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Author Topic:   (925) (1000)
Paul Lemieux

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posted 11-12-2000 02:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello. Does anybody know who manufactured pieces with the following mark:

I see it on handmade pieces; I've never actually owned a piece with the mark, but at least from the pictures I have seen, they don't appear to be of the highest design and quality, so I wondered if it was some sort of school or something of that nature. I presume the pieces date from the 1910s-20s or so.

Paul

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June Martin
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posted 11-12-2000 05:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for June Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We have a cheesescoop with this mark and we have been wondering about the maker for a long time too. The scoop has a hammered bowl in the Arts and Crafts style with a seal like top at the end of the handle. Although not great quality, it is certainly better than average. Hope we can get more input on this puzzle.

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Brent

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posted 11-12-2000 05:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This mark has been attributed to the craft shops of Marcus & Co., a noted New York City jewelry firm. They were founded in 1878, and were still in business as of 1990. For many years their store was located in the B. Altman's department store on Fifth Avenue.

Their main claim to fame was jewelry designed by George E. Marcus, who exhibited at the Boston A&C society in 1897 and 1899. They apparently also made some silver in the manner of the Guild of Handicraft, although I have never seen any pieces so graceful. The pieces I do see always seem awkward to me, and almost deliberately crude.

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Paul Lemieux

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posted 11-12-2000 09:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
These are pictures of the piece I saw. It was on eBay that I noticed the piece.

I agree with Brent that, at least based on photographs I have seen, the pieces seem awkward. I wonder what sort of pattern system was used by these makers, whether they made full lines in certain patterns, just serving pieces, or even whether they had distinguishable patterns or just whatever design the particular craftsman decided upon.

Paul

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wev
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posted 11-13-2000 01:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is the mark I have always associated with Marcus; I have seen the 925/1000 on quite a few pieces, but none with both marks. Any indication that Marcus bought out work or was everything done in house?

And by the bye, that is one ugly piece of silver.

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Brent

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posted 11-13-2000 01:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This auction illustrates the other known mark of Marcus & Co., the "Omega". Although they read the "signature" as GC, I would say it could also be GG, for George Germer. Germer was an itinerant craftsman, working for many prominent companies in New York, Providence and Boston from 1893 to 1912 before switching primarily to ecclesiastical goods. It is tempting to make the attribution; Germer could well be the mystery craftsman behind these pieces. I still don't like them, though. On both the ladle and the server, the handle is just too small. I also prefer more subtle hammer marks; these pieces just don't look finished!

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Paul Lemieux

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posted 11-19-2000 12:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was just browsing on eBay when I came across this item:



I thought it interesting that it had the Shreve, Crump & Low mark on it. It is only the second piece I've seen with any other mark besides (925) (1000); the other such piece I saw also had the SC & L mark.

Paul

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Brent

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posted 11-19-2000 10:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For what it's worth, I have seen this shield, garland and ribbon motif on other mystery hammered silver, but those pieces were marked with an intaglio "STERLING". I always thought there was a connection with the 925 000 pieces and this other group, and now I am sure of it. The one piece I clearly recall had a BB&B stamp for Bailey, Banks and Biddle.

It appears that whoever made this stuff had various retail outlets. If we discard the idea that Marcus & Co. actually produced these pieces, and focus on the possibility of an independent craftsman or shop making pieces for various retail outlets, I think we will be closer to the truth. Once again, George Germer springs to mind. He may be the craftsman behind all of this silver; his biography fits the evidence quite well. Any opinions on this theory?

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Paul Lemieux

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posted 05-19-2001 07:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
eBay #1431130708 (check it while the auction is still running so the pics are still available) is also marked with the mysterious (925) (1000) mark...but the style of the pieces is a lot different from the other pieces shown/described in this post. It is still crude compared to pieces by Gorham, etc.

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June Martin
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posted 09-16-2001 03:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for June Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The wreath and ribbons motif also appears on a hammered fork that we found bearing the 925 000 mark. This piece is also marked Maynard & Potter. Does anyone know anything about Maynard & Potter? The fork, like the other pieces discussed with the 925 000 mark, is not great quality; it has a kind of cookie cutter look and feel. It does, however, have acceptable heft.


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Richard Kurtzman
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posted 10-29-2001 10:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't know if this will help or add more confusion as to the maker of these pieces, but check out this eBay item (1477613711) and the mark pictured.

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Martine

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posted 10-29-2001 10:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Martine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would interpet the marks to mean that J.E. Caldwell of Philadelphia retailed that tea caddy spoon. The Caldwell marks are just in a typeface that is styled to match the other marks.

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Scott Martin
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posted 11-17-2002 03:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is another for the growing list of candidates...

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Dale

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posted 11-18-2002 12:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looking at the array of makers and places, I would suspect we are looking at a mass produced stamp. This would have been made in some quantity, sold to silversmiths throughout the nation and used by a number of different makers. Perhaps searching old trade catalogs would show when this was produced and sold. Best I can come up with.

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FredZ

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posted 11-18-2002 07:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FredZ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I too have an example of silver marked with 900 1000. Each example that I have seen on the market has a similar style and decoration. It is more likely that a jobber silversmith was producing silver for wholesale to retailers, a practice common in today,s trade as well.

By seeing all the examples of marks on this post I can make one observation. The nut scoop was made before the other examples shown here. The 1000 stamp still had the 1 intact and shortly after the protuding metal sheared off during a hard stamping and from then on... the stamp struck a trucated oval.

We may never know who the maker of these items was. Perhaps we will find a receipt in a dusty drawer that will show the order of one of the item we own and then we may be able to attribute the maker.

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Richard Kurtzman
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posted 04-12-2006 07:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The mystery continues.

Here is yet another piece. It's 4 1/4" long and this one is marked A D in addition to the 925 000. I would guess that it is a medicine or measuring spoon. Who is A D?





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Scott Martin
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posted 04-12-2006 07:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On half of a castanets?

castanets -

    A percussion instrument consisting of a pair of slightly concave shells of ivory or hardwood, held in the palm of the hand by a connecting cord over the thumb and clapped together with the fingers. Often used in the plural.

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Scott Martin
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posted 04-12-2006 08:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
All kidding a side, it does look like half of something.

In the handle, I suppose the center opening could be where a binding hinge point was.
Then maybe the narrow part of the “peanut shaped” bowl could have had something elastic wrapped around both halves. (no rubber bands please)

I have seen something similar for hanging bar towels. Yes they were in silver. I believe the first bar towel holder was just a re-invention of the silver skirt lifter.

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Ulysses Dietz
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posted 04-12-2006 10:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is fascinating. My mind runs to the craftsman silversmith making silver to be retailed at "craft counters" in major stores. In the early 20th century (and by that I include everthing up to 1929 and the crash) there was a strong vein of "olde is crude" in arts and crafts materials. I've seen it in pottery, but never quite like this in silver. But the (925) (1000) marks are quite distinctive and surely point to a single maker or small shop to make a specialty of these crude "ye olde" objects.

And, regarding that weird spoon--somewhere lurking in the silver storage room at The Newark Museum is a spoon shaped like that. It will drive me crazy until I find it and look at the mark!

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dragonflywink

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posted 04-13-2006 02:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've had a 5¼" long seal-top spoon with a hammered bowl and the same mark for years. Rainwater & Felger's American Spoons book (page 339) shows a reprint from a 1907-08 catalog for Portland, ME retailer Warren Mansfield Co. with the same spoon identified as "22645 Coffee Spoon, Hammered Silver, Pudsey...$1.25". Page 338 shows a salt spoon of the same style with a "Gray finish", bowl doesn't appear to be hammered. Assume that the name came from an early 16th century seal-top spoon in the Liverpool Myers Museum that belonged to the Pudsey family.

Cheryl ;o)

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hello

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posted 05-02-2006 09:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for hello     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Found this browsing on a auction sight. I am not confident that the attribution for the retailer is correct. Simons Brothers (the maker) stopped making their own flatware in 1908, so if it is correct maybe this is from after that period?
quote:
SIMONS, Bro. & Co - Sterling Silver - STRAINER
c.Late 1800's
handle to handle 5-1/4"
3" dia x 1" deep
61 grams

Marked: S.B. & Co ~ 925 / 1000




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jersey

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posted 05-02-2006 02:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jersey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi June!

Found out that Maynard & Potter were in Boston Ma. around 1850 to 1900 &, I think they were listed as active in the 1890's Directory of Boston Silversmiths and Watch and Clock Makers, Paul J. Fredyma and Marie-Louise Fredyma, Hanover, New Hampshire.

Hope this is the right company.
Jersey

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Paul Lemieux

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posted 05-11-2006 10:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was leafing through the Daniel Low catalog from 1907. The spoon with the "peanut" shaped bowl is identified therein as a caddy spoon. It looks like Daniel Low carried a vast array of this line of silver.

It is interesting to compare prices of this line with other patterns. For example, you could get the berry spoon from this series for $6. For $6.75, you could instead choose Whiting's Lily, Durgin's Dauphin, or Alvin's Bridal Rose. Whiting's Violet berry spoon was only 5.50, and Louis XV was 4.75. For $11, you could get the 925-1000 punch ladle, or 2 Dauphin pierced waffle servers and a pair of Dauphin sugar tongs. I would be more interested, however, to know how prices of this line related to prices of real Arts & Crafts silver. That would probably tell us what sort of customer this silver was intended to attract.

I have a feeling that the prices of these items were near the high end, since they were comparable to Dauphin and Lily. I also suspect that the prices corresponded more with silver weight than labor intensity. The pieces I have seen have been nothing if not hefty.

The Daniel Low catalog blurb starts by noting "These are reproductions of the work of early American silversmiths." The Pudsey spoon is a reproduction of an English, not American, spoon (as the blurb contradicts itself by noting at the end), and most of the spoons shown on the catalog page are not early American in style.

Click here to view a jumbo sized pic of the catalog page.

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Ulysses Dietz
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posted 05-16-2006 02:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I still haven't been able to locate the Museum's peanut shaped spoon to check the mark. But What I think this whole thread suggests is that there was a silver shop somewhere that was producing piece on order for a variety of retailers, and then putting THEIR names on it. The Daniel Lowe catalogue is a great document--but it really only documents a retailer's offerings, because they never tell you who the actual makers are. In the reproduced 1902 catalogue (produced by Eden Sterling), there is tons of silver from Unger Brothers in Newark, and tons of silver by other makers as yet unknown. It seems to me that this odd mark was from a funky craft silversmith, probably New England somewhere, and most likely Boston and vicinity, who specialized in oddball pieces of arts and crafts interest for retailers in the Northeast. Does this make sense?

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Dale

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posted 05-16-2006 04:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
It seems to me that this odd mark was from a funky craft silversmith, probably New England somewhere, and most likely Boston and vicinity, who specialized in oddball pieces of arts and crafts interest for retailers in the Northeast. Does this make sense?


Yes, most fields have small speciality makers whose wares are sold by others. Or people in very specialized support functions. I knew someone once whose trade was gold leafing. She could do a perfect gold leaf finish on just about anything: concert harps to small gift boxes. The idea that there was someone who made small A&C silver pieces makes a lot of sense. It could have been someone working in their spare time at home.

The key here is the manufacturer's rep who finds this maker and peddles the wares to sellers. And returns with both money and orders for more. Do the records of the firms in Newark show approaches from such people? Or extant correspondence from silver makers offering wares?

The trick here is maintaining a steady flow. Making the same thing over and over becomes boring. And those who are good at making tend to be creative. Which is very desirable if we are talking quilts or sweaters or jewelry. Probably not so with silver or pies. So, there needed to be some way of keeping the maker in a fairly narrow channel of endevour.

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Paul Lemieux

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posted 05-17-2006 02:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At that time, brand labels were evidently far less important than they are to today's consumers. Nowhere in the entire Dan Low catalog is a maker identified by name (although there are many easily recognizable products from Unger, Kerr, Gorham, Durgin etc.). In fact, some of the silver flatware patterns have actually been rechristened by Low. For example, Durgin's Dauphin pattern is called, in the catalog, something entirely different.

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adelapt

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posted 05-20-2006 11:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for adelapt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"At that time, brand labels were evidently far less important than they are"
Paul - wouldn't the Low policy indicate that they thought branding WAS important? As long as it was theirs...

[This message has been edited by adelapt (edited 05-20-2006).]

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Dale

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posted 05-20-2006 01:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It might be helpful to consider where in the life cycle of each pattern the Low catalog puts them. If these were patterns that had had a run with the maker: ie his retailers were ready for something new and different, that could mean that Low was picking up patterns past their peak. And offering them to a new audience. Or if they were new patterns, it could mean that Low had a different clientele than the usual outlets of the silver makers. Can anyone here readily compare the date of the catalog with the dates of the known patterns?

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Paul Lemieux

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posted 05-22-2006 09:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
adelapt, I should have been more specific. I meant that the brand label of the product was less important than the brand of the retailer. Most retail stores now seem to segregate products by brand, giving most brands their own spaces and identification with signage. For example, Buccellati here, Christofle there, etc. Stores can brand themselves by offering a certain array of products, sometimes including exclusive items. Maybe by changing the name of "Dauphin", Low intended to give the appearance of that pattern being a Low exclusive. Going by how the catalog is laid out, my guess is that Low (and other retailers) did not have signs proclaiming Gorham silver here, Unger there, etc.

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chicagosilver

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posted 08-11-2006 12:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chicagosilver     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I found a new (925)(1000) server with enameling that makes this very different from the ones above. It's heavily hammered, and the quality is definitely mid-range.

Here's the piece:

And the mark:

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Richard Kurtzman
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posted 12-25-2006 03:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Another piece of hollowware to add to the collection.



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Paul Lemieux

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posted 01-23-2007 12:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Richard's post made me recall a similar basket I have kicking around. Mine is not marked with the 925 mark, however it is stamped with a raised "STERLING" within a similar rounded reserve. Furthermore, Richard's is marked "398" for the model or shape number, and mine is stamped "393" or "293" in the same place. The feet on mine also seem to resemble those on Richard's...if they are not identical, they are similar, possibly in a slightly different size. So, I feel fairly confident saying that both baskets were from the same maker. Mine is also stamped with the mark of the Merrill Shops of NYC. Could it be that the Merrill Shops were responsible for all of this 925-1000 silver?


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Richard Kurtzman
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posted 05-06-2008 06:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yet another retailer.

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Richard Kurtzman
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posted 05-06-2008 06:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And another.

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Richard Kurtzman
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posted 05-06-2008 06:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's a rather unusual one.

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Paul Lemieux

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posted 05-06-2008 07:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just reread this whole topic.

Some of the earlier posts associated the 925 1000 mark with Marcus & Co. I have to disagree with this attribution, as Marcus & Co. handmade Arts & Crafts sterling is significantly more refined and well-designed. Think of pieces like the gemset, Asbhbee-inspired loop-handled bowls. None of these 925 1000 pieces seem to achieve that level of quality.

In comparing Richard's swing-handle bowl above with mine, particularly in regard to the similar handle hinges, hammering pattern, cast feet, and numerical markings, I do not think it is unreasonable to suggest that both were made by the same maker. Since mine is signed by the maker, the Merrill Shops, Richard's was probably also made by Merrill. Would it be too much of a leap to attribute all of this 925 1000 silver to the Merrill Shops?

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Brent

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posted 05-06-2008 10:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I actually just encountered a couple of Merrill shop serving pieces that lead me to agree with Paul; there must be some link between the Merrill Shops and our mystery mark. I will have some pictures to share this weekend.

Maybe we are finally getting somewhere!


Brent

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Paul Lemieux

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posted 05-07-2008 08:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A couple more spoons, each marked as shown.

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Richard Kurtzman
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posted 02-22-2009 06:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Another culprit.

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Richard Kurtzman
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posted 04-09-2009 08:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is a page from the Daniel Low 1901 Spring and Summer Supplement to Catalog "N".
The pieces shown are very simple and I think that it is fair to say that 1901 is probably the beginning or close to the beginning of this line.

Thread continues (click here)

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Paul Lemieux

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posted 04-09-2009 09:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for that catalog scan Richard. I agree that those 1901 pieces must have been among the earliest examples of the 925 1000 silver. Those examples look especially clumsy both aesthetically and vis-a-vis workmanship.

Compared to beautiful, thoughtful Arts & Crafts flatware (like Arthur Stone for instance), this 925 1000 dreck turns up relatively frequently. Its inclusion in catalogs further indicates the pieces were produced in some quantity. Since the pricepoints were comparable to high-end fancy patterns, it seems like this line of 925 1000 silver may have targeted wealthy consumers who wanted to appear to be abreast of artistic trends (i.e., the Arts & Crafts movt) but who did not really understand the values and theories of the A&C movt.

To me, these 925 1000 items are kind of ersatz Arts & Crafts; they are handmade but without any real artistry, and the maker's anonymity further undermines any artistic integrity. Additionally, the pieces are generally old-fashioned (e.g. the seal tops) or derivative in their designs.

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Richard Kurtzman
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posted 05-20-2009 07:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's another one. It may have been enameled at one time.

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Richard Kurtzman
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posted 05-20-2009 08:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This piece is interesting in that it appears stylistically to fit in with this group, but it is marked sterling. The A and the 1 have the same type face as other examples shown in the thread so I would tend to believe that this is by the same maker.

Could this be a later made piece with a different mark?

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FredZ

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posted 05-20-2009 08:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FredZ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ricard,

I suspect you are right about the caddy spoon you just posted. The style is same and it probably is a later mark. It would be great to know who the manufacturer was.

The larger spoon with the recesses for inlay looks much like the work of Horace Potter. The quality of this early piece (note the 1000 stamp is intact) is superb. Appears to be forged from a single blank since the bowl is not attached.

Best,
Fred

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Richard Kurtzman
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posted 02-21-2014 11:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Finally an attribution.

According to the new book,
Hand Wrought Arts & Crafts Metalwork & Jewelry,
by Darcy L. Evon
these pieces were made by the Marshall Field and Co.,
Wholesale Division.

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