Gorham Silver was founded in Providence, Rhode Island, 1831 by Jabez Gorham, a master craftsman, in partnership with Henry L. Webster.] The firm's chief product was spoons of coin silver. In 1842, the Congress enacted a tariff which effectively blocked the importation of silverware from outside the United States, which aided the American silver industry. Jabez Gorham did not take full advantage of this opportunity, but in 1847 Jabez retired and his son, John Gorham succeeded him as head of the company. John Gorham introduced mechanized production methods, enlarged the premises in downtown Providence, improved the designs, and expanded the product line. In 1852, Gorham toured many of Europe's silver workshops and manufacturers, seeking highly skilled foreign workmen to train his American workers and hired George Wilkinson, a premier designer and workshop manager, from England.
During the heyday of American silver manufacturing, approximately 1850 - 1940, Gorham was highly influential, introducing sought after patterns, including 'Buttercup' first made in 1899. Buttercup became one of the most popular sterling patterns and was made in a wide variety of pieces.
Textron purchased the company in 1967 and in 1989 sold to Dansk International Designs. Brown-Forman Corporation acquired Gorham from Dansk in 1991. The unit was sold in 2005 to Department 56 in the Lenox holdings transaction.
This gorgeous vanity set consists of a hand mirror and hair brush with the repousse 'Buttercup' floral design. The round mirror measures 5 3/8" across and 9 1/2" in length; the hair brush measures 3 3/8" across and 9 1/2" in length. Both pieces are stamped with the famous Gorham Hallmark (Lion, Anchor & G) and "Sterling" and carry a three initial monogram. The mirror is also stamped "C 465" and the brush "C 1451". The insert holding the bristles for the brush is celluloid instead of wood, indicating earlier production, circa 1900-1920. There are no condition issues for either piece; the mirror has a small, very minor cloudy area. Both items have lovely aged patina.
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