Our museum feature, a Gorham Silver kettle and stand, is an exquisite piece of sterling silver with gold accents.
Gorham Silver was founded by Jabez Gorham in 1831 in a shop on Steeple Street in Providence, RI. Born into a family of eight, Gorham had been apprenticed to 18th century New England silver patriarch, Nehemiah Dodge, at the age of 14. He served a 7-year apprenticeship, then started a company with Henry Webster. The company failed after 5 years, and Gorham started his own firm, “Jabez Gorham, Jeweler.” He quickly established a reputation for hand-crafted items of the highest quality, including a special gold chain that became known as “the Gorham chain.” His firm struggled nonetheless, ultimately making a name for itself throughout New England for spoons crafted in coin silver. Gorham Silver went on to produce flatware for the White House of Mary Todd Lincoln, a silver vase for Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, and the best-selling silver pattern of all time, Gorham Chantilly , was used aboard Air Force One during the presidency of George H. W. Bush.
A certificate of authenticity, signed by Jabez Gorham, accompanies the kettle and stand in our museum collection. Details about the piece are provided here by the editors of Silver Magazine.
“This magnificent kettle and stand was manufactured by Gorham Mfg. Company, circa 1861-1867. It features a multitude of styles reminiscent of that time period. The center has a three-dimensional medallion-like design, but instead of the usual helmet style headgear, the figure is wearing a hat or turban accented with plumes. Surrounding the medallion figure is a geometric and acanthus leaf design in gold. Around its base, there is a Greek key band accented in gold vermeil topped with a beaded border. The kettle’s finish has three different styles — a matte finish, a satin finish, and a glossy finish (mostly on the handle and feet). Additional medallion figures can be found on the handle and spout of the piece and appear to be of Grecian or Roman influence. These three-dimensional gold and silver medallions give the illusion that they are hanging off the handle and spout rather than simply attached to it. The finial tops off the piece in yet another style, a seated cherub with a ewer in his hand, as if he is about to pour.” (Reprinted by permission of Silver Magazine.)
While the Gorham Silver kettle and stand in our museum collection are not for sale, we have an extraordinary selection of pieces in a variety of patterns from Gorham, along with selections from world-renowned silver makers like Tiffany & Co., Lunt, Tuttle, International Silver, Reed & Barton, and more. Be sure to browse our web site. And remember that we always invite you to visit our facilities! Here you’ll find a stunning variety of silver, china, crystal, and collectibles! Our showroom and museum are open from 9:00am to 7:00pm ET, 7 days a week (except holidays); free tours are available from 10:00am - 6:00pm, ET, 7 days a week. The showroom and museum are conveniently located between Greensboro and Burlington, NC, at exit 132 off Interstate 85/40. We look forward to seeing you!