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Author Topic:   coin silver touch marks old pin chest

Posts: 1
Registered: Apr 2006

iconnumber posted 04-19-2006 06:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for silverneophyte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote


I am new to this - trying to ID period / maker of small - 2" x 1" x 3 3/4" – coin silver hair pin chest - marked w/ figural touch marks or hall marks - somewhat worn – in same cartouche and 1st has what appears to be 3 small lines at bottom – second looks like pawn – duck head? Next to these is stamped “sterling” letters are not evenly spaced and at different angles and do not have the same wear as the hallmarks so(to me)appear later addition - interested period of manufacture - lid held down w/ button - bottom added using lip around sides - nice details - did not polish -


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iconnumber posted 04-19-2006 07:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for IJP     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, I'm unable to identify the maker right away, but I do feel compelled to point out:

If it says STERLING, it ain't coin

The term coin silver refers to American silver of varying fineness (or quality, or purity, or what have you), but usually around .900 or so, produced in America before the widespread adoption of the sterling standard. Silver must be .925 fine/pure to be called Sterling. Most American silver manufacturing firms switched from coin to sterling sometime between the mid- to late-19th century. For example, Tiffany & Co. adopted the standard in 1851; Gorham, in 1868. I believe I remember seeing a coin silver piece dating to the 1870's from a smaller manufacturer in upstate New York.

My guess is, based on the marks I saw before your images were snipped, that this is indeed a sterling silver item, made no earlier than the third or last quarter of the 19th century.

[This message has been edited by IJP (edited 04-19-2006).]

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iconnumber posted 04-19-2006 11:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for outwest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And IJP's time period would fit perfectly into the time period when hat pins were widely used and needed a holder.

whoops, you said hair pins not hat pins, didn't you.

It does seem odd that you say the word sterling is individually letter stamped. That I would like to see.

[This message has been edited by outwest (edited 04-19-2006).]

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iconnumber posted 04-20-2006 01:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It would be helpful to see the image again - the letters did not appear to me on first glance to be individually stamped, but only unevenly worn, rather than unevenly aligned. Please reduce the image size and repost the pictures.

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 04-20-2006 01:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

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iconnumber posted 04-20-2006 08:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting piece, looks very Arts & Crafts to me, late 19th-early 20th century. The "sterling" appears to me to have been unevenly stamped on the hammered surface.

Cheryl ;o)

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iconnumber posted 04-20-2006 11:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FredZ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I too think it is Arts & Crafts period piece. The faux rivets remind me of the work of Shreve. The marks do not look American and I do not recognize them yet the sterling mark does indicate that it could be American made or marked sterling at a later date than it's manufacture.

A very cute piece and obviously for hair pins.


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iconnumber posted 04-21-2006 11:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for outwest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Didn't the Irish use the word Sterling, too?

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