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Author Topic:   Silver water pitcher

Posts: 1
Registered: Oct 2001

iconnumber posted 10-24-2001 10:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fjurk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have a beautiful, ornate water pitcher decorated with engraved flowers, ribbons and 3 letters in caligraphy "glv". (I think).
On the bottom of the pitcher there is a logo of a two headed lion looking to the left with a "W" in a circle. Below that it reads, "Sterling", below that, it reads "8329B" the "B" scratched in. Below that, it reads "5 pints", below that is a 3 pointed star. Across from that are the numbers "345/49" scratched in.
It is a stunning piece and I would love some help identifying where/when it came from.

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Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 10-24-2001 11:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Welcome aboard!

The trademark of the lion and the W is certainly that of the Whiting Manufacturing Co. They were in business roughly 1866-1924, when they were acquired by Gorham. I'm not exactly sure when they started using the trademark, or if it was abandoned after 1924. Regardless, Whiting was one of the premier American silver manufacturers in the late 19th century, making goods of the highest quality.

Whiting did use a date code on their holloware in the early 20th century. Your "3-pointed star" may well be a date code. We would need a picture to determine it exactly, though, as a lot of the codes were rather similar.

The numbers are almost impossible to identify, as they refer to the shape and/or decoration and were not meant for "public consumption". They are just internal manufacturing codes. 5 pints would be the capacity of the pitcher.

I hope this helps!


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iconnumber posted 10-31-2001 08:04 AM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dear Brent,
Thanks so much for you help! I purchased this pitcher at an auction for $13.00... I am still very curious about it. Do you have any idea where I might find more information about the Whiting Ccompany? I am a complete novice and have no idea where to start.
Thanks again!

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Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 10-31-2001 08:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
$13.00?? Where is this auction? Certainly an excellent buy.

The best source for information on American manufactured silver is "The Encyclopedia of American Silver Manufacturers" by Dorothy Rainwater & Judy Redfield. The 4th edition is currently available for under $20, and it is easily the best bargain in the silver world. The section on Whiting illustrates the date codes I mentioned to you, so if you get the book you can try to match up your star mark.

Currently there is no book on Whiting silver specifically, although one is being written. It will probably show up in the next 5 years or so, given the glacial speed of most authors.

Regardless, there probably isn't all that much more you can learn about your pitcher. It MIGHT match a flatware pattern, or it might not; if you can post a picture we can try to match it up. Otherwise, just enjoy it as a fine piece of silver and a real bargain!


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iconnumber posted 10-31-2001 12:01 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Brent, thanks again for your response.

I stumbled across a Whiting Catalog during a general search. It's called "The 1896 Whiting Manufacturing Co. Sterling Catalog". There's also one for Gorham. The cost is $24.00. I am tempted to buy it just to see what the pitcher might have cost new and if it belonged to a set. I will take your advice and check out the encyclopedia though.
Thanks again and happy Halloween!

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