SMP Logo
SM Publications
Silver Salon Forums - The premier site for discussing Silver.
SMP | Silver Salon Forums | SSF - Guidelines | SSF - FAQ | Silver Sales

The Silver Salon Forums
Since 1993
Over 11,793 threads & 64,769 posts !!
American Sterling Silver Forum
How to Post Photos REGISTER (click here)

customtitle open  SMP Silver Salon Forums
tlineopen  American Sterling Silver
tline3open  help with spoon marks? (memory lapse...)

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

ForumFriend SSFFriend: Email This Page to Someone! next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   help with spoon marks? (memory lapse...)
witzhall

Posts: 124
Registered: Mar 2006

iconnumber posted 05-09-2006 12:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for witzhall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ar-r-r-g-g-gh! I've just spent a long time searching unsuccessfully for a thread - quite recent - that discusses pieces marked "925 STERLING" - very frustrating! Anyway, the reason is that another enticing piece of my father's silver is this Gale & Willis spoon, 10 3/4” long, with its twisted handle.





I think I’m correct that Gale & Willis was the retailer, and the thread I can’t find suggests a couple of silversmiths who made pieces for retailers and used only the 925… mark — one of them maybe Wendt? Can’t remember. Anyway, I’m hoping someone else can and will comment. TIA!

IP: Logged

Scott Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 05-09-2006 12:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
witzhall,

We moved this to this forum. You are no longer a New Member. You don't have to start a post in the New Members' Forum.

IP: Logged

ahwt

Posts: 2173
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 05-09-2006 01:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The silver manufacturing firm of Gale and Willis is listed on page 319 of "Silver in America 1840-1940 a Century of Splendor" by Charles L. Venable as part of the long chronology of firms that William Gale, Sr. was associated with. Willis was John R. Willis the son-in-law of William Gale, Sr. This firm lasted from 1859 to 1862. William Gale invented the roller dies for pressing designs onto flatware blanks in 1826 and this provided his firm with a clear advantage in making flatware.

I am not familiar with the 925 Sterling mark on silver from Gale and Willis. This was right on the edge of when American silver manufacturing went to the sterling standard and for some time many manufactures would mark their silver made to the new standard either 925, sterling or both. I also suspect that some silver make to the coin standard was later marked 925 or sterling as that was thought to make it more marketable.

I might also add that Venable's book is one that should be in everyone's library.

IP: Logged

witzhall

Posts: 124
Registered: Mar 2006

iconnumber posted 05-09-2006 03:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for witzhall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you, Scott, for moving the post. I'm wondering: am I not allowed to post in the New Members' Forum any more? I put it there because I imagined that more people would see it in that forum and that even new members would be able to respond if they had information. But I guess I forgot that you are very good about moving responses, etc., to the right forum. Sorry . . .

ahwt, I'm inferring from what you say that the firm of Gale & Willis is indeed the maker of this spoon and that the spoon is post-1840 (how much later, do you think?) and that it might or might not actually be sterling. Am I making too many leaps? Thanks so much for the information you passed along, including your recommendation of the Venable book.

I'm still very curious as to how the 925 Sterling mark relates to the thread I'm hoping someone will locate for me.

IP: Logged

Scott Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 05-09-2006 03:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just keeping the subject of the thread in the right place. New members can respond in the New Members' Forum. They can add the URL of the subject they are responding to and eventually we will move their response to the primary thread.

Also over time the threads/posts in the New Members' Forum will move to the appropriate SSF for the subject of the thread/post.

IP: Logged

Richard Kurtzman
Moderator

Posts: 759
Registered: Aug 2000

iconnumber posted 05-09-2006 07:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
witzhall, I do not have documentation to verify this, but I have seen 925 Sterling together with various Wm. Gale marks enough times to say that it is highly probable that it is a Gale mark.

IP: Logged

ahwt

Posts: 2173
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 05-09-2006 07:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In the thread called Server in the General Category see the last entry [05-09-2006 05:51 PM ] for a William Gale and Son server with a 925 Sterling mark. This apparently also has the Gale date mark for 1862 and that is when Willis left and the son came in. See the Rainwater and Redfield book for what a date mark looks like. I am assuming that your piece does not have a date mark, but Gale and Willis were only in business together from 1859 to 1862 so I assume it was made sometime in that span.

Yes Gale was a manufacturer, if fact a very successful one. I do not know if he had any retail outlets during his long time in business. I also do not know if the lack of a date mark was unusual or happened often during the Willis tenure.

IP: Logged

Richard Kurtzman
Moderator

Posts: 759
Registered: Aug 2000

iconnumber posted 08-18-2006 01:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is a William Gale Jr. mark from the bottom of a soup tureen. I have never seen this combination before and I believe that it adds further credence to my supposition that 925 sterling is a Gale mark.

IP: Logged

dragonflywink

Posts: 975
Registered: Dec 2002

iconnumber posted 08-18-2006 05:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
W.Gale & Son ladle with 925 STERLING mark.

IP: Logged

middletom

Posts: 467
Registered: May 2004

iconnumber posted 09-04-2006 04:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for middletom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
AHWT,
You mention Gale as inventing the roller dies for decorating silver blanks, in 1826.A few years ago, the Newburyport Historical Society in Newburyport, MA published a special book about silver and silversmiths from Newburyport. It made mention of a resident of Newburyport who invented a die for rolling decoration into silverware. It used a table with one side of the decoration cut into it and geared to the table was a roller with the design for the other side cut into it. As a crank was turned, the silver blank fed between the roller and the table was imprinted with design both sides. I don't recall the name of the man who made it, but the society said that it was done in 1813. Could that have been Gale?

IP: Logged

swarter
Moderator

Posts: 2920
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 09-04-2006 05:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That would be Jacob Perkins. "Perkins Roller Press" was "used to manufacture spoons by shaping them between a steel roller and a movable table, each of these parts having respectively the impression of the two sides of the spoon." I imagine this was used to produce blanks rather than patterned silver at this early date. The publication was Simple Elegance - Generations of Newburyport Silversmiths(1998), by the Historical Society of Old Newbury.

[This message has been edited by swarter (edited 09-04-2006).]

IP: Logged

ahwt

Posts: 2173
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 09-04-2006 06:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gale's patent was issued on 7 December 1826 for a term of 14 years. He engraved patterns on steel rollers and used these to impress the design both sides of the blank. He petitioned Congress to extend the life of the patent and while there is some evidence that Congress granted the petition, it does not appear that any additional years were actually added to the patent life.

There was an article in Silver Magazine written by Don Soeffing some years ago. As I recall the U.S. Patent Office lost the copy of the patent that they had, but Soeffing found a copy while searching the national archives.

IP: Logged

Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 09-04-2006 11:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Do we know who decorated the spoon? Did pieces come from Gale's factory all brite cut and engraved or was this done by the local jeweler to local tastes?

This has alway puzzled me: how do we tell who did the fancy work, who was the designer and engraver. My understanding is that firms like Gale and Wood & Hughs made both fully decorated and blank metal. Which locally could be worked to suit the client.

Is there information on this?

IP: Logged

All times are ET

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.46a


1. Public Silver Forums (open Free membership) - anyone with a valid e-mail address may register. Once you have received your Silver Salon Forum password, and then if you abide by the Silver Salon Forum Guidelines, you may start a thread or post a reply in the New Members' Forum. New Members who show a continued willingness to participate, to completely read and abide by the Guidelines will be allowed to post to the Member Public Forums.
Click here to Register for a Free password

2. Private Silver Salon Forums (invitational or $ donation membership) - The Private Silver Salon Forums require registration and special authorization to view, search, start a thread or to post a reply. Special authorization can be obtained in one of several ways: by Invitation; Annual $ Donation; or via Special Limited Membership. For more details click here (under development).

3. Administrative/Special Private Forums (special membership required) - These forums are reserved for special subjects or administrative discussion. These forums are not open to the public and require special authorization to view or post.


| Home | Order | The Guide to Evaluating Gold & Silver Objects | The Book of Silver
| Update BOS Registration | Silver Library | For Sale | Our Wants List | Silver Dealers | Speakers Bureau |
| Silversmiths | How to set a table | Shows | SMP | Silver News |
copyright © 1993 - 2020 SM Publications
All Rights Reserved.
Legal & Privacy Notices