Friday, April 9, 2010

The Meriden Name Problem

Meriden Connecticut was center of silver and silver plate manufacturing. There were a few companies with Meriden in their name and I thought a short list might be useful to understanding the difference between them. (Similar names is an issue that has often been a source of confusion to me don't even get me started on flatware manufacturers)  The formation of the International Silver Company helped to consolidate these companies but it still used a variety of marks from the companies that formed it to indicate levels of quality.

A Few Facts (these will be on the test): The Meriden Silver Plate Co.

1. The Meriden Silver Plate Co. Was started in 1869.

2. It's factories were in Meriden Connecticut.

3. It helped form the International Silver Company in 1898.

4. It is not the same company as the Meriden Britannia Company.

5. Marks used into the 1930's.

6. Marks read: The Meriden Silver Plate Co., The Meriden S.P.Co., International S.Co., Eureka Silver Co.,   

A Few More Facts:  The Meriden Britannia Company

1. Started in 1852.

2.  First formed for creating Britannia (white metal) Hollowware.

3.  Offering plated ware by 1855

4.  In 1862 joined by the Rogers Brothers. (who used the 1847 Rogers Brothers mark from Hartford)    -the mess of "Rogerses" is something we will seek to unravel later.

5.  Had London and Canadian Branches.

6. Had sales offices in New York, Chicago, and San Fransisco.

7. 1898 - One of the founding members, and leading organizers of the International Silver Company.

8. The Meriden Britannia Company's marks were used until the 1930's.

9. Marks read Meriden B. Company, Sillimans Silver Ring, M.B. Co, M B C E P (in shields)

You can make a comparison of  the Meridian Britannia Company and the Meriden Silver Plate Co. marks at two wonderful sites.

First is the site 925-1000, they have an awesome list of marks, and a great library.

You can view it here.

Second is The Online Encyclopedia of American Silver Marks. This site is also a great resource for the collector.

You can view it here.

One More Meriden: Meriden Britannia Co. LTD.

1. Located in Hamilton Ontario.

2. Founded in 1879.

3. Canadian branch of Meriden Britannia Company.

4. Produced flatware (1847 Rogers, sterling)

5. Merged with International Silver Co. of Canada ~ 1912

Another Company: Meriden Cutlery Company

1. Early founding  - 1834

2. Started by  G. and D.N. Ropes (cutlery manufacturers) in Maine.

3. Business acquired by Julius Pratt & Co. of Meriden

4. 1845 merger creates Pratt, Ropes, Webb & Co. -located in Hanover Connecticut

5. 1855 Joint stock company Meriden Cutlery Company formed located in South Meriden Connecticut.

6. 1866 Purchased by Landers, Fray and Clarke.

7.  Landers, Fray and Clarke out of business in the 1960's

8. Made table cutlery, carving sets,  pearl handled cutlery, carving knives with sterling silver blades, some sterling

9. A January 2, 1891 Advertisement list their "Patented Celluloid Handle"

You can view this advert here.

The New Your Times had this to say about the Company in 1877.

Sale of American Cutlery
February 14, 1877, Wednesday

"The first public sale of cutlery under the auspices of the Table Cutlery Manufacturers' Association of the United States comprising the Beaver Falls Cutlery Company, Landers, Frary Clark, John Russel Cutlery Company, Meriden Cutlery Company, Chicago Cutlery Manufacturing Company, and Lamson Goodnow Manufacturing Company was begun yesterday."

You can read the whole article in .pdf here.

Two Final Meridens

1. Meriden Jly Co. or Meriden Jewelry Co.

2. Meriden Sterling Co. 1896-1904

The work A Historical Record and Pictorial Description of the Town of Meriden, The Town of Meriden Connecticut "The Silver City" (1906) By Charles Bancroft Gillespie, George Munsor Curtis covers the history of manufacturers in Meriden. Large sections of the book focus on the International Silver Company and covers at length both the Meriden Britannia Company and the Meriden Silver Plate Co. as well as other silver companies. It also gives the general history of the town on Meriden. This is an invaluable resource.


  1. We have a bread plate/ bowl in our possession that is stamped with "Meriden S.P.CO" above and just below it it has the word "International S. CO.". The upper and lower words have the symbol of a lion holding a challis in a very plain script drawing. Below the stamp are the numbers 2316. Can you

    1. Today I got the same kind bowl #2226...can u tell me what was urs?silver or silver plate?

    2. I have the that as well 2212

  2. I have a silver plated creamer and pitcher on a silver plated tray with the inscription on creamer & pitcher: Queen Silver Company,Quadruple, Meriden Co., 600. I've been told by a dealer to melt it down or give it to Goodwill as it has no value and, more recently, by another source that it has maintained its high sheen because it has 4 layers of plating, was made between 1800 and 1898 when the Meriden Co merged with others to become the Intn'l Silver Co, and should not be given to Goodwill or melted down, but I still don't know if it has a value. Who can help?

    1. Quadruple anywhere in the mark means plates with 4x the usual thickness of plating. still a negligible ablount of silver content.

  3. I have a pickle castor marked Meriden B. Company Quadruple Plate 199 1/2. I have been looking on ebay and other sites but I have not seen another number with a 1/2. Does anybody know what the 1/2 means?

    1. See my comment above.


    1. the "sp" stands for silver plate.

  5. I have a flower basket that is marked Meriden P Co International Silver 520 - can you tell me is it silver or silver plate?

    1. See my comment above

  6. I have a spoon that says "MERIDAN SILVER CO." Nothing about plate.???

    1. Not enough info here...but I think silver plate unless it says sterling somewhere.

  7. I have a chafing dish set, with stand, warmer, dish and lid, along with the flame extinguisher. It is stamped on the bottom as "Meriden B company 0645 silver soldered 10 in." It is in fairly decent condition. No dents. It has been used and has plating wear on the inside of the dish, as well was a spot of what appears to be green paint on the handle. It is also engraved with a stylized "C" on the lid. I really wonder what year this was made and if it has any worth. I am very curioius about this piece. If anyone can be of any assistance, I would be greatly appreciative.I have not been able to find any really useful information about chafing dishes in particular on the internet. Thank you.

    1. It is plated, but may have some age. if the plating is wearing off in some places as you say, the value will likely be below $25

  8. i have a 36 piece of american presidents commemative spoon collection thru nixon can i get somewhere the next 7, ford thru obama ? send me an email if u know about this.

    1. I would try mail order companies like Franklin Mint and such. Why don't you know who made the ones you already have? EBay too.

  9. Can you please tell me the dates that the MBC over EP with the scales, wheat and thistle, crest and star, crown (something I don't know what to call it) and a star was used. Thanks, Betty

  10. I have a 7in goblet with " MERIDEN B COMPANY No 12" encircling a shield with scales. I have no other information about this cup. it seems to be in good condition. if anyone has any information they could share about it, that would be great.

  11. I have a ladle that is very heavy simply marked "meridenbrita co" on the back and "ziegler's" on the front handle. I also have a large spoon that is on the heavy side marked "internationalsiverco" and I S after it with the I and S inclosed in it's own square. I'm familiar with plated silver so I'm wondering could this be german silver or coin silver because it's so heavy? It has a quality feel unlike any of the plated goods I've come across.

  12. I have a 4 piece tea set from my aunt. Stamped - Meriden B. Company 1836. Scratched next to the 1836 is "1943" I gather this is plate for I do not see any Sterling Stamp. Does it still have a good value?

  13. I have a Meriden double wall pitcher silver lined dated 1854 what do you think it worth. bob

  14. I have 4 wine/water goblets. The half-circle logo that reads:
    Meriden S P Co
    International S Co
    It has some animal figure in the center I believe.
    Does anyone know what the 2004 stands for? Where can I find more info?

  15. Hello? Available assistance?
    I have a wicked heavy genie lamp kinda thing. Meriden Silver Plate Co stamped1405 14794 and it is in flawless condition.