Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Server Wm. A. Rogers New York

Catalog number: 6

Little Creamer The Middletown Plate Co.

Catalog number 733.

I like this little fellow. The curvy shape appeals to me. It would have been a part of an individual serving set. It was made by the Middletown Plate Co. and has their earlier mark. I think Middletown is an under collected name in silverplate. Meriden Britannia Co. is supposed to be such fine work, but Middletown is just as old and I think quite nice.  Lets look at some fun facts:

Middletown Plate Co. 
(Do not confuse with the Middletown Silver Plate Co.)

     Middletown Connecticut 

     1864-1899-merger with ISC-

     Edward Payne
     Henry Bullard


     1866 incorporated
     1899 Joined International Silver Co.

     Sold Wares to the Wm. Rogers co. that plated and sold the material with their own mark.
     This means identical pieces can be found with different stamps

Forbes Silver Co. Spooner and Waste

Catalog number 572

Rogers and Brothers Cup

Catalog number: 132

Forbes Silver Plate Co. Creamer, Sugar, Spooner

Catalog number: 216

Monday, December 20, 2010

Cake Basket Columbia Silver Co.

Catalog number 037.

I know its beat up and bruised. It has had a hard life and I took it in. Now it sits by the back door and holds banana peels until I go out and put them in the roses. The plate is damaged, the inside is dented that the bail has lost its plate. But I like it. Its from the "Columbia Silver Co." although the mark would appear to read "Oclumbia Silver Co."  Colombia who at best was a low grade plater from what I have seen of their work, but as you know I am a big fan of the smaller less celebrated makers. This one is however, a doozy.

There is really not much to be said about this maker no one seems to know much of anything.

Rainwater list two "Columbias" First we can eliminate one based on year and manufacturing:

Columbia Silver Co.
     Brooklyn, New York
     Active around the middle fifties until the late 1970's
     Plus they made sterling
So they are out for now.

Columbia Manufacturing Co.
     Gowanda, New York
     Made plated Wares
     Around 1892

    A closer time period on the year but not the same name.
    No mark listed.

A third possibility I have seen is that "Columbia Superior" was used by the Middletown Plate Company as a low grade mark. This mark is not even close to that.

There is also the problem that one might mistake the words columbia for columbian and attribute the mark to the Queen City Silver Plate Co. However I believe that they are in fact two different marks the giant C not withstanding. Besides Columbian Silver Co. seems to actually have been marked on pieces of higher grades than these. an easy mistake to be sure.

So where does that leave us? Not very far. I can assure you. There is a small discussion about it on the Silver Salon Forums. They did not get very far either. It is likely that unless we get a time machine that we will never know. However, I like a problem and will endeavor to provide you the dear reader with as much information as I can dig up on the issue as we progress. Like I mentioned before there were thousands of tiny platers out there that produced small amounts of product and we may never know very much about them. However we can appreciate the craftsmanship and styling of the products they left behind.

Good News! A little research has turned up some interesting facts.
First, the Columbia Silver Co. of Brooklyn (the sterling manufacturer) the first reference to them I could find was in 1947.  This was in Chilton's jewelers' circular/keystone 1970 jewelers' directory issue: Volume 144, Issues 7-10 pages 442, 443, and 445.  Also more exactly they were known as Columbia Silver Co. Inc.

They  are also listed in the 1949 New York state directory of manufacturing and mining firms in New York state, under the same name.

Also they are listed in Mastai's classified directory of American art & antique dealers, Volume 3 as an antiques dealer in 1947. 
This does not get us very far with out problem, however it does shed some light on that particular company.

Second, the Jewelers' Circular, Volume 135 from 1917 list the Columbia Silver Co. (I believe the one we are looking for) as an exhibitor. 

Two Dollar Plate, French Sterling

I picked this up for two dollars yesterday at a junk store on a lark. I did not see any of the usual marks, just ones I could not really see clearly. It was heavy, tarnished (it sat in the sink overnight and was much worse)  but it did not have any sorts of the usual silver plate marks. I liked the detail of the flowers on it (the picture does not do it justice) but was wary because it is a small piece and seems to be missing something.  I don't know what the center is for it is the size of a teacup. I think that is what I may do with it. 

The marks were confusing. I looked in Rainwater's book first this did not help. There are two marks I had a hard time seeing.  I knew it had a Minerva head, so I did some internet searching. It also had another head in a square cartouche. At first I thought it might be Dutch. This did not pan out. Then I thought it might be Russian. It was close (the mark was so hard to see) but this did not turn out. Then I figured out that it was French. I still have a lot I am trying to learn about international hallmarks, and I rely heavily on this wonderful site. 925-1000 is one of my go to places on the internet for information. 

As an online encyclopedia of silver they are second to none. I could not do my work without them. So not only did they help me confirm the assay mark as being french, they had information on the maker. 

Turns out it is Emile Delaire who worked from 1882 to 1920. 

I could not have asked for a better deal, a better research site, or a better dish. Thats pretty good if I do say so myself. 

E. G. Webster & Son Coffee Pot

This little fellow got purchased a couple of weeks ago. I picked it up from a dealer friend of mine at a low cost who just hours before had picked it up from another dealer friend of mine for about nine dollars less. Had I not been so lazy that morning it could have been mine at a lower price but not to despair, early bird and all that. I really like the wooden handle, and the lid is in good shape, the silver inside is intact, the shape just does not do it for me. 

The weather was unseasonably warm today so you get an outside picture. This pot is part of the famous E.G. Webster reproduction lines and has a very classical english styling about it. I covered a brief history of E.G. Webster & Son in this post so there is no need to reproduce it here. I really like this maker and have seen many of their works. It is easy to identify through the use of their trademark spider web with a W. Though this is only one of their many marks, I think it is one of their best and just the detail of it is a joy to behold. 

Without reference books at hand to identify this mark I imagine that searching it out is a pain on the internet. I think I would go with the terms W, Star, Web, Silver but that could turn up any amount of things. Pictorial marks are some of the hardest to identify. Though, like with Webster, once you know what it is it becomes immediately recognizable to the collector. 

So what will become of this little fellow? Well I am stocked up on pots like this and it is not in the garish Victorian style I like so much so he is destined to be a Christmas present. The person i have in mind will give him a very good home.  There is a little damage to his foot where he was likely set on a ht stove or burner, but i don't think that this will matter too much. Sometimes imperfect silver is some of the most interesting. 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Last Water Pitcher. Reed and Barton

This is the last of my three water pitchers.  Oh I have many many other pitchers but those are not just water pitchers. Strangely it was the first water pitcher I bought.  I purchased it at an estate sale about four years ago. The maker is Reed and Barton and it was made in 1943. I know because unlike so many other makers Reed and Barton is kind enough on later works form 1928 on to put a date symbol (much like British sterling has). This piece has a fasces and thus was easy to look up.  Another  unique thin about his pitcher is its weight. Even though it has a ceramic insert the bottom is weighted quite heavily. This was to keep it from sliding on a table. Why? you inquire. Because this pitcher was made for the U.S. Navy. It is marked USN on the bottom. This means it was made during Word War II. 

I could go into a long discussion here about the history of Reed and Barton, their date marks and other marks but this information has been covered by so many people. Probably because they are still producing silver and silverplate.  However if you are interested you should check out this site. Giorgio B. has done a wonderful job of covering Reed and Barton as well as many many other makers and topics. I rely on it constantly. I can't imagine what his collection is like but this database of information is second to none. I truly admire his work. 

Another Cup

I picked up this little gem because I liked the handle and it was very inexpensive. It could do with a polish but I am afraid hat doing so will reveal that most of the plate is gone. I put it next to the old Frankoma coffee mug to give it some colour and scale. Plus its morning here and therefore is coffee time. 

The marks on the cup were hard to read, but it is from the Simpson, Hall, Miller & Co. from Wallingford Connecticut.  Its catalog number is 404. Across the front it has so large elephant ear type plant. My mother could identify the plant right off but not knowing too much about tropical plants thats the description I will stick with. 

I am posting a lot right now both because I have a little time and I have a backlog in the collection to catch up with. 

To learn more about S.H. & Miller you should read this post

St. Louis Silver Syrup Pitcher

I finally purchased a syrup pitcher. This little beauty, I thought, was from the St. Louis Silver Co. in St. Louis Missouri. It has a nice floral design and an accompanying plate.

This piece is marked

ST. L. C.& S.W. Co. in a circle with St. Louis in the middle. At first I thought it was the St. Louis Silver Company. Turns out it was not. 

St. Louis Silver Co. 
St. Louis Silver Plate Company
St. Louis Missouri


First appeared in 1893

Was listed as the St. Louis Silver Plate Company in 1905
So they changed names somewhere in there.

Seems to have closed sometime around 1912-1913


They are famous for their wood and silver steins.
The patent for the steins is from 1904 by Clarence M. Perkins


     Seen as L.B. Silverware Co. in a circle.

     Also made a line called SALOSICO WARE

     Also used a clover leaf.

The marks did not "add up" in my mind.
The Initials of the mark even the known mark did not make any sense.  "L.B." , "St. L. C."
What does that C stand for? What does the B stand for?

S.W. could be silverware

There was a company I have very little information on it, called the  St. Louis Clock and Silverware Company

There is even less information about this company.

This is what I have dug up:

St. Louis Clock and Silverware Company
St. Louis Missouri

     Otto Pfeffer


    To at least 1904

     Wholesale dealer in clocks
     cut glass

     ST. L. C.& S.W. Co.

Other Notes:
    Participated in the St. Louis "Louisiana Purchase Exhibition" also known as the "St. Louis Worlds Fair" in 1904- They are listed in the catalog.

More Research dug up an old catalog from the St. Louis Clock and Silverware Company. This absolutely confirms that the pitcher is theirs. Right on the cover of their 1904 "Twelfth Annual Catalog" across the front is  "ST. L. C.& S.W. Co." "Wholesale Only" So now I can confirm that they produced this piece or at least sold it. So far as I know no other record of their silver production exist online so this is the first. That makes me excited. And if its not? Hell, I am still excited.

Did I mention I love toast racks?

I don't like toast. Not in the least. But I do love toast racks. I
finally found one. I am pretty sure it is British but have not
confirmed the situation.

Wilcox Silver Plate Co. Water Pitcher

This is my other water pitcher. It is from the Wilcox Silver Plate Co.
This design was patented October 29, 1878. It has an ice shield and a
ceramic insert to help keep the water cold. It's catalog number is
5174. The banding is a repousse floral affair.

That its the cat Paycheck helping in the background.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Cake Basket Rogers Smith & Co.

This Cake basket is a lovely piece from the Rogers, Smith and Company of Meriden Connecticut.It also has the piece number of 1803. I got it at auction for a song. I love the butterflies that are inside the bowl and the tall pedestal. Around the bowl it has a floral relief except for one really strange bird head.

The Rogers,Smith & Co.
Meriden Connecticut

January 1, 1857


William Rogers Sr.
George W. Smith

August 12 1862 with Rogers Bros. Mfg. Co.

August 12, 1862 their flatware division was sold to the Meriden Britannia Co.
The Rogers left to work with them.

Edward Mitchell of the Rogers, Smith and Co. bought the hollowware division.

Rogers, Smith & Co.
New Haven Connecticut

November 6, 1862


Edward Mitchell

January 13, 1863 bought by Meriden Britannia Co.
Continued in New haven using Rogers, Smith & Co. marks
June 1865 plating shop moved to Meriden Connecticut - Marks will read Meriden
Move completed by January 1, 1866
All facilities incorporated into Meriden Britannia Company by 1877

By 1898 when the International Silver Company was formed it was a trademark owned by the Meriden Britannia Company but had ceases to produce as a division.

Water Pitcher- Pelton Bros. Silver Plate Co.

I picked up this water pitcher last weekend. An older gentleman I know that sells at the local flea market had pulled it out for me from a box of junk. He even had had his grandson polish it with a cloth to take off most of the tarnish. It was exquisite. At first I thought it was missing its ceramic insert, however, it has an ice shield that swings inward and this tells me that it never had one. The finial on top is easy enough to see in the picture, but around the edge are shields and papyrus with little birds inside the shields. The same design is repeated around the top. The spout has flowers on it and the motif is repeated in the handle.

The mark is terribly hard to read. However after enough staring I figured out it was "made" by the Pelton Bros. Silver Plate Co.

Pelton Bros. Silver Plate Co. was located in St. Louis Missouri and seems to have existed from 1872 to 1900. It was managed for a time by Philip S.Pelton.

Their flatware was marked:
Triple Plate 12
Sectional Plate XII
Standard Plate 4

Their hollowware was marked as a PB in a shield and as a circular cartouche.

I question that this being made by them. There is another set of marks on the bottom of the pitcher that has been over-struck and then plated. A barely visible CT can be seen and I am assuming that the underlying britannia metal was bought from one of the Connecticut manufacturers and then plated by the Pelton Bros. This was a pretty common practice in the Victorian era. In fact this practice was one of the contributing reasons that the International Silver Company formed because some firms found that by uniting they could save money on this trend in the industry. It also explains identical pieces having different manufacturing marks.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Clearing up the Wilcox Name

Clearing up the Wilcox Name

Like Rogers (though thankfully fewer) there are several silver and silverplate companies with Wilcox in the name.  We are going to take on a few here.

Wilcox Britannia Co.
Meriden, Connecticut
Founded 1865
            Jebediah Wilcox
            Horace Wilcox
            Aaron Collins
            Charlie Parker
            Hezekeah Miller
Changed name to Wilcox Silver Plate Co. in 1867

Wilcox & Evertsen
New York, New York
Named in 1892
Formed out of Rowan and Wilcox that started in 1889.
The two founders:
Robert M. Wilcox
Henry H. Evertsen
            Sterling silver hollowware
            Sterling flatware
            Generally considered to be well designed
Purchased by:
In 1896 they were bought out by the Meriden Britannia Company.
Factories were moved to Meriden Connecticut
1898 – International Silver Company formed (A chief founder being the Meriden Britannia Company)
            Division tools moved to Wallingford Connecticut
            Worked inside the Simpson Nickel Silver Plant
In 1919 their lines became consolidated into the old Simpson, Hall & Miller building.
            Indian head, with feather on top
            Wilcox & Evertsen
H. C. Wilcox and Co.
Meriden, Connecticut
Founded 1848
            Horace C. Wilcox
            Dennis C. Wilcox
Served as an early marketing and distribution service in Meriden Connecticut

Wilcox-Roth Co.
Newark, New Jersey
First reference 1909
Made Sterling Silver
No other information
            W Lion R inside a C with an o at the “mouth” of the c

Wilcox Silver Plate Co.
Meriden, Connecticut
Founded 1865/1867
            Jebediah Wilcox
            Horace Wilcox
            Aaron Collins
            Charlie Parker
            Hezekeah Miller
            1869 purchased the Parker & Casper co.
            1898 helped to found the International Silver Co.
            Wilcox mark used after the foundation as a line in the ISC.
            1941 Factory closed because of WWII
1961 became Webster-Wilcox
1981 Webster-Wilcox sold to Oneida Silversmiths
            Too many to list them all:
            Wilcox S.P. Co.
            Wilcox Silver Plate Co.
            Superior Silver Co.
            Made and Guaranteed by Wilcox Silver Co.
            W S P Co.
            Pewter by Wilcox
            Superior S.P.Co.

Wilcox and Wagoner
New York, New York
            Sterling Hollowware and Glassware
            Bought by the Watson Co. in 1905
            Sword in wreath



Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New Little Dish from The Acme Silver Plate Co.

Needs a polish. New in the sense that I picked it up a couple of
months ago. It has reposse fruit inside the bowl and the head of
Hermes on the side. The back has dragons and horns. This is just the
sort of strange Victorian decoration that I love. I was very excited
when I found it. It was made by The Acme Silverplate Company
"quadruple plate".
The Acme Silver Plate Co. made plated silver holloware and silverware
around 1885 in Boston Massachusetts. They were a short lived company
and did not survive more than ten years.

New Tongs from W. & S. Blackinton Co

Made by W.& S. Blackinton "Fine Silver Plate"

W. & S. Blackinton Co. was in Meriden Connecticut and started as a gold jewelry manufacturer in 1865 by a couple of brothers. In 1938 they were bought out by the Ellmore Silver Co. After the buyout silver plating was commenced. This was slowed during World War II and started back up in 1945.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Poor Planning

Well, I have not posted in a while. That is because of poor planning on my part. I apologize. I think I sucked the fun out of this blog by making it too academic. I am going to try to focus on some fun things and post more often.