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tline3open  Reed & Barton teaspoon - maybe?

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Author Topic:   Reed & Barton teaspoon - maybe?

Posts: 124
Registered: Mar 2006

iconnumber posted 11-01-2006 02:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for witzhall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A friend bought this spoon a while ago for $.99 and asked me why it is gold colored but marked sterling. I have no idea! So I'm appealing to the knowledgeable folks on this forum for help. The first question in my mind, on the basis that you get what you pay for, is whether the spoon is an out-and-out fake. It is 6" long and quite heavy (1.5 oz. on a postal scale). Polishing with Wright's (which I did after taking the photos) did significantly improve its appearance, getting rid of the spots you can see that look like corrosion, but it also made clearer several scratches in the bowl that don't reveal metal underneath of a different color, which strikes me as a little weird - why not if it's sterling underneath?

Did Reed & Barton make gilded sterling? And if that's what this is, why isn't it marked vermeil or something other than sterling? Thanks in advance for any thoughts!

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Posts: 1069
Registered: Jun 99

iconnumber posted 11-01-2006 02:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FredZ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That golden look is probably the first stages of "oxidation". Silver will sometimes take on that color prior to turning darker and then black when exposed to sulfur rich environment. Have your friend just polish it with fine silver polish and I believe you will see the luster of the silver.

A nice find for under a dollar.


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Posts: 124
Registered: Mar 2006

iconnumber posted 11-01-2006 04:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for witzhall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, Fred. That's what I first thought, but when we polished the spoon it still looks golden, only quite mellow - much more like a legitimate gilded spoon. Just to be sure, though, after I read your response, we polished it again, this time with some good elbow grease! Same result: a shiny golden spoon that says sterling on the back . . .

I'm wondering also where we might look to find pictures of Reed and Barton's patterns.

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Scott Martin
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Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 11-01-2006 04:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Years ago we were having a bite of lunch in the kitchen of a friend. They were showing us the inexpensive gold plated sterling they had just purchased at the local flea market.

They were going to use the "sterling" at their Thanks Giving dinner and wanted to know if it would make a good impression with the antiquers in their family. It looked just like what you have pictured here.

Without getting out of my chair I reached over and grabbed a refrigerator magnet and used the magnet to pick up several forks.

They ended up using the faux sterling because they liked the magnet trick.... smile

Try a magnet and let us know.

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Posts: 124
Registered: Mar 2006

iconnumber posted 11-01-2006 10:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for witzhall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nope - tried the magnet trick and there was no attraction . . .

[This message has been edited by witzhall (edited 11-02-2006).]

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Posts: 124
Registered: Mar 2006

iconnumber posted 11-02-2006 10:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for witzhall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Update: I went through the "picture gallery" of Reed & Barton patterns on that replacement website and discovered that my friend's spoon is in the El Greco pattern. Then I emailed Reed & Barton to see if that pattern had ever been made with a gold finish (many of their patterns were, I learned, as gold vermeil or gold accents or gold electroplating). I received a nice reply from a woman who said that no one there remembered that pattern being made with a gold finish; she asked, on the same wave length as FredZ, "Have you tried polishing it?"I assured her that I had and described the results. Her latest reply indicates that she's put out inquiries to see whether the gold-washed spoon might have been part of a promotion; she'll let me know what she hears. Very helpful; excellent customer service!

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