Dating gorham silver marks

Agree the shell is the 1896 mark..symbol marks were used until the early 1930s then changed to decade marks.

Gorham used date marks generally only on higher end steling holloware.

The artisan was given a design and a flat sheet of metal and told to work it by hand with an hammer and any other tools, which were necessary for the design in mind.

There are no two pieces alike and even small pieces of Martele' silver can be quite expensive even today.

Made entirely of nickel silver, these wares were processed by the same general methods used in making sterling silverware, even to the use of silver solder in assembling the component parts.

Letters of the alphabet A through Q were used from 1868 through 1884 at which time symbols were adopted for each year until 1933 at which time they were discontinued.The confusion on the marks is not the lion, anchor, G - The "experts" seem to agree that by 1868 when Gorham went to the sterling standard & started dating their hollowware, the lion passant always faced right.All the references I could find indicate that the left facing lion is pre Civil War or perhaps until 1868.The main output of the line started from 1900 and declined circa 1920, but Martel continued to be produced into the 1930's There were about 7000 to 8000 pieces made and only 1500-1700 are still existent.When the price of the silver went up in the 80's much Martele' silver was melted down.

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Hi All: I used to think I knew a (very) little about silver but I'm stumped. Thanks I'm now convinced that the date mark (shell) is 1896 & the references I've found regarding the left & right facing lion passant are wrong; here're proof that Gorham continued to use these marks well into the late 1890's.

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