to say that I know nothing about Gorham markings but it strikes me that the 4 letters in a row are most likely EPNS for ElectroPlated Nickel Silver. There is a mark which sounds like the one you describe in the Gorham section on this page of electroplate manufacturer’s marks. My best guess is that Y417 is a pattern number and 20 1" a size marker.

Phil (strictly an amateur)

Hi Phil,

Thanks for your quick reply. I think you might be right, that the tray is electroplated nickel silver. The last two letter are for sure N and S. Is electroplated nickel silver the same quality as silver plate?



Silver plate and electroplate are synonymous - at least as far as modern items are concerned. Note that there are grades of electroplating depending on the thickness of the silver coating but there is no indication of that in the markings on your tray.

Thanks. Do you have any idea what the value might be? It weighs just under 4 pounds.


No idea of value. I suggest you check out the Completed Auctions on eBay. You will almost certainly find something similar.