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Gorham Manufacturing Company Barware

American

For nearly 160 years, the Gorham Manufacturing Company turned out a wide range of beautiful silver flatware, tea sets, serving bowls and other silver pieces, indelibly influencing the field of decorative arts in ways that still resonate.

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.

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Creator: Gorham Manufacturing Company
Set of 4 Spaulding Federal-Style Sterling Silver Mint Julep Cups
By Spaulding & Company, Gorham Manufacturing Company
Located in New York, NY
Set of 4 Federal-style sterling silver mint julep cups. Made by Spaulding & Co. (part of Gorham) in Chicago, ca 1920. Each: Straight and gently tapering sides and molded rims. A wond...
Category

Early 20th Century American Federal Gorham Manufacturing Company Barware

Materials

Sterling Silver

Set of 8 Gorham Sterling Silver Goblets in Desirable Puritan Pattern
By Gorham Manufacturing Company
Located in New York, NY
Set of 8 Puritan sterling silver goblets. Made by Gorham in Providence. Each: Spare and elegant form with subtle bell-form bowl on cylindrical stem flowing into raised foot. Works be...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Colonial Revival Gorham Manufacturing Company Barware

Materials

Sterling Silver

Pair of Gorham Lancaster Sterling Silver Ice Tongs
By Shreve & Co., Gorham Manufacturing Company
Located in New York, NY
Pair of Lancaster sterling silver ice tongs. Made by Gorham in Providence, ca 1900. U-form with beaded stem and floral terminal. One jaw ovoi...
Category

Early 20th Century American Edwardian Gorham Manufacturing Company Barware

Materials

Sterling Silver

Gorham Jumbo Sterling Silver & Leather Safari Flask, 1896
By Gorham Manufacturing Company
Located in New York, NY
Victorian safari flask. Made by Gorham in Providence in 1896. Ovoid glass body. Top encased in leather with cutout tubular windows. Bottom has detachable sterling silver cup. Cover h...
Category

1890s American Victorian Antique Gorham Manufacturing Company Barware

Materials

Sterling Silver

Vintage Gorham King Edward Cut Crystal Wine Decanter & Stopper Barware Spirits
By Gorham Manufacturing Company
Located in Dayton, OH
Vintage balloon shaped Gorham Kind Edward style cut crystal wine decanter with stopper.
Category

Late 20th Century Edwardian Gorham Manufacturing Company Barware

Materials

Crystal

Antique Gorham Sterling Olive Bowl and Tongs
By Gorham Manufacturing Company
Located in Litchfield, CT
Circa 1884, sterling, Gorham. This unequivocally charming serving piece embodies the relaxed refinement of the Victorian era. Complete with tongs, this rare example of a figural Gorham olive dish...
Category

1880s American Aesthetic Movement Antique Gorham Manufacturing Company Barware

Materials

Sterling Silver

Victorian Period, Sterling Silver Mustache Cup by Gorham
By Gorham Manufacturing Company
Located in New York, NY
Victorian Period, sterling silver mustache cup, Gorham manufacturing Corp., Providence, Rhode Island, circa 1895. Measures 3 inches high x 3 inches diamet...
Category

1890s American Victorian Antique Gorham Manufacturing Company Barware

Materials

Sterling Silver

Antique Gorham Art Nouveau Sterling Silver & Crystal Whiskey Decanter
By Gorham Manufacturing Company
Located in New York, NY
Turn-of-the-century Art Nouveau sterling silver and crystal decanter. Made by Gorham in Providence. Ovoid crystal bowl with cut and engraved ornament: Beaded horse...
Category

Early 20th Century American Art Nouveau Gorham Manufacturing Company Barware

Materials

Crystal, Sterling Silver

Victorian Sterling Silver-Mounted Decanter and 4 Matching Glasses, Gorham
By Gorham Manufacturing Company
Located in New York, NY
Victorian Period, sterling silver-mounted decanter with hinged lid and having four matching glasses, Gorham Manufacturing Company, Providence, Rhode Island, year-hallmarked for 1894....
Category

1890s American Victorian Antique Gorham Manufacturing Company Barware

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 Barware

Materials

Sterling Silver

Antique Gorham Edwardian Sterling Silver & Crystal Decanter
By Gorham Manufacturing Company
Located in New York, NY
Edwardian crystal decanter with sterling silver stopper. Made by Gorham in Providence in 1897. Bell-form bowl with baluster neck, U-form spout, and c...
Category

1890s North American Edwardian Antique Gorham Manufacturing Company Barware

Materials

Crystal, Sterling Silver

Wonderful Gorham Sterling Silver Rattan Dolphin Coffee Tea Pot Decanter Pitcher
By Gorham Manufacturing Company
Located in Roslyn, NY
A wonderful North American sterling silver black coffee pot, Gorham Mfg. Co., Providence, Ri, Baluster form with long slender spout, the lower body embossed, the handle wrapped with ...
Category

19th Century American Regency Antique Gorham Manufacturing Company Barware

Materials

Sterling Silver

Gorham Brilliant-Cut Glass and Sterling Silver Moon Flask Decanter
By Gorham Manufacturing Company
Located in New York, NY
Brilliant-cut-glass and sterling silver decanter. Made by Gorham in Providence in 1894. Round body with thumb ring handle. Cut ornament in arched frames. Co...
Category

1890s American Victorian Antique Gorham Manufacturing Company Barware

Materials

Sterling Silver

Marie Antoinette by Gorham Sterling Silver Ice Bowl Set, Hollowware & Barware
By Gorham Manufacturing Company
Located in Big Bend, WI
Marie Antoinette by Gorham. Marvelous Marie Antoinette by Gorham sterling silver ice bowl set. This set includes: One round tray that is marked #497, it weighs 37.75 ozt., and ...
Category

1890s American Antique Gorham Manufacturing Company Barware

Materials

Sterling Silver

Gorham Silver and Crystal Decanter, circa 1910
By Gorham Manufacturing Company
Located in New York, NY
Gorham silver and crystal decanter, circa 1910. Gorham silver stopper.
Category

Early 20th Century American Gorham Manufacturing Company Barware

Materials

Crystal, Silver

'Artillery Shell' Cocktail Shaker Sets by Gorham, USA
By Gorham Manufacturing Company
Located in London, GB
Gorham, USA A complete pair of 'Artillery Shell' cocktail shakers by American maker Gorham, in copper, brass and silver plate, made to resemble 18lb artillery shells. The top section is the cocktail shaker, with pull-off cap for filling with an integral strainer. The heavy base in polished brass, and houses a pull-out silver-plated framework for four clear glass shot glasses...
Category

Early 20th Century American Other Gorham Manufacturing Company Barware

Materials

Copper, Brass, Silver Plate

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Antique American Big-Game Era Sterling Silver and Leather Safari Flask
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Gorham Manufacturing Company barware for sale on 1stDibs.

Gorham Manufacturing Company barware are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of silver and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of Gorham Manufacturing Company barware, although silver editions of this piece are particularly popular. Many of the original barware by Gorham Manufacturing Company were created in the Victorian style in north america during the 19th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider barware by and Sheffield Silver Co.. Prices for Gorham Manufacturing Company barware can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $90 and can go as high as $17,830, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $3,100.

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