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tline3open  Sterling Potato Fork? Durgin?

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Author Topic:   Sterling Potato Fork? Durgin?
SilverToGo

Posts: 13
Registered: Jun 2007

iconnumber posted 08-27-2007 03:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SilverToGo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
[26-1485]

A few months ago, in a mixed lot with other items that I could date to 1897, I purchased a very nice Sterling Serving fork from a Canadian Estate Liquidating Firm. I believe it is a potato fork. It is clearly marked STERLING. The other marks are more difficult as I do not have a good magnifier these pictures are the best I can do. I have not been able to identify the pattern. I think that maybe the maker could be Durgin. I have looked at every on-line Silver Hallmarks place I can think of with no results.

Any help with identifying

  1. fork type,
  2. Maker and date, and/or
  3. Pattern would be most appreciated.

A little about myself: Just this last year, I retired from the "work force" where I was a bookkeeper and have become interested in trying my hand at collecting. I am leaning toward specializing my collection with sterling souvenir spoons. I have acquired some very interesting spoons and a couple of display racks. It is fun to discuss the origin and how I got the spoon. I have been frequenting thrift shops and garage sales as well as scouring the internet: Craig's list, eBay and more. Sometimes, I purchase a group or lot, and along with the spoons I am interested in, there are other interesting finds. When they are not spoons, I may decide to keep them or not depending on the specifics. Naturally, the more unique they are, the more apt I am to want to keep them.

I am not a dealer, just an old grandmother with a hobby. I couldn't possibly pretend any expertise. I am just barely learning myself.

I posted a picture with the best magnification I can get. Is it not clear enough? I can try to get a better one, but I already took over 50 pictures and that was the best of them.

I hope this is enough information to elicit a response.

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rian

Posts: 169
Registered: Jan 2006

iconnumber posted 08-28-2007 08:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for rian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've looked through the sources I have for Durgin and it resembles Florence pat. 1903, but it's hard to tell from Tere Hagan's line drawing. If it is a Canadian pattern, there are Canadians here who can help you, I'm sure.

Could you let us know the length of your fork? Size is useful to know and we can't tell from the picture.

Welcome to the forum, discovering silver is so much fun and being able to communicate with people who share your enthusiasm adds even more!

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Scott Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 08-28-2007 09:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Welcome to the Silver Salon Forums.

Some digital cameras will do a good job with closeups when used at the standard settings. Often the better choice for closeups is to use the macro setting on the camera. The macro setting changes the focus of the camera lens so it can focus on objects very close to the lenes. The macro setting is for photographing objects within a few inches (or feet away). Some digital cameras can get very close up images. Using a small tripod to hold the camera steady will also help to keep things in sharp focus.

To get a clear image of the mark you could try the following. Set you camera to the maximum resolution. Use the macro (close up) setting of your camera (the symbol most often used to indicate this setting is a flower ). When using the macro setting, zoom out and bring the object and lens close together. How close really depends upon your camera/lens but usually it is just a few inches or less. Or you could try using an ordinary magnifying glass with your camera to shoot the mark.

Once you have the high resolution closeup image, then crop the image to show only the mark. Next resize the cropped image to no more than 640 pixels wide at 72 DPI for posting in the Forums.

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Kimo

Posts: 1597
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 08-28-2007 10:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am not able to make out the markings other than being able to see the word Sterling.

Another bit of advice to add to Scott's excellent summary is when you are taking the photo using the automatic settings in macro mode, most cameras work in such a way that if you press the shutter release button just part-way down and hold it there for a second before pressing it all way down to take the photo, it will have extra time to use its auto-focus mechanism to bring the focus into as sharp of a focus as it can. Be sure to use a tripod or hold the camera with your hands resting on a little pile of books or something else that will help you keep the camera from shaking even a little while you are taking the photo. Or, if you have a very old digital camera with no macro mode another trick is to create a little set up where you take the photo through a large magnifying glass - though that can get a little difficult in that you would need to have both the camera and the magnifying glass stabile so neither one shakes while you are taking the photo.

I am not sure that this fork is for potatoes. To my eye it reminds me more of the style more commonly used for olives or pickles.

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dragonflywink

Posts: 975
Registered: Dec 2002

iconnumber posted 08-28-2007 12:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Can't really make out the mark, but it looks to me like a pickle/olive fork in Wilcox & Evertsen's (International Silver) Florence pattern.

~Cheryl

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rian

Posts: 169
Registered: Jan 2006

iconnumber posted 08-28-2007 08:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Oops! Cheryl, my well-used copy of Hagan's Sterling Flatware is falling apart and the page with Florence on it had migrated from the International section to the Durgin section. I didn't even notice.

Thanks for coming to the rescue!

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SilverToGo

Posts: 13
Registered: Jun 2007

iconnumber posted 08-29-2007 02:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SilverToGo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
LOL the SilverToGo is like " I'll take some silver to go, please. and fries with that"
The fork is 8 3/8" long and I will post another pic tomorrow. I took all your advice and I think I got a better one. The pattern does look right for the Florence though. Please come back & take a look tomorrow. Thanks

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silverhunter

Posts: 704
Registered: Jul 2007

iconnumber posted 08-29-2007 05:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for silverhunter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I looked around and found this one, nearly close but it's difficult to find the wright one. Made by R. Wallace started 1835? called a long olive/pickles fork, why is this object made for the long distance?

Durgin Cromwell sterling knows it!

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Kimo

Posts: 1597
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 08-29-2007 11:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Silverhunter,

Cheryl (Dragonflywink) has identified the pattern as Wilcox & Evertsen's (International Silver) Florence pattern a few postings above yours.

The reason pickle and olive forks are so long is to be able to reach down to the bottom of the tall and narrow jars in which pickles and olives are normally sold. They allow you to spear a pickle or olive at the bottom of the jar without getting pickle or olive juice all over your fingers. They usually have narrow tines to be able to get into the narrow openings of the these jars.

[This message has been edited by Kimo (edited 08-29-2007).]

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silverhunter

Posts: 704
Registered: Jul 2007

iconnumber posted 08-29-2007 01:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for silverhunter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello Kimo,

I don't have the books which I should be have, so my solution for to find any objects is looking somewhere else. I'm glad that it was recognized and that was the end of the topic? No, what I did is to look and find about the same (with a picture) and posted well. Of course the information wasn't the same, it could be used for indication? That they made about the same shape/pattern around 1830. That's the reason why I reacted at this topic and so I learn also with own research from silver work.

Greetings Silverhunter,
but I won't disturb this topic any more.

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