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Author Topic:   Pattern question
Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1768
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 09-20-2001 07:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
[13-0308]

Pictured below is a heavy youth fork in a richly engraved pattern. The piece is marked as shown--with "STERLING", "JE CALDWELL & CO", and a "5" on its side to the left of the sterling mark.

Interestingly, this pattern appears to be the same pattern pictured in fig. 318 of the Tiffany flatware book. There are minor variations, but these are can probably be attributed to differences in size between my fork and the pieces in fig. 318.

In addition to having the same pattern, the fork also has a vertical ridge on the front of the handle, and the handle turns downward at the end. Both of these features are also on the Tiffany pieces in the book.

Why might the same pattern appear on a Caldwell-marked piece and some Tiffany pieces? Does anybody have any examples of this pattern with different marks? Can anybody identify who made the fork retailed by Caldwell?

[gone from the internet - .bc.edu/~lemieuxp/vyf1.jpg]

[gone from the internet - .bc.edu/~lemieuxp/vyf2.jpg]

[gone from the internet - .bc.edu/~lemieuxp/vyf7.jpg]

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Brent

Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 09-20-2001 09:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm afraid I don't have much to add, but I have seen a teaspoon just like your fork, with the exact same Caldwell marks. You are right, it is a dead ringer for the Tiffany, and the teaspoon was about the heaviest I have ever seen.

Brent

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William Hood

Posts: 271
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 09-21-2001 09:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for William Hood     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Paul, you raise some very interesting questions that I cannot answer. I have not seen this pattern on any pieces other than the two illustrated in Fig. 318 in Tiffany Silver Flatware,...

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bowlingmom
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iconnumber posted 11-09-2001 11:34 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"Why might the same pattern appear on a Caldwell-marked piece and some Tiffany pieces?".

Hi...I'm new to this site and I'm looking for some information. But your question caught my eye. I recently inherited some sterling flatware. The markings say Caldwell but yet you would swear it was a pattern by Tiffany called Threads and Shells (pardon the misinformation but I remember Shells as part of the pattern name).

LOL I was all excited in thinking I had some rather valuable flatware and had actually gulped a number of times when I saw how much it might cost to complete the set smile Needless to say I'm also curious about why two different companies created the same design or is it possible that this was indicative of the time period?

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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1768
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 11-10-2001 11:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Your pattern sounds like Shell & Thread, though it could also be Palm; the two are sort of similar. Since these patterns are essentially just traditional patterns from the 18th century or so, other companies probably made them as well. So it's not too surprising that a piece in a similar or the same pattern could turn up turn up by another maker.

More than one company making the same pattern isn't really indicative of the period (lawsuits usually occurred if this was the case).

The fork is kind of curious in that the pattern is not a tradtional pattern, such as some other patterns, that many makers would have made. But perhaps the engraving pattern was sort of public domain and more than one maker used it.

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William Hood

Posts: 271
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 11-12-2001 08:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for William Hood     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If your pattern is "Thread and Shell," it is a variation of the traditional "Fiddle" pattern that appeared in France in the mid-eighteenth century and then spread across the continent, also to England and eventually to the United States. It is one of the most popular patterns of all time, and was made by many different makers, including many in the U.S. It had many different variations, including "Fiddle and Shell," "Thread" and "Fiddle Thread and Shell." Tiffany's variation was called "Shell and Thread" and was introduced in 1905. It was not patented, as the design was not completely original.

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