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tline3open  Dating Tiffany- too many m's

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Author Topic:   Dating Tiffany- too many m's
Bob Schulhof

Posts: 194
Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 07-28-2000 12:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob Schulhof     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
. I would be grateful if someone could tell me how to distinguish the pre 1875 "m" from the post 1907 "m".

Shown below are a luncheon fork with the 'm' before the Tiffany & Co., which could be prior to 1875 :

The second is a salad fork with a slightly different looking 'm' after the Tiffany & Co., which is less likely to be prior to 1875.

Would love to have some expert opinion on the dates of these. Does the before "tiffany" or after "tiffany" give a clue? Are they different shaped m's???

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tvhilado

Posts: 14
Registered: Sep 99

iconnumber posted 07-30-2000 05:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tvhilado     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The pre-1875 "m" takes the shape of 2 Greek omegas put together (similar to 2 horseshoes but the middle being a straight line) to form the letter and the end of each arch is underscored to a certain extent. On the other hand, The 1907 "m" has a tail on the top which the pre-1875 "m" does not have. Also there is no line below each arch.

I have had occassion to handle both the pre-1875 "m" and 1907 "m" and they are clearly distinguishable when the marks are not worn. I hope this helps a little.

[This message has been edited by tvhilado (edited 07-30-2000).]

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Bob Schulhof

Posts: 194
Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 07-30-2000 11:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob Schulhof     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Is the scan good enough for you to judge if the top piece above (luncheon fork) is the pre-1875 m? It looks to me like two omegas and there appears to be some underlining on the bottom.

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tvhilado

Posts: 14
Registered: Sep 99

iconnumber posted 08-01-2000 12:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tvhilado     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The first picture (in your comment dated July 28, 2000) does indeed look like the 1875 "m" while the bottom fork (in the same comment) looks like it has a tail and is the 1907 "m".

[This message has been edited by tvhilado (edited 08-01-2000).]

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William Hood

Posts: 271
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 08-14-2000 09:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for William Hood     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"Date letters" on Tiffany flatware are a problem. During the tenure at Tiffany's of Edward C. Moore (1868-1891), flatware was marked with three forms of the letter m. One was a standard capital M, which was certainly used from about 1876-1891 and was probably used earlier as well. Then there were two forms of a small m. One was the standard (approximated by the small m in MS Reference Serif font), whhich was used from about 1869 to about 1875 (and possibly as late as 1877). The other was a variant looking somewhat like a capital B lying on its back, with serifs at the bottom but not at the top. This was apparently used during the same time period as the other little m. (All three forms are pictured in Appendix C of the book Tiffany Silver Flatware, 1845-1905: When Dining Was an Art.) It is not uncommon to find a matching set of something (e.g., 12 dessert knives) containing pieces with all three marks, and it is unclear why the different marks were used (because the pieces were made at different times, or some other reason). The two authors who have addressed these issues earlier, Kamerling and Carpenter (see Appendix C as cited), have given different views on when the various letters were used. The basis on which each arrived at his conclusion is unknown. In my research in the Tiffany Archives I could find no information on date letters. The mark on your first illustrated piece (luncheon fork) appears to be the variant small m. I can't see the mark on the second specimen well enough to comment. The m used by Tiffany from 1907-1947 was a stylized form, and regrettably I have no image to show you. You can see one on any piece of the Faneuil pattern. Incidentally, you will never find the modern m on any piece of Persian, but you may see any of the three older varieties.

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WGS

Posts: 136
Registered: Oct 99

iconnumber posted 02-16-2001 01:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for WGS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How can one distinguish Faneuil from Queen Anne? I found a Tiffany sterling fork in a bunch of plate spoons yesterday. The fork is about 7" long, and there is evidence of some wear on the tines.

I had guessed it was Queen Anne until I read this sequence of messages. The fork is marked with "M TIFFANY&CO STERLING" The "M" does look mostly like the lower case "m" with serif to the upper left and lower right. The "CO" really doesn't look like "CO", but considering the wear that's just a good guess.

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William Hood

Posts: 271
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 02-18-2001 09:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for William Hood     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Please refer to the section on the Tiffany Queen Anne pattern in the book Tiffany Silver Flatware, 1845-1905: When Dining Was an Art (pp. 209-210). As compared to Queen Anne, Faneuil's handle has a slightly narrower frontal profile and the backward-turning of the terminal is eliminated (see Fig. 322). Queen Anne is marked with an
incuse standard small m or variant small m mentioned in my answer above. Faneuil has a raised stylized small m sounding like the one you describe. So, my guess is that your piece is Faneuil.

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