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Author Topic:   Leonard of Italy Silver
GypsieRose06

Posts: 6
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 01-05-2006 01:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GypsieRose06     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have recently bought a piece of silver service that has a
stamp on the bottom that reads "LEONARD Italy". Does
anyone have any idea if this is a reputable silver company?
I can't find anything on the Internet about Leonard Silversmiths.

Thanks for any info you may be able to give me

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GypsieRose06

Posts: 6
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 01-05-2006 01:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GypsieRose06     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am replying to my own post, Ha Ha. I did some searching of old posts and found out that Leonard was merged with Towel in 1978 and Towel became part of Iternational Silver in 1990. I also found out that some'
pieces were made in Italy and Spain - thus why mine is stamped Leonard Italy. I also understand that my piece
is most likely electroplated. Pooh. It is so beautiful with delicate flowers, leaves and grapes. Oh well, I sure enjoy it. I still don't know what it is. I am told it is either a sugar cellar or a wine bottle holder.

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salmoned

Posts: 336
Registered: Jan 2005

posted 01-05-2006 04:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for salmoned     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow! A new member that has actually searched the 'archives'. I'm impressed and wish it were more common. Welcome, I hope your interest continues.

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Kimo

Posts: 1245
Registered: Mar 2003

posted 01-09-2006 02:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Welcome! If you might post of photo of your object we might be able to give you a sense as to what whether it is a wine coaster or a sugar cellar. Just from your description my first guess is that it is most likely a wine coaster for two reasons: 1) it is of recent manufacture and few people would use a sugar cellar these days so it is unlikely that a company would find much of a market for one; and, 2) the grapes and leaves design is a pretty standard one for objects that are wine related - wine coming from grapes being the theme.

It sounds as if you are fairly new to silver, given your disappointment that this is not solid silver. A good rule of thumb for someone starting out is that unless an object has one of the standard silver markings such as the word "Sterling", or a fineness marking such as .800 or .925, or a set of hallmarks that fit a reference book you might have, you should assume everything else is silverplate or some silver-looking alloy.

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GypsieRose06

Posts: 6
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 01-10-2006 12:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GypsieRose06     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dear Kimo,

Thank you for your info. I would gladly post a picture of my Sugar Scuttle if I could figure out how to do it. I am not a techie and can't understand the instructions about putting a picture in my post. I did a lot of research on ebay today - hours, and found out that my little pitcher shaped silver piece is indeed a sugar scuttle. I saw about six or eight of them on ebay. It does not have grapes in the sculpture, just lovely carved flowers and leaves. It is five inches tall and six inches long . I realize now that when I bought it, there was a scoop next to it that belonged to it and I didn't take it. I am going back to the shop tomorrow to get the scoop. Duh! Ha Ha I am learning new things every day about silver.

Jeanne

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Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

posted 01-15-2006 12:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In the eighties, the president of Towle was named Leonard. He came up with the idea of making many older items from the Towle line in silverplate and selling them outside the usual Towle retailer's system. Among these were servers in Old Colonial and Georgian, which managed to confuse many people. Most Leondard production was done abroad, in Italy, Spain, Israel and India, AIR. These were generally well made, classical pieces of silver design which were sold through mass market gift shops. And were frequently given as awards or trophies. It was always a real find to come across a berry shell in Leonard's Georgian with bowling scores engraved in the bowl.

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GypsieRose06

Posts: 6
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 01-15-2006 01:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GypsieRose06     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dale,

Thanks for the info. I have been trying to research Leonard silverplate and I found a website for Towel which is now owned by another manufacturer. I e-mailed them and they wrote back that they do not have a historian on staff. He said that Towel bought Leonard in 1986. He could only suggest that I talk to antique dealers. Your information explains why it is so hard to find any history on Leonard, Italy.

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Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

posted 01-15-2006 02:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Leonard is not a maker, it is a line of designs where the work is contracted out. I suspect that it is still an active business. Check out a mid level gift store to see if they carry Leonard. Just a thought.

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GypsieRose06

Posts: 6
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 01-15-2006 02:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GypsieRose06     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dale,

I understand now. Thanks. Leonard is just a line not a manufacturer.

[This message has been edited by GypsieRose06 (edited 01-15-2006).]

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jersey

Posts: 1171
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 01-15-2006 11:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jersey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Dale!
I have been following this post and am confused....is Leonard silver mfg company something else?
Thanks.
Jersey

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Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

posted 01-15-2006 11:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Leonard was, and probably is, a line of silver sold by the Towle company. It is retailed outside the usual Towle network of stores. Towle designs the pieces, probably using existing molds, and puts the work up for a bid. The low bidder then produces the silverware and ships it to Towle for selling.

This is sold under the name Leonard. Which makes it appear that Towle is not involved in this product. The reasons for this are unclear. But frequently older and discontinued Towle sterling pieces show up in the Leonard line.

The country of origin differs on these pieces as to where the winning bidder is located.

Production in this way is not unusual for silverplate. There have been a number of companies offering silverplate they did not make. Prestige and Nobility were such brands. And I suspect that some early 1900's brands were also done this way. Sunkist Orange's Orange Blossom was made by a major maker but sold only by Sunkist.

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