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tline3open  etched markings on my silver

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Author Topic:   etched markings on my silver

Posts: 1
Registered: Jul 2003

iconnumber posted 07-05-2003 03:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for terri001     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

I hope someone can help.

I recently inherited two pieces of unusual silver, a cream pitcher and sugar bowl. Both are stamped but also have unusual numbers it seems to be scratched into them.

One is stamped Rand & Crane and scratched in under that is trh/ 8742 and then over the 150 scratched in is 2684, the other is Bigelow Kennard & Co and over that scratched in 486/8.

Can anyone tell me what the scratched numbers mean?

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Patrick Vyvyan

Posts: 640
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 07-06-2003 10:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Patrick Vyvyan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For the second item, I guess 486/8 implies the style or pattern is 486, and that the sugar bowl is the eighth piece in a complete set which would have included teapots, coffeepots, jugs etc. as well.
Perhaps someone with more knowledge can confirm this.

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Posts: 1507
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 07-06-2003 10:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

In my experience, most scratched numbers on 20th C silver are in fact "security codes", engraved onto the silver by the owner to aid in identification if stolen. Silver theft used to be a much greater problem, and a lot of old silver has a security code scratched on it somewhere. However, I have seen faint numbers on pieces by Tiffany that appear to have been put there during manufacture. Perhaps they were used to keep track of parts of a particular order, for example a large tea service.

In the 18th Century, silver was valued mainly by the weight, and a "scratch weight" was place on silver hollowware to note the weight of silver in the piece. This habit seems to disappear in the 19th C, though.

BTW, Rand & Crane appears to have been a retail outlet for Boston-area Arts & Crafts silversmiths. There is quite a bit of silver marked Rand & Crane out there, some of fine quality and some not.


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