Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Showing Off a New Butter Dish


So I wanted to show off more from my Super Silver Saturday from last week. Besides the goblet and candlestick, I also picked up this butter dish for a steal. It is from the Meriden Britannia Company. It is also marked "1884" which is the manufacturers piece number not the year. 

Now before you get too excited there are a few things you should know. First, the plate even with tarnish is in excellent condition. The inside of the piece as well. As you can see it has a big G on the front and a flower finial. Plus the legs are stunning.  It almost looks alien in its design. It was not the prettiest butter dish I saw that day, but was tucked away on a high shelf forgotten, forlorn and on sale.  I am going to guess that it is late Victorian
(1880s - 1890s), but I have not located it (yet) in any of the Meriden Britannia Company catalogues.

Now for the bad part. Someone at sometime painted the outside silver. It just had little droplets of silver paint all over the place. But if you remember I like to think of silver collecting as a type of archeology. So someone ruined this piece, I think given time I can clean it up. If this piece of artwork can survive over one hundred years then I can finish the job someone started in paint removal. I have started reading about removing paint from silver. There is more information about this from jewelers on the internet than anyone else. It appears the main thing, (and this is not a surprise) is to avoid any paint remover with sulfur.  

This will be a lot of work but if I can salvage it, I can take a piece from a level I can afford and move it to a level I cannot. Even if I fail, I still have a butter dish that, guess what, can hold butter.   If I get the paint off the only remaining issues are a slightly bent knife holder and a tiny dent on the bottom. Which for its age should not detract from its value.

1 comment:

  1. Oh My, that looks just like my coffee / tea pot except mine says Middletown Plate Co, Triple Plate, 1884. It has the same flower top thing all the way to the same feet & floral markings on the sides. You would be amazed how similar they are. It is approx 12 inches tall. I haven't cleaned it, wasn't sure if that would be a good or bad thing to do.