Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Little Bowl from E.G. Webster and Son

I picked up this little guy two weeks ago on Saturday. I it was four dollars. Not to bad for a repousse piece. Really tarnished silver is often priced super low because it seems to be "ruined" and often it is. This piece was ignored by the "pricers" of the estate sale and I benefited.  It was black as night and I finally got polished on Friday. That's right, an exciting Friday night polishing silver. 

this piece was made by E.G. Webster & Son N.Y. and its number is 440. It is pretty small, but the details are amazing.  In between the flowers and the scrolls are textured surfaces that have been chased. The feet are cast and soldered. This according to Hagan is a sign of quality work. I had not noticed it when I picked it up, but in the polishing, the handles are little sea creatures. This does not quite fit with the floral motif that the rest of the decorations reflect but I am a big fan of weird stuff like that. Perhaps, that's why I find colonial styles of silver to be so boring. There is a tiny amount of pitting in the bowl, but it really is so minor that I think for a piece its age it is forgivable. 

So let us consult Rainwater and see if we can find a bit about E.G. Webster. They were formed in Brooklyn New York in 1859. They have had three names:

Webster Mfg. Co. 1859 - 1873
E.G. Webster & Bros. 1873 - 1886
E.G. Webster & Son 1886 - 1928

in 1928 the son ( Fred H. Webster that formed the Son in the mark) sold the business to the International Silver Company. The factories were moved from Brooklyn to Meriden.  Rainwater states that they were well known for their "highly chased holloware and English reproductions". The webster trademark was used until 1961 when it was changed to Webster-Wilcox. This continued until 1981. At this time it was sold to Oneida.


  1. Gorgeous bowl, and thanks for your blog. I just ran across it and appreciate the time you take to chronicle your discoveries. I am researching some silver I inherited - it's enjoyable AND frustrating.

  2. Thanks, that is very kind of you to say. If you need any help in your research let me know.

  3. could you tell me what the 440 means. I am selling
    alot of stuff since I will be moving out of the country and have a silver pitcher that has the number 446 and victorian is written on the bottom. there are other numbers but can't read them.
    Thanks alot.

  4. I have three pieces. All three have the Spider web and Star with a W in the Star center. Outside of the Web is the number 68. Any way of knowing if this is Silver or silver plating. My E-Mail is: Pyrametals@gmail.com Any help is really great!! Thanks. Clayt

    1. Hi Clayton, I don't know but I have a teapot, Creamer and sugar with the same web with star and w in it and my three pieces have the number 663. I'm thinking this could be the production number?

      If anyone has any information on this please reply back. Thank you!!!

  5. i also have a bowl with # 660 do you know what this is ? my e-mail steve.myres@yahoo

  6. I have a silver cup, says webster mfg co ,ny, marked 11 and has a 2nd number e-9633
    Any help would be great, nettech418@yahoo.com

  7. I have a silver tray with grapes and vines around the edge. It's mark is a flower-crown-lion and 29K11 plus 26 under the K. The first mark is E.G. Webster & Son but from this information can someone tell me what the other marks mean and it's age?

  8. I'm trying to identify the maker of a lovely little repousse lidded box. It's clearly silver plate as the copper shows through on some of the relief and there is a round copper colored disk in the middle of the bottom of the box. There are 6 marks on the underside. "W & G" and then a separate hallmark comprising a solid star on the left, a fleur de lys on the right. The middle symbol looks like the head of a wolf or fox. Any suggestions?

  9. I have a teapot, Creamer and sugar with the web, and star and w in it and my three pieces have the number 663. Could it be the production number?

    Does anyone know when these pieces were made or more importantly how to get the black off of it? I tried Weimans but the only piece that got shiny at all was the bottom. After polishing a piece if it, it almost looks pewter color. HELP!!! How do I clean these items? I appreciate any and all tips you can give me. Thank you!!!