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Author Topic:   Michie Brothers in Cincinnati OH
TRapp

Posts: 9
Registered: Mar 2008

iconnumber posted 03-17-2008 01:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for TRapp     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
[26-1613]

We have a 12 piece flatware sterling silver flatware set that has been in the family for 50+ years. It is Michie Bros, and I am trying to find any information on them. The best I could do is finding some old advertisements from 1914.

Anyone have any information they could help me out with or point me in the right direction.

We don't intend to sell, we just enjoy researching some of the history behind our family.

TRapp

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Scott Martin
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Posts: 11202
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 03-17-2008 01:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

To get things started, do the marks look like this?

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Marc

Posts: 414
Registered: Jun 2002

iconnumber posted 03-18-2008 03:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi there TRapp,

It looks as if the pattern you have is "RENAISSANCE", and the maker is "Dominick & Haff". The giveaway is the "PAT 94" and the shape of the handle and the D&H 'diamond-circle-rectangle' logo.

The "Michie Bros" was a retail shop and the easiest place to start would be to put their name into the gigantic search engine in quotes like I did above. Also checking with your local museums and historical societies would help flesh out information.

Hope this helps..

Marc

[This message has been edited by Marc (edited 03-18-2008).]

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 03-18-2008 04:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mark in that image is from me. We are still waiting for TRapp to post an image

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Marc

Posts: 414
Registered: Jun 2002

iconnumber posted 03-18-2008 07:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Scott,

Amazing how my reading ability improved with my cataract operation, but my comprehension went to pot.

Marc

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TRapp

Posts: 9
Registered: Mar 2008

iconnumber posted 03-19-2008 11:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for TRapp     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am trying to get a decent picture of the mark - my camera just isn't good enough to do it. Any suggestions?

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Polly

Posts: 1843
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 03-19-2008 11:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Do you have a tripod? Small ones are inexpensive and make a big difference taking closeup pictures.

Also, make sure you use the closeup macro--the little flower icon--if your camera has it.

Are you using flash? Is it making too much glare? Try holding a piece of white paper in front of the flash to diffuse the light.

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jersey

Posts: 1202
Registered: Feb 2005

iconnumber posted 03-19-2008 11:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jersey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi!
Try holding a magnifying glass to it, and take the picture.

Jersey

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TRapp

Posts: 9
Registered: Mar 2008

iconnumber posted 03-19-2008 11:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for TRapp     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, too much glare - and while I am using the flower macro - it won't focus. I will try to use tripod and white paper. Have to work today, but I will try again tonight.

Tom

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bascall

Posts: 1621
Registered: Nov 99

iconnumber posted 03-19-2008 12:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There's a William Mitchie who was a watchmaker and jeweler in Cincinnati, OH. He was born in Scotland in 1837 and immigrated in 1843. Haven't made a connection to the brothers yet. They could be William's sons, or it could be William and a brother that is still to be found. There's a little bit more information to offer on William's family that'll have wait until we see the images of your service.

[This message has been edited by bascall (edited 03-19-2008).]

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FWG

Posts: 845
Registered: Aug 2005

iconnumber posted 03-19-2008 12:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FWG     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When working with the "flower" macro on a camera the distance range at which the camera can focus is usually quite narrow. If you try moving the camera closer and farther you should find the point where it will focus - typically somewhere between about an inch and a foot from the lens, but it varies from one camera to another.

A tripod is virtually essential for extreme close-up work. And I'd recommend a background in some color that approximates a 50% grey in tone as that helps to get a good exposure - white or black often make the camera over- or underexpose the image, as its "brain" normally wants to see everything as a neutral grey in value. One can adjust, but it's usually easier to just pick a background that suits the camera's way of thinking.

A light set to shine from the side, rather than from above, will often help.

[This message has been edited by FWG (edited 03-19-2008).]

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Kimo

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iconnumber posted 03-19-2008 05:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Also when working with your macro setting, you need to hold the shutter button down half-way for a second or so before pressing it all the way down to take the photo. The half-way process allows your automatic rangefinder to adjust to the correct range and adjust the lens to get it into focus. And, if you do not have the stabilization feature on your camera as the better newer models have, you need to find a way to stabilize your camera when taking the photo. A tripod works well, but in a pinch you can also put some books next to the object so you can rest your hands on them to hold the camera very still.

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TRapp

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Registered: Mar 2008

iconnumber posted 03-19-2008 11:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for TRapp     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well here it is, I know it isn't the best - but neither is my camera. Sorry, if it doesn't work I will try again.

Thanks again to everyone willing to offer their assistance.

Tom

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TRapp

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Registered: Mar 2008

iconnumber posted 03-20-2008 01:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for TRapp     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bascall:
There's a William Mitchie who was a watchmaker and jeweler in Cincinnati, OH. He was born in Scotland in 1837 and immigrated in 1843. Haven't made a connection to the brothers yet. They could be William's sons, or it could be William and a brother that is still to be found. There's a little bit more information to offer on William's family that'll have wait until we see the images of your service.

[This message has been edited by bascall (edited 03-19-2008).]


We did find an ad from early 20th Century, it does list Wm Michie Jr, so I would assume that it is indeed his son. We also uncovered Luke & Michie as a company name, but later the Luke was dropped and the location of the shop changed - staying in Cincinnati, but moving to 212 W 4th Street. This is more of a curiosity thing for me and my family. We enjoy learning a bit of the history behind some of the heirlooms that are in our family. Again, I cannot thank everyone who has provided their input from tips on the photo to possible lineage of the pieces. Thank you!

Tom

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 03-20-2008 08:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Trapp,

I also suggest you include a image of the pattern.

The marks you show in your image don't indicate Mitchie. Are there other marks which you haven't shown that indicate Mitchie?

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bascall

Posts: 1621
Registered: Nov 99

iconnumber posted 03-20-2008 08:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After a little more searching, it seems apparent that William and his wife Margaret had no children, and according to an 1869 passport application, William Mitchie Jr was born in 1837. In the 1890-91 city directories, this particular Wm is associated with Mitchie Bros, so Wm is one of the brothers, and probably the primary owner for a long time. In this same directory, Wm has a staff of five or six people. In the 1900 U S Federal Census, Wm's occupation is listed as Jewelry Mfg. If you're in a position to look this gentleman up in more city directories, you'll learn most of what you are hoping to find. Libraries of course are the place to start. Don't know your location, but if it's feasible the Library of Congress has them all available on microfiche. Whatever the outcome of your research, it would be interesting to hear about it and good luck.

[This message has been edited by bascall (edited 03-20-2008).]

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TRapp

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Registered: Mar 2008

iconnumber posted 03-20-2008 10:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for TRapp     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bascall - Thank you! That is very interesting. As for the mark not indicating Michie, what I posted are the only marks that I found on the setting, and I assumed that either the "M" following Sterling indicate Michie, or the design which looks like a lion on the base of the spoon was the mark. I will go over it again to see if I missed the mark. We are assuming it is Michie because we have the original felt wraps that the setting came in and it has Michie Bro Jewelers Cincinnati Ohio sewn on it. May it is not Michie, but that seemed like a logical place to start. I apologize for making it too large, I did read the rules, but when I looked at the document properties, I read the wrong number - which indicated 640. I am sorry, and I resized it to be within the regs. Thanks again Bascall, you have provided me with a good amount of info to get started.

Tom

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Polly

Posts: 1843
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 03-20-2008 10:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The beastie with its paw on a W is the mark of the Whiting Manufacturing Company. I think he's a lion; others will correct me if not. Michie must be the retailer that sold the silverware to your family. Nice job with the photo. Can you show us the pattern too (a whole piece of silverware)?

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 03-20-2008 10:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Your pieces are most likely not made by Mitchie.

Your image:

Shows the Whiting Manufacturing mark.

In the example image I first posted:

The Mitchie Bros. stamp is the mark of the retailer. The mark on the left is the mark of the maker, Dominick and Haff.

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TRapp

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Registered: Mar 2008

iconnumber posted 03-20-2008 11:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for TRapp     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay - that makes sense. I guess I just assumed - again showing my lack of knowledge - that when I researched Michie and it did indicate that there were silversmiths in the family, that they not only sold the setting, but made it as well. I will try to get a picture of entire piece, especially if it would help date the piece. Thank you again, I appreciate all the direction.

Tom

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bascall

Posts: 1621
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iconnumber posted 03-20-2008 11:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Even the best researchers have been known to comment on how convoluted their research can become, and it's still entirely possible that the retailer of your flatware was Mitchie. Although, there is of course no question about whose trademark is on your pieces.

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TRapp

Posts: 9
Registered: Mar 2008

iconnumber posted 03-20-2008 12:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for TRapp     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Polly - here is the image of the entire handle. I had to break it down to two pics. Thank you all for your assistance. It is so nice to find good people on the internet, because as we all know there are a lot of trolls out there....

Tom

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TRapp

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Registered: Mar 2008

iconnumber posted 03-20-2008 12:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for TRapp     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It would appear that the Whiting Mfg Co is indeed correct. After a little research it seems that the pieces are the 1905 Violet pattern. Thank you all again, I could never have done it without your expertise and guidance.

Tom

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 03-20-2008 01:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 03-20-2008 01:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't recall if there ever has been any general agreement about the round mark to the right of the Whiting mark. What I do believe is everyone agrees that it was added after Gorham had taken over Whiting. If this is correct then this means your spoon is from after 1926.

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