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What are Gorham Mixed Metals and Sterling Silver Items Worth?

Updated: Mar 18

What are Gorham Mixed Metals and Sterling Silver Items Worth?

To set a base line of values, a common piece of sterling silver flatware or hollowware made by Gorham is usually worth between $35- $55 per troy ounce at retail.

However, a Gorham item that has any kind of mixed metal element or embellishment will automatically be worth at least $55 per troy ounce or more depending on the piece. Most of these pieces were made between 1880 and 1910 and few were ever produced. As a result they are quite valuable and collectible.


We are going to go through the various price levels within the category of Gorham Mixed Metals.


Gorham Water Pitcher with blackberry brambles weight 31 troy ounces Retail is $12,000.00



Level One - Gorham Mixed Metal with a Copper Base If the item has a copper base with decorations of sterling applied onto to it, then these pieces are usually are worth between $55-$165 per troy ounce. The values vary depending on the desirability of the pieces. Aesthetic movement themes of butterflies, dragon flies, birds, frogs and other Japanese related subject matter are the most popular. Trays are the least valuable and fancier hollowware items like coffee pots, bowls and pitchers tend to fetch more money. The smaller copper trays that measure 6-9" and weigh between 10-15 troy ounces typically retail from $800- $1,500.  Lighter in weight smaller cups weighing around 3 troy ounces with heavy decoration can sell retail in the higher range per troy ounce. The more elaborate and sensational the sterling applied elements are on the piece, usually the more valuable it is going to be.


Any mixed metal Gorham item that is marked "Athenic" is also usually a plus. It was a popular trade line that Gorham developed which was modeled in the fashion of designs from Athenian Greek art, architecture and sculptures.


Condition on these copper based pieces is also important as well. If the piece is visibly corroded in the copper, or the copper has black pitted spots on the piece, then you can usually down grade the above values by 50-75% below. These kind of condition issues are typically not repairable. The collectors want these items immaculate and pristine. Collectors also like original beautiful aged petina that looks like an artwork itself with striking variations of hues of reds, oranges, pinks, and purples. Pretty Petina is good - ugly green corrosion and pitted black spots are bad.


Here are several examples of Gorham Mixed Metals with a copper base and silver embellishments:



Petina is everything on these copper trays. Don't rub or polish the item. Once the original patina is gone, it could take another hundred years before you get back what you lost. The collectors want original unpolished condition on these copper based items.


Gorham Copper and Sterling Tankard

with elk horn handle sold in February of 2024 for $1,500.00. Weight was 17.23 troy ounces which equates to: $87.05 per tory ounce.





Gorham Copper and Sterling Kettle - An American Silver-mounted Copper Kettle on Lampstand, Gorham Mfg. Co., Providence, RI, 1882. Weight is approximately 40 troy ounces and sold for $5,000 with buyers premium at Sothebys. This equates to: $125 per troy ounce

Make sure if you buy a kettle like this, that it is fully in tact. If it is missing the original burner or lid, you can probably discount the item by 25-50% or more.








Gorham Copper and Sterling Small Cup  -This cup weighed 2.8 troy ounces and sold for $450.00 on Ebay. This equates to

$160.71 per troy ounce


Very light weight pieces tend to have a higher rate per troy ounce, especially one like this that have a beautiful design.






Level Two - Gorham Mixed Metals Flatware Gorham silver flatware items that have mix of copper and sterling usually retail between $125 - $350 per troy ounce at retail. If it is a real common piece like a sugar spoon, then it will be at the lower spectrum. If it is some super rare piece like an asparagus server, then it will be at the higher end. Any Gorham Mixed Metals flatware item that emulates the Japanese Meiji period of the 1880's is also going to be on the higher end, especially table knives that employ similar workmanship used to embellish the hilts of Samurai Swords.


Here are several examples of Gorham Mixed Metal Sterling, Copper, Brass and Mixed Metals Flatware:



Gorham Mixed Metal Knives - A Set of Sixteen Gorham American Silver and Mixed-metal Ko-gatama Fruit Knives, Gorham Mfg. Co., Providence, RI, circa 1880 sold for $7,500 at Sothebys with buyers premium. Weight was 22 troy ounces which equates to: $340.90 per troy ounce.

Be sure to buy these Japanese Kozuka mixed metal knife sets in even sets of 8, 12, 16 or 24. Oddball orphan knives or uneven sets sell for about half price or less. Also beware of off brand versions that have decorations on only one side. Gorham and Tiffany usually decorate their handles on each side as well as the blades. Versions with only one side decorated with only a very plain undecorated blade goes for at least half as much typically.


Level Three - Gorham Mixed Metal Hollowware with a sterling base Gorham items that have a sterling base with applied copper and brass elements added on to them are usually worth a minimum of $175 - $425 per troy ounce at retail. Flatter pieces like trays or less interesting pieces like bowls are usually at the lower range. Water pitchers, Coffee & Tea Pots, Vases or other more elaborately made hollowware pieces are in the higher spectrum. Theme and aesthetic are also everything to collectors! If an item has a boring uninteresting or even ugly looking subject matter then it will be worth less than something that is beautiful, elegant, decorative and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Rare subject matter like turtles, dragon flies, butterflies, frogs, horses, and birds can really run up the prices towards the higher range of $400 per troy ounce.


Here are several examples or Gorham Mixed Metal Hollowware Items with a sterling base and other metals applied :



Gorham Sterling Silver Bon Bon Dish Bowl Mixed Metals - RARE Important Antique 1879 Gorham Aesthetic Movement Mixed Metal Sterling Weight approximately 7.5 troy ounces - Sold for $1,349. This equates to:

$179.86 per troy ounce






Gorham Mixed Metals Compote 14" tall and approximately 75 troy ounces sold for $30,000 including buyers premium at Sotheby's. This equates to: $400 per troy ounce.













Gorham Mixed Metals Bowl - An American Silver And Mixed-Metals Japanese Style Bowl, Gorham Mfg. Co., Providence, RI, 1880 Approximately 35 Troy ounces sold for $15,000 at Sothebys including buyer's premium

which equates to:

$428.57 per troy ounce



That concludes our assessment of Gorham Mixed Metals Values. At the end of the day, the valuation is of course is subjective and ultimately it will take an interested buyer to determine the true market value. However, our price range level guidelines should be pretty accurate in giving you a ballpark guidance on how to properly evaluate your Gorham Mixed Metals Sterling Silver Items.


Article Bonus: Whiting, Dominick & Half and Tiffany Mixed Metal If you have mixed metals items made by Dominick & Half or made by Whiting, you can almost use the same above price levels as a fair way to assess their values. I would likely discount Whiting or D&H by perhaps 10-20% lower to be on the safe side, as Gorham is slightly more popular and desirable. If you have Tiffany Mixed Metals items you can probably at least double all of the above levels if not even triple or quadruple in some cases. We will have a similar evaluation article on Tiffany Mixed Metals forthcoming in the near future.


We Buy!

We want to purchase silver pieces like the ones shown above!

If you have items that you'd like to sell,

or even just want to get an idea on valuation

please click the email us button for a quote.


Please send us photos, measurements and item descriptions.

Thanks,

Greg Arbutine

Silver Museum Owner

The Silver Museum buys sterling silver made by Gorham.

Please sell your Gorham Mixed Metal Sterling Silver Pieces to The Silver Museum!


Bonus Feature:

Awesome Appraisal on a Gorham Mixed-Metal Teapot on Antiques Roadshow:



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Feb 07
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Nice news article on Gorham Silver!

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