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. 

1 comment:

  1. i have this cake basket just bought it today @ goodwill $2.00 mine looks to be in better shape