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Gorham Manufacturing Company

American

When silversmiths Jabez Gorham and Henry Webster started making coin silver teaspoons and jewelry out of a small workshop in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1831, the pair likely had no idea that their modest operation would one day become the largest silver manufacturer in the world.

While some name changes and personnel shifts preceded the foundry officially being established as Gorham Manufacturing Company decades later, growth of the business between its early days and the mid–19th century can largely be attributed to the work of Jabez’s son John, who assumed control of Gorham in the 1840s.

John Gorham introduced steam power at the manufactory. He entered into a partnership with Michael Gibney, the first American silversmith to register a design patent for a flatware pattern. Gorham wanted to expand the business, seeking to produce forks and spoons adorned with decorative flourishes adapted from British patterns. The company hammered out the silver flatware, which it sent to Gibney in New York to apply decorative patterns before returning to Gorham. Consequently, Gorham found Gibney’s work unsatisfactory, and he purchased his own rolling press to do the work himself.

The partnership between John and Michael soured but the company thrived. Sales grew to more than $20,000 per year, and the staff of silversmiths expanded. To keep up with demand, Gorham had to retire its horse-powered rolling press and import a steam-powered drop press from England — the first used in the United States. Designs created at Gorham drew on natural-world motifs as well as artistic traditions from all over the world — alongside its tableware, the company would soon be producing cups and pitchers adorned with polar bears and forest creatures, while tea services and other serving pieces were crafted in a range of styles that included Art Nouveau, Egyptian Revival and Rococo.

Around 1860, Gorham delved into bronze casting. When it opened a division dedicated to bronze work, Gorham collaborated with sculptors such as Daniel Chester French, Anna Hyatt Huntington and Alexander P. Proctor.

By the 1920s, Gorham had employed thousands of workers and had partnered with Danish modernist silversmith Erik Magnussen. However, the Great Depression ground production to a halt. The company was sold to Textron, Inc. in the late 1960s and it changed hands several times before it sold to Department 56 in 2005.

Today, the work of Gorham Manufacturing Company continues to be exhibited in galleries and museums. The RISD Museum in Providence houses a collection of nearly 5,000 works.

On 1stDibs, find a range of antique Gorham Manufacturing Company serveware and decorative objects.

Average Sold Price
$1,912
Styles
Materials
Antique American Edwardian Art Nouveau Sterling Silver Picture Frame
By Gorham Manufacturing Company
Located in New York, NY
Edwardian Art Nouveau sterling silver picture frame, ca 1910. Rectangular window in surround with curved corners. Front engraved with dense leafing scrollwork and flowers; tubular ca...
Category

Early 20th Century American Art Nouveau Gorham Manufacturing Company

Materials

Sterling Silver

Edwardian-Style Sterling Silver Picture Frame with Wood Back
By Gorham Manufacturing Company
Located in New York, NY
Edwardian-style, sterling silver picture frame with wood back, Gorham Manufacturing Co., Providence, Rhode Island, Ca. 1940's. Frame will stand both horizontally and vertically. Outs...
Category

1940s American Edwardian Vintage Gorham Manufacturing Company

Materials

Sterling Silver

Large Antique Gorham American Edwardian Flask in Sterling Silver Cage
By Gorham Manufacturing Company
Located in New York, NY
Large Edwardian flask. Made by Gorham in Providence in 1900. Rectilinear with flat front and back and curved sides in clear glass. Textural easy-grip sterling silver cage with dense ...
Category

Early 1900s American Edwardian Antique Gorham Manufacturing Company

Materials

Sterling Silver

Sterling “Chantilly” Dessert Tray
By Gorham Manufacturing Company
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Being offered is a sterling silver tray in the “Chantilly” pattern by Gorham Silver. Their Chantilly pattern was very popular and continues to be very sought-after. A scalloped rim w...
Category

1960s American Vintage Gorham Manufacturing Company

Materials

Sterling Silver

Saint Dunstan Chased by Gorham Sterling Silver Flatware Set Service 43 Pc Dinner
By Gorham Manufacturing Company
Located in Big Bend, WI
Exquisite dinner size saint Dunstan chased by Gorham sterling silver flatware set, 43 pieces. This set includes: eight dinner knives, 9 3/4", eight dinner forks, 8", eight salad ...
Category

20th Century Gorham Manufacturing Company

Materials

Sterling Silver

Colonial by Gorham Sterling Silver Flatware Set 12 Service Dinner
By Gorham Manufacturing Company
Located in Big Bend, WI
Rare dinner size Colonial by Gorham sterling silver flatware set. This set includes: 12 dinner size knives, 9 5/8" (pointed antique pattern) 12 dinner size forks, 7 1/2" 12 salad/fi...
Category

20th Century Gorham Manufacturing Company

Materials

Sterling Silver

Gorham Pierced Sterling Silver Heart Shaped Basket
By Gorham Manufacturing Company
Located in Hamilton, Ontario
Gorham pierced sterling silver heart shaped basket.
Category

19th Century American Antique Gorham Manufacturing Company

Materials

Sterling Silver

Cambridge by Gorham Sterling Silver Flatware Service 12, Set Vermeil 48 pieces
By Gorham Manufacturing Company
Located in Big Bend, WI
Stunning Cambridge Gold by Gorham sterling silver flatware set of 48 pieces. Gold flatware is on trend and makes a bold statement on your table. This set is vermeil (completely gol...
Category

Late 19th Century Antique Gorham Manufacturing Company

Materials

Sterling Silver

Browse all Furniture from Gorham Manufacturing Company
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Gorham Manufacturing Company furniture for sale on 1stDibs

Furniture by Gorham Manufacturing Company are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are frequently made of metal and designed with extraordinary care. In our collection of Gorham Manufacturing Company furniture, there are many options to choose from, although silver editions of this piece are particularly popular. In-stock of these items we have 517 vintage editions, while there is also 0 modern edition to choose from. Many of the original furniture by Gorham Manufacturing Company were created in North America during the 20th century in the Art Nouveau style. Many customers also consider furniture by International Silver, Towle Silversmiths and Wallace Silversmiths if you’re looking for additional options. Prices for furniture from the Gorham Manufacturing Company can vary depending upon size, time period and other attributes. 1stDibs's price starts at $69 and tops out at $59,900, while pieces like these can sell for $2,775.

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