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  Salesman's Samples

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:   Salesman's Samples
bascall

Posts: 1626
Registered: Nov 99

iconnumber posted 08-30-2006 03:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
[26-1187]

Is anyone familiar with jeweler's or salesman's samples of sterling flatware patterns in copper? I have these two Lunt spoons that are exact replicas of their sterling counterparts in size and markings except that the sterling mark has been hashed out, and they are in copper. I have written to Lunt about this with no response so far.

IP: Logged

Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1768
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 08-30-2006 03:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't know why a salesman or jeweler would have a sample made out of copper. If you are trying to sell a customer sterling flatware, it makes no sense to show them copper samples. So I would either guess they are test strikes, or that they were reproduced in copper at a later date by some third party, for whatever reason.

IP: Logged

bascall

Posts: 1626
Registered: Nov 99

iconnumber posted 08-30-2006 04:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the response. Test strikes crossed my mind too, but than I figured what for because all they have to do is melt the metal and do it again if they didn't like what was done. They look like they're too well made to be something made later, and it just doesn't seem worthwhile. These spoons have a clear protective finish on them, so they never need polishing and of course weren't meant to be used. Copper just seemed like a reasonable metal to give away. Still it's just a guess and nothing more.

IP: Logged

Kimo

Posts: 1597
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 08-30-2006 04:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Made at some later date sounds like the more likely explanation to me. My reason for guessing this is the sterling mark is hashed out which would mean that these were made from the original spoon dies that at some later point had their sterling marking defaced which ruined the dies from ever being used again for their sterling flatware. The possibility that they were test strikes by Lunt made when they were developing the patterns does not make much sense to me in that I can not understand why they would have made the dies including all of the markings and then struck out the sterling marking. There would not have been any reason for them to expect their experiments to ever get out of their factory so why bother defacing an otherwise good die?

Perhaps they were some kind of promotional give-away from Lunt at some point, or were made at a later point by someone who had somehow purchased the old Lunt dies for these?

They are interesting and I hope someone knows for sure just what they are and lets us all know.

[This message has been edited by Kimo (edited 08-30-2006).]

IP: Logged

bascall

Posts: 1626
Registered: Nov 99

iconnumber posted 08-30-2006 05:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Judging by their quality, having been made at a later date with the original dies seems entirely possible.

IP: Logged

Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 08-30-2006 10:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Since copper can poison people, when mixed with acidic food, I suspect these are some sort of bronze, on the order of Dirilyte, which can be used with food. They may have been a commemorative or special offer piece. Numerous collectors over the years told me that these two patterns were frequently offered as prizes to store owners. A supplier or wholesale jobber would offer a set of sterling, either of these patterns, for purchasing some large quantity of merchandise for the store. One lady said her grandfather had bought hundreds of buckets so he could give his wife a set of sterling for Christmas. And never had to buy another bucket as long as he was in business.

IP: Logged

Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1768
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 08-30-2006 11:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't believe these were made by Lunt. I see no reason why Lunt would ever produce these two teaspoons, common pieces in common patterns, in a base metal. Also, I don't see why Lunt would go through the trouble of producing bronze/alloy examples of the pieces. For a commemorative/special offer, why couldn't they just gild a regular sterling teaspoon? And besides, the scratched out sterling mark is too clumsy to have appeared on some sort of special issue item.

I couldn't tell from the pictures, or from bascall's original description, if the sterling marks had been obliterated after being stamped onto the piece or if the die itself had been marred to prevent "sterling" from appearing on these pieces. I have seen a great deal of recast silver made from molds of original pieces (such as Whiting Lily, Gorham Virginiana, Tiffany "Strawberry", etc.) where the faker at least had the decency to obliterate the makers' marks on the mold. Bascall, can you tell us if these are die-struck or cast?

IP: Logged

bascall

Posts: 1626
Registered: Nov 99

iconnumber posted 08-31-2006 12:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
These spoons are definitely not dirilyte. I'm not enough of an expert to tell for certain if something has been die struck or cast, but I assume the die struck item is better quality than cast. With that in mind, I'd say these are die struck. They are absolutely identical to their sterling counterparts. The decoration, edges, and markings are all as crisp as the sterling pieces in the same patterns. I believe the sterling marks were lined out after they were struck.

IP: Logged

bascall

Posts: 1626
Registered: Nov 99

iconnumber posted 08-31-2006 01:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have heard from Roger Jette who is affiliated with Lunt. He says he'd have to see them to be sure, but they may be silver plated copper. If need be, I'll send them to him. These spoons don't look like they've ever been plated to me. There is no significant wear on them. In the meantime, hopefully, he'll confer with a Lunt archivist or something like that.

IP: Logged

venus

Posts: 282
Registered: Jul 2005

iconnumber posted 09-01-2006 07:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for venus     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting spoons.... Myself I like the unusual and the mystery surrounding the search

Dale, I was alarmed about the possiblity of copper poisoning. Only today I told a friend to use his silverplate, told him if it was silver over copper it was even better! I really thought copper was supposed to be good for a person as it is included in some vitamins. oh my.

IP: Logged

jprice33

Posts: 204
Registered: Sep 2000

iconnumber posted 09-02-2006 08:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jprice33     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Many makers would mark their display pieces as "SAMPLE"..the pieces being equal in quality to the actual merch. for sale..Christofle sometimes applies their OC mark to the display silver (sterling & plate)..

others will use Silverplated 'copies' that aren't marked Silver..

no clue on these..don't seem to have the potential value for re-casting..unless they were making up sets..?

IP: Logged

Raf Steel

Posts: 94
Registered: Jul 2005

iconnumber posted 09-03-2006 11:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Raf Steel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sample cutlery was commonly made by European makers for their travelling salesmen. They are mostly made in silverplate (copper or somekind of white metal), they usually carry the makersmark and the patternnumber, often stamped in large digits into the object. Some salesmen even had special cases with all the models of a specific maker! In most cases the samples are of a dining fork or soup spoon.

[This message has been edited by Raf Steel (edited 09-03-2006).]

IP: Logged

feniangirl

Posts: 36
Registered: Mar 2002

iconnumber posted 09-03-2006 11:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for feniangirl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is probably irrelevant, so just consider it as an observation.

It does not appear to me that the copper spoons were made from the same die as the the silver. I agree they are quite similar, but not identical. If you look quite closely, there are differences in both pairs. As an example, the pair on the left has bellflowers that extend onto the stems. The two bellflowers on the silver spoon are touching each other, while the ones on the copper spoon are far enough apart to allow for a pellet between and one underneath the second. I can also see differences in the pair on the right, particularly at the top of the crest - they are by no means identical. There also appear to be pellets between the bellflowers (or whatever design it is) underneath the crest on the copper one, but not on the silver one.

IP: Logged

bascall

Posts: 1626
Registered: Nov 99

iconnumber posted 09-04-2006 11:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is a slight variation between the sterling spoons and the copper spoons which I had noticed too, so I contacted Mr. Denham C. Lunt Sr. to ask about the spoons in general and the variation in the patterns at the same time. He said that when dies broke they were remade by hand which could a account for slight changes in the pattern. The copper versions of the patterns were most likely made for internal use, but they wouldn't have had a clear finish. Also no one else has a copy of these dies. So at Mr. Lunt's suggestion, my next step is to contact his son who runs that factory to see if he knows anymore about these copper spoons. At this point, it seems fair to speculate that a factory worker may have taken these spoons home for a momento and put a clear finish on them to keep from ever needing to clean them.

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

IP: Logged

bascall

Posts: 1626
Registered: Nov 99

iconnumber posted 09-12-2006 10:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've been in contact with the gentleman that now runs the Lunt factory in Greenfield, Massachusetts. He basically agreed with what his father said about these copper spoons being used for testing a die, but he did not know of any specific record of this being done. He said they sounded interesting and to bring them by for them to see if I'm ever in the vicinity of the factory. Maybe someday I will.

IP: Logged

chase33

Posts: 362
Registered: Feb 2008

iconnumber posted 02-01-2010 11:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chase33     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hey Bascall,

Did you ever get by the Lunt factory or find out more about these spoons?

Robert

IP: Logged

agleopar

Posts: 847
Registered: Jun 2004

iconnumber posted 02-02-2010 08:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for agleopar     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Has Lunt gone out of business?

IP: Logged

chase33

Posts: 362
Registered: Feb 2008

iconnumber posted 02-02-2010 08:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chase33     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
They are still in business. They just released a silver look book on their website.

IP: Logged

June Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 1223
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 02-07-2010 03:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for June Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just wondering if the copper versions of the Lunt patterns may be pattern templates. We saw such templates when we toured Old Newbury Crafters.

[This message has been edited by June Martin (edited 02-07-2010).]

IP: Logged

bascall

Posts: 1626
Registered: Nov 99

iconnumber posted 02-07-2010 11:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by chase33:
Hey Bascall,

Did you ever get by the Lunt factory or find out more about these spoons?

Robert


Robert,

I haven't been avoiding your question. I just didn't look at this post until today.

No I haven't been up to the factory. We did just make an eighty-six hundred mile trip around the country this past fall, but New England wasn't part of our travels.

Just another thought about the existence of these spoons that makes sense to me but still may not apply at all. I can see the die cutter having these made as proof that the dies were satifactory when he was done with them. No matter what might happen to the dies after they are again being used to produce the pattern, the die cutter could always prove that his dies were as accurate as possible by just comparing these inexpensive copper examples.

[This message has been edited by bascall (edited 03-13-2010).]

IP: Logged

agphile

Posts: 798
Registered: Apr 2008

iconnumber posted 02-08-2010 08:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for agphile     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Accepting that the Lunt spoons may have been some sort of test strike, I might however suggest another possibility. In England in the last century an apprentice silversmith would do some training and practice on copper rather than being let loose on sterling silver for items that might not come up to the standard for sale. Might these two spoons have been apprentice pieces that were kept by the apprentice after finishing them?

With regard to June's suggestion, I suspect that workshops most often kept templates or patterns for items that were completely shaped by hand rather than for standard, die-struck pieces. I have seen some unmarked copper ladles here with finely pierced, shaped handles. I think they must have been either apprentice pieces or workshop patterns/templates.

Just for interest, here is a scan of a workshop pattern piece that is actually in silver.

A small puritan style fork, hand wrought and marked for Francis Higgins, London 1938/9 but also stamped “pattern”. As this is not a standard size or design, one must have been kept back from a batch so that any future orders could be made to match.

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