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Author Topic:   help with date

Posts: 25
Registered: Sep 2002

iconnumber posted 08-05-2007 09:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jt251     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote


I recently treated myself to this ornate vanity mirror and wondered if someone could estimate when it might have been made?

It is marked "sterling" followed by the three little symbols that represent Dominick and Haff, the word "patent" and the number 54.

I'm also curious as to how the mirror was made and have tried to post some close-ups that may help.

Thanks so much. I really enjoy these forums and appreciate all of you who take the time to share your knowledge.

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Posts: 704
Registered: Jul 2007

iconnumber posted 08-11-2007 03:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for silverhunter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Beautiful piece, a lot of ornaments, beautiful done.
What I can tell is not much because I just started collecting silver and started with
to learn about different shapes and styles etc. I suppose the figure 54 is the number for the percentage of silver, there are a lot of experts at this forum who can explain this.(I don't know for sure). I think the ornaments ar not origanel used in the period they are made by this one. I explain it in short. When I compare the ornaments with the ornaments style they used with german stoneware in the 16th century it's about the same style. I've read some articles about the use of number 54 at this forum. Perhaps you can try the possibility to use the "search function" at this forum.
I found it a beautiful piece and good clear pictures, good luck.

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Scott Martin
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Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 08-11-2007 08:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Dominick & Haff Dating

astrowire posted 10-08-2003 08:04 PM

I was wondering if someone can help me date these marks? Does the 80 in the triangle mean manufactured in 1880? Any help would be appreciated..Also, what is the correct term for this item, candle snuffer, wick snipper, wick trimmer?

dragonflywink posted 10-09-2003 04:12 PM

The mark is for Dominick & Haff (1872-1928) and the numbers in the diamond should represent the year the piece was made.

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Posts: 847
Registered: Jun 2004

iconnumber posted 08-11-2007 09:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for agleopar     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Late 19th c. die making will never be surpassed! The person who cut this die was an expert with years of experience.

It is carved in soft steel and when the cutting and polishing are finished the steel is then heat treated to harden it. The hardened die is then forced into another soft piece of steel to make the negative.

Both top and bottom die are mounted in a press and the right gauge silver is then "struck". The front of the mirror is made the same way, the two halves are soldered together and the glass is backed with plaster or pitch with a rubbed over bezel holding it in.

This is a simplified description and I hope an expert can add/correct it.

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Posts: 25
Registered: Sep 2002

iconnumber posted 08-14-2007 11:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jt251     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Silverhunter, Thanks for your comments about this mirror. I, too, am learning about silver, finding it fascinating. This forum is a great help.

I believe the number 54 refers to the style of the mirror. The mirror was made by a company in the USA, Dominick & Haff, so the word "sterling' indicates that this piece is 92.5% silver. D & H also put 925 in a part of their mark but it is no longer visible in this mirror.

Sorry, Scott, I should have said that no printing remained in the D & H marks. I try to put date information with my few pieces of older silver in the hopes that they will avoid the garage sale should I unexpectedly kick the bucket.

And thanks to you, Agleopar, for taking the time to answer my question. I appreciate both the approximate date and your explanation of the die process. I had wondered if some of the decorations had been applied as they are in such high relief. The mirror was dull and grubby when I bought it at a junk auction and I was surprised at how elaborate it was once it was clean. Thanks again!

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Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 08-14-2007 11:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Woo! great find. Things are still out there.

The style is taken from stone carvings in an Italian garden near Rome. These motifs were popular from the 1880's down until about 1915. Agleopar's description of the process is very well done.

I have never been able to figure out how they got both the pitch in and the mirror in place. Having tried to fix mirrors, this remains a mystery.

The number is probably the stock number. The telegraph order would go mirror 54, comb 53, etc. There are undoubtably other pieces in this pattern. Anyone here seen them?

AFAIK, Dominick and Haff never made silverplate. Everything of theirs I have seen was sterling.

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Posts: 704
Registered: Jul 2007

iconnumber posted 08-16-2007 05:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for silverhunter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just for example, are these photos made from German stoneware (16th century) called ("schnelle" jug). It's about the same ornaments which you find like silver ornaments.(Personal opinion of course). In silver they are most beautiful of course.


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