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Author Topic:   Starr and Marcus
joescio

Posts: 24
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 10-20-2000 10:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for joescio     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I came across a serving piece marked sterling with the names Starr and Marcus. I've looked in my limited reference books but only found them as in the 19th century location unknown. Anyone know their location and dates?

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WGS

Posts: 136
Registered: Oct 99

posted 10-21-2000 12:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for WGS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to Rainwater of 1975, there was a Marcus & Co. of New York, New York which produced specialty items - not flatware - from 1918-1927. Also, there was a Theodore B. Starr Company in New York, New York from 1900-1924.

I wonder if they got together.

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Brent

Posts: 1496
Registered: May 99

posted 10-21-2000 08:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Check out the thread on Theodore B. Starr under Silver Ephemera & Documentation. You will see that Starr & Marcus existed from 1862 to 1877, when it became Theodore B. Starr.

Starr & Marcus was an important jewelry firm, important enough to compete in the Bryant vase competition eventually won by Tiffany. The silver they sold, however, was usually produced by other firms; who knows who would have actually produced the vase if S&M had won!

At any rate, most Starr & Marcus marked pieces were made by either Gorham or John R. Wendt. Look for the Gorham trademark (Lion, Anchor, G) somewhere on your piece. If you find it, you'll know whose it is. If it says 925, or PATENT, or 925 PATENT, then it is likely a Wendt piece. Wendt didn't use their own trademark very often, but their pieces do often have a 925 or PATENT stamp. If you can describe the pattern, we might be able to nail down the name for you; most Wendt patterns have been identified.

Hope this helps!

Brent

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joescio

Posts: 24
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 10-22-2000 12:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for joescio     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Brent (and WGS) Thanks for the great information on Starr & Marcus. If the store still has the piece, I think I'll buy it. It has the look of a cheese scoop (with the scoop being a little large) and has a long-tailed bird on the handle. Thanks again.

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Brent

Posts: 1496
Registered: May 99

posted 10-22-2000 07:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sounds like Wendt's "BIRD" pattern. If the price is right, it is definitely worth having.

Brent

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joescio

Posts: 24
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 10-23-2000 09:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for joescio     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Brent - The price on the spoon is $60. It's a little higher than I'm used to paying, but I'll likely get it.

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Richard Kurtzman
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Posts: 739
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 10-26-2000 01:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Check out Silver Magazine, May-June 1990. There is a reprint of an article from the September 1877 issue of Jewelers Circular and Horilogical Review. It mentions that "Theo. B. Starr will be opening a very large establishment... about the middle of October." (page 13) It also mentions a fire at Gorham's retail store the previous March, which wiped out three quarters of their inventory. Does any one have further information regarding this fire?

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bascall

Posts: 1578
Registered: Nov 99

posted 09-26-2008 08:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A report of the fire which occurred on 6 March 1877 was given in the 8 March 1877 issue of the New York Times. The possible loss of three quarters of their inventory at Number 5 Bond Street amounted to an unofficial estimate of about $300,000.00. Gorham did not disclose their actual losses at the time of the fire nor does it appear they did so at a later date. There were quite a number of manufacturing jewelers, jewelers, and a watch retailer among the occupants of the building with losses. Dominick and Haff 's silverware loss was unofficially estimated at $50,000.00.  All of the firms were unwilling to give an amount.
 
At the time of the fire Gorham Company had recently opened a store in Union Square, but it was believed that the greater portion of their stock in New York City was lost in the Bond Street building fire.

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Ulysses Dietz
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Posts: 1255
Registered: May 99

posted 10-05-2008 05:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Newark Museum owns a Gorham Mfg. CO. Egyptian-style hot water urn with the Starr & Marcus retail mark, dated 1872. Marcus was a very important name in jewelry and in silver. In their day, they were only slightly less glamorous than Tiffany (hard to believe, but true). I'll try to post a picture when I'm at work...Here it is.

Interesting to note, the Starr & Marcus mark is intact, but the Gorham mark (not the date letter) was obliterated sometime.

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