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tline3open  Ladle Hallmark question

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Author Topic:   Ladle Hallmark question
KillerChihuahua

Posts: 14
Registered: Oct 2004

iconnumber posted 10-16-2004 09:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KillerChihuahua     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
First, thanks in advance for any help you may be able to give.
Second, a little background - I am more in what another post called the "good food" or "filling out grandma's silver" category than in a Collectors category, and I'm certainly not a dealer.
I have Gorham Chantilly as my silver, and I will say bluntly that its all newer stuff - post 1950 - and the second 12 teaspoons are Birks. I recently aquired an oyster ladle, and its old, because the new ladles look so ghastly and have none of the elegence of the all sterling pieces. Oyster instead of soup because it is large enough to serve as a soup ladle with my tureen, and it was what I found that didn't destroy my budget. The hallmark is the familiar Lion/Anchor/G, back of the handle just above the bowl, as follows:
PAT1895 Lion/anchor/G STERLING
Here's where the question comes in: I would never have known that if I didn't already know what I was looking for. The rest of the piece is as crisp and clean as you'd want, looks practically brand new. But the marks look almost rubbed away.
Is this normal? Should I worry?
I would post a picture if I had the means to take one, many apologies. If I can get a picture I will post it.

thanks again!!!

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Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 10-16-2004 01:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Marking like everything else is not an exact science. It involves stamping, which usually works very well. Except when it doesn't. It sounds like you have a piece where the maker's stamp was lightly applied. This happens and really should not be a cause for worry.

And the oyster ladle is really the right size for modern tureens. And for modern families. The Victorian 6 children family unit required larger ladles as they had larger tureens. It always seems to me that the important feature of the ladle is that it be big enough that it won't slip under the soup, which is a total mess.

I hope this helps.

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KillerChihuahua

Posts: 14
Registered: Oct 2004

iconnumber posted 10-18-2004 05:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KillerChihuahua     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you so much!
and yes, the Oyster Ladle fits perfectly with my tureen.

and is soooo much nicer than the new ones (gasp, shudder)

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IJP

Posts: 326
Registered: Oct 2004

iconnumber posted 10-19-2004 11:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for IJP     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Without actually seeing the piece, who knows, but based simply on what I have read, I'd have to also at least consider the possibility that the wear is due to poor restoration. Abrasives like tripoli and white diamond compound can restore a high finish to silver, but can often wear away important marks if one is not careful. This is especially true for older pieces which may have been handled this way over many years, but can be equally true for newer pieces that are mishandled just a few times. It is very possible that the piece was just stamped that way, but when I come across pieces where the marks seem rubbed away and nearly obliterated, I tend to assume that someone was careless in restoring it.

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KillerChihuahua

Posts: 14
Registered: Oct 2004

iconnumber posted 10-19-2004 07:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KillerChihuahua     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If so, and the "smudgy" look of the hallmarks is due to poor restoration, then that's the only place that was all all damaged, because the rest looks practically brand-new. I will add that to the possibility list tho, thanks.

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