This is a large Gilt serving spoon, 9 3/4 inches long, with a weight of 3.52 ounces. The bowl is engraved and the edges cut and shaped. The handle is engraved C. A. S. and is dated May 13th 1865. This is 34 days after Robert E. Lee surrendered the last major Confederate Army to Ulysses S. Grant, at the Appomattox Courthouse. This may have been a presentation piece, engraved for a returning solder. Additionally on the heal of the bowl is engraved, ” E. N. K. Dec. 25, 1903 “. It appears to be given as a Christmas gift 38 years later. The serving spoon is in a wooden presentation case, covered with goatskin and lined with purple velvet. Printed in gilt lettering is ” GORHAM Co & BROWN SILVERSMITHS PROVIDENCE R. I. “. The serving spoon is marked GORHAM & CO. and is in perfect condition. The presentation case has an interior tear to the velvet and the goatskin hinge is torn.
The 3 date letters on the serving spoon were started in use in 1863. It can be presumed the spoon was manufactured in 1863, 1864, or 1865, during the Civil War. # S008
Jabez Gorham was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1792. After apprenticing for 7 years, as a jeweler and silversmith, he formed several business partnerships. Gorham Silver was founded in Providence, in 1831 by Jabez Gorham, a master craftsman, in partnership with Henry L. Webster. The firms main products were silver spoons. In 1842 a United States imposed tariff blocked the importation of silver. Jabez Gorham retired in 1847 and did not take full advantage of the import tariff. His son John Gorham took over management of the company and quickly expanded and modernized production. John improved the designs and expanded the product lines. By 1850 Gorham & Co. was becoming an influential silver manufacturer. John traveled to Europe and sought out highly skilled, foreign workmen, to train the existing workers in design and manufacturing methods. About this time, in 1852 Gorham & Co started using a dating system similar to some of the dating systems used in Europe. Gorham & Co has grown into one of the major United States silver manufacturers, in the 20th century.