Blake & Company Assayers gold bar. 817 Fine, 30.41 ounce, $513.59, Bar #5232. One edge test on this superb ingot. Gorgeous russet red toning inlaid within the stark golden surfaces. Blake & Co are the most rare and prized of the S.S. Central America treasure.
Blake & Agrell conducted business as a partnership in Sacramento in 1855. An advertisement noted:
“Assay Office 52 J Street between 2nd and 3rd Sacramento. Blake & Agrell, having established themselves in the business of Melting, refining and Assaying of Gold and ore of every description, are now prepared and well qualified to execute business entrusted in them, faithfully and on the most reasonable terms…we guarantee the correctness of our assays and will pay all differences arising from the same with any of the United States Mint…”
Later in the same year the partnership was dissolved, and a new firm, Blake & Co. was formed. This consisted of Gorham Blake and W. R. Waters. This firm produced various issues dated 1855 and 1856. The 1861 Sacramento City Directory still lists Blake & Co., consisting of Gorham Blake and W. R. Waters, but at 54 J Street. The firm apparently was dissolved in 1862, as a June 25, 1863 newspaper advertisement indicates: “Assay Office, Waters & Co. (late Blake & Co.), No. 52 J Street Sacramento.” An account in the Weekly Mountaineer, a newspaper published in Dalles, Oregon, November 4, 1864, notes that samples of gold were sent to San Francisco from the Boise region to be analyzed in the laboratory of Professor Blake. Blake was a California pioneer, having arrived in that state comparatively early. In 1852 he was an agent of Adams & Co. at their Placerville office, according to a letter in the files of the Wells, Fargo Bank History Room, San Francisco.
Gorham Blake was a native of Boston, Massachusetts and died December 17, 1897, in Oakland, California, at the age of 68years. Among his other activities he was an organizer and member of the Sacramento Committee of Vigilance.
Until recent years, very little about Blake & Agrell or Blake & Co. appeared in numismatic publications. Curiously “Agrell” is misspelled as “Agnell” on several known pieces Genealogical records have been searched with limited success since 1975 for information concerning John Agrell/Agnell, who was Gorham Blake’s partner for only six weeks in 1855.