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Heirloom Alert: Gorham Silver and Donald Colflesh

Considered Shop is delighted to offer several Gorham silver pieces for sale. If you're not already familiar with how special Gorham Silver is, please read on. My favorite feature is the ingenious versatility of the candlesticks and candelabras which allow for differing heights, depending on the scale and drama you are trying to achieve.

Gorham Silver Company, founded in 1831 by Jabez Gorham in Providence, Rhode Island, has a rich history in the production of exquisite silverware and decorative items. The company quickly gained a reputation for its commitment to craftsmanship and innovative designs, becoming one of the leading silver manufacturers in the United States during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Gorham's silver pieces were highly sought after for their quality and intricate detailing, attracting a clientele that included affluent individuals, royalty, and even the White House.

In the realm of Gorham's silverware, candlesticks held a significant place. The company's candlestick designs were varied, ranging from classic and ornate to more modern and streamlined. Gorham's skilled artisans crafted candlesticks in various styles, incorporating elements of neoclassicism, Art Nouveau, and Art Deco, reflecting the evolving tastes of the times.

These candlesticks served not only as functional items for illuminating homes but also as exquisite decorative pieces, often featuring intricate patterns, embossing, and sometimes even gemstone embellishments.

Donald Colflesh:

From 1stDibs, we learn that In 1956, Gorham Manufacturing Company recruited Donald Colflesh to bring a contemporary dimension to its traditional products. Colflesh’s most popular and successful design for the firm was the circa 1970 series, in which he brilliantly captured America’s ambition to go to the moon. In this coffee service, the intersecting angles epitomize the era of space-age design, and the curving upright thrust of the handles and spouts conveys the aerodynamics of the jet age.

Gorham reinforced the coffee service’s space-age associations in accompanying pamphlets, noting its feeling of vertical motion, the upward look to space. The company’s name for the line, circa 1970, also confidently alludes to the future and its possibilities. The sleek contours and elongated ebony finials and handles, however, were exceptional for mid-century hollowware, and recall similar embellishments on early 20th century Scandinavian silver.

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