Gorham Flatware Code Letters

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dognose
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Gorham Flatware Code Letters

Postby dognose » Fri Dec 26, 2014 2:18 pm

Gorham Flatware Code Letters


The identity of the letters applied to flatware produced by the Gorham Co. remains a mystery, at least to me. It is thought by many to relate to the weight of the piece, but the range of letters found cast doubt on this. It is possible that the letters found on some pieces relate to the weight, and on others the size of the item.

Image
Gorham Mfg. Co. - Providence R.I. - 1898

This 1898 advertisement from Gorham may account for the letters T, E, H, and M, but what of the other letters? And does the cartouche that surrounds these letters have a meaning?

If we can add clear examples of these letters to this topic, perhaps it will lead us a little further towards answering the question with a degree of certainty.

Trev.

dognose
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Re: Gorham Flatware Code Letters

Postby dognose » Fri Dec 26, 2014 2:29 pm

Letter 'D' contained within a circle:

Image

Trev.

dognose
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Re: Gorham Flatware Code Letters

Postby dognose » Fri Dec 26, 2014 4:16 pm

Letter 'V' contained within a circle:

Image

Trev.

dognose
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Re: Gorham Flatware Code Letters

Postby dognose » Sat Dec 27, 2014 5:56 am

Letter 'H' contained within a rhombus:

Image

Trev.

dognose
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Re: Gorham Flatware Code Letters

Postby dognose » Sun Dec 28, 2014 12:12 pm

Letter 'T' contained within a rhombus:

Image

Image

Trev.

dognose
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Re: Gorham Flatware Code Letters

Postby dognose » Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:51 am

Letter 'H' contained within a circle:

Image

Trev.

JimT
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Re: Gorham Flatware Code Letters

Postby JimT » Tue Dec 30, 2014 2:16 pm

dognose wrote:Letter 'H' contained within a rhombus:

Image

Trev.


This is from my set of the 'Old French' pattern that was purchased from Spaulding & Co. in Chicago in 1905. In my set, the forks have an 'H' in a rhombus, the spoons have an 'E' in a rhombus, and the knives do not have a letter mark.

I have six three-piece place settings. I don't know that Gorham originally packaged this as a set. My ancestors may have gone to Spaulding and said something like, "I'll have six of those spoons, six of those forks, and six of those knives." Does anyone have a set that Gorham originally packaged as a set that has different letters on different pieces?

The letter marks on my pieces are hand stamped. You can tell because they are in slightly different positions on different pieces. The other marks are all uniformly positioned. I suppose Gorham could have stamped pieces differently for different retailers. And retailers who were also silversmiths, like Spaulding & Co., certainly had the ability to stamp pieces themselves for their own purposes.

If anyone has 'Old French' pieces with stamped letters, I'd like to compare the sizes and weights of their pieces with my pieces.

Image

JimT
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Re: Gorham Flatware Code Letters

Postby JimT » Sun Jan 11, 2015 12:40 pm

I suspect that the code letters on my set are weight marks as described on this page: http://www.examiner.com/article/gorham-weight-marks-t-r-h-etc. Letters that don't fit in this pattern may have been stamped for or by specific retailers. It might help to prove or disprove this by posting the weights of pieces that have different letters, along with the pattern name. If there is other information known about the pieces, such as the retailer and date of purchase, it would be helpful to include it.

I weighed all six of my spoons and forks. I was surprised to see that one of the spoons weighed significantly less than the others. Perhaps it had more wear. Here is the information on my pieces:

Spoons marked 'E' weight range: 24.0 grams - 26.2 grams (25.0 - 26.2 without the low weight spoon)
Forks marked 'H' weight range: 44.2 grams - 45.6 grams
Pattern: Old French
Purchased: 1905
Retailer: Spaulding & Co., Chicago

mkad
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Re: Gorham Flatware Code Letters

Postby mkad » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:52 pm

Gorham spoon, an Etruscan teaspoon with an S and a T in rhombuses, 16.2 grams. today. (I hope this is what you're looking for)
Image
I notice that this one's on the other side, though.

dognose
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Re: Gorham Flatware Code Letters

Postby dognose » Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:26 am

Hi Mkad,

Yes, that's exactly what we're looking for, thank you.

Other letters noted that we need images for include:

'K' in a square
'E' in a lozenge
'R' in a circle
'P' in a circle
'T' in a lozenge
'P' in a lozenge
'&' in a circle

And any others that anyone comes across.

Trev.

dognose
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Re: Gorham Flatware Code Letters

Postby dognose » Tue Sep 15, 2015 7:14 am

Confirmation of the 'T', 'R', and 'H' letters, required to be struck on Sterling silver teaspoons supplied under U.S. Government contracts:

Image

Source: Standards and Specifications for Metals and Metal Products - 1933

Trev.

JimT
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Re: Gorham Flatware Code Letters

Postby JimT » Wed Sep 16, 2015 6:14 pm

Interesting. Since this is titled "Simplified Practice Recommendation R54", I guess there was a more complicated set of code letters before 1926. My teaspoons from 1905 are marked with an "E", which is not mentioned in the 1926 recommendation.

The listed weights are far more than a single spoon would weigh. I guess that these weights are for a set of spoons. If that is the case, how many spoons would be in the set? My spoons are one ounce each, so a set of 8 would be 8 ounces and a set of 12 would be 12 ounces.

JimT
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Re: Gorham Flatware Code Letters

Postby JimT » Wed Sep 16, 2015 6:39 pm

I found a copy of the 1926 recommendation, and after the posted part of it is a section titled "Fancy Dozens", so I'm guessing that the weights are for a set of 12.

dognose
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Re: Gorham Flatware Code Letters

Postby dognose » Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:24 am

Hi Jim,

Yes, the weights would relate to dozens. This was, I believe, normal trade practice at the time, much in the same way as the amount of silver deposited on plated flatware was expressed in Europe, always referring to dozens in smaller flatware.

See: http://www.925-1000.com/a_platenumbers.html

Trev.

dognose
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Re: Gorham Flatware Code Letters

Postby dognose » Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:56 pm

Another example of 'T' in a rhombus:

Image

Noted on spoons in the Chantilly pattern.

Trev.

dognose
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Re: Gorham Flatware Code Letters

Postby dognose » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:23 am

Another example of 'H' in a rhombus:

Image

Image

Noted on spoons in the Buttercup pattern.

Trev.

dognose
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Re: Gorham Flatware Code Letters

Postby dognose » Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:07 pm

'C' within a circle:

Image

Noted on a fork in the Classic Bouquet pattern.

Trev.


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