SMP Logo
SM Publications
Silver Salon Forums - The premier site for discussing Silver.
SMP | Silver Salon Forums | SSF - Guidelines | SSF - FAQ | Silver Sales

The Silver Salon Forums
Since 1993
Over 11,793 threads & 64,769 posts !!
American Sterling Silver Forum
How to Post Photos REGISTER (click here)

customtitle open  SMP Silver Salon Forums
tlineopen  American Sterling Silver
tline3open  Dating on a spoon

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

ForumFriend SSFFriend: Email This Page to Someone! next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Dating on a spoon
PStager

Posts: 18
Registered: Jan 2011

iconnumber posted 01-10-2011 11:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PStager     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
[26-2098]

This is my first post and I am a “newbie” to spoon collecting / researching, so please bear with me.

I am trying to date a spoon and need some help on dating.

The spoon has a makers mark that I believe is from THE GORHAM MANUFACTORING CO. This particular mark, I think, was used from 1875 – 1900.

The spoon pattern appears to be the Cambridge pattern (c. 1899) and the spoon shows “STERLING PAT 1899”, next to the makers mark.

The bowl of the piece is engraved “1854 1904”, dates that I have found to be related to the celebration of the semi-centennial (first 50 years) of the signing of the Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854 that created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska.

Where I get confused is that on the back of the bowl, just below the stem pattern, there is a stamped “mark” (appearing to be a “$” sign) that I think is a retail/wholesale mark. This mark is very similar to, but not exactly like, the mark that was used by the ISADOR S. SAGORSKY & SON wholesalers of Philadelphia, Pa. c. 1915-1990. The horizontal lines, however, at the top and bottom of the vertical post in the $ sign are more bold and do not “flair” at the ends as the ones that I have researched.

If this were, in fact, a “SAGORSKY & SON” mark, since the company started business in 1915 and continued until 1990, this throws everything out as to being able to date the spoon c. 1904, based on the engraving on the bowl and dating on the spoon.

I can understand that a spoon patented in 1899 can be engraved in 1904 as a souvenir of a celebration, however, I find it hard to comprehend that this would be done as late as 11 years afterwards or even up to 1990.

Can somebody please look at the pictures and help me to figure this out?

[Please read the yellow box above and provide the requested intro info . For example: Tell us why your are asking. What is your interest in silver? What is it that you hope to learn from this question? What is your purpose in asking?]

IP: Logged

Ulysses Dietz
Moderator

Posts: 1265
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 01-11-2011 07:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wouldn't try to link the dates on your spoon to anything historical--such spoons were given for birthday gifts, or anniversary gifts. I'm pretty sure your spoon is a birthday present...since a PHiladelphia jeweler wouldn't care about anything in Kansas...

Isn't that Buttercup?

IP: Logged

taloncrest

Posts: 169
Registered: Jun 2004

iconnumber posted 01-11-2011 11:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for taloncrest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cambridge has similar flowers to Buttercup, but Cambridge has gadrooning.

IP: Logged

PStager

Posts: 18
Registered: Jan 2011

iconnumber posted 01-11-2011 02:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PStager     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I ruled out "Buttercup" because it has more of a philagree pattern on the sides, as opposed to dragooning and it has 10 flowers, as opposed to 6 (in a more tightly clustered pattern).

I thank you and, again, please bear with me. I still need to learn the ropes, especially how to properly post pictures.

I was mainly concerned with the "retailers" mark. Is it "Sagorsky & Son"?

IP: Logged

PStager

Posts: 18
Registered: Jan 2011

iconnumber posted 01-11-2011 02:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PStager     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by taloncrest:
Cambridge has similar flowers to Buttercup, but Cambridge has gadrooning.

I thank you so much for your respnse.
Do you have any ides on the "Retailers" mark?

IP: Logged

bascall

Posts: 1626
Registered: Nov 99

iconnumber posted 01-11-2011 07:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Isidor S Sagorsky is listed in the 1900 Philadelphia census as a jewelry maker and there again in 1910 as a manufacturing jeweler, and he was granted U S citizenship in 1903 in Philadelphia.

Wear, how well the punch was made, and how well the mark was originally struck can make a big difference in what a mark looks like as time goes by. Speaking for myself only, I have no problem with saying that this is Sagorky's mark.

As to when the mark was struck, again speaking for myself, because he was in the trade at least from 1900, it would be easy to imagine that it could have been done before 1915. I don't believe that his mark was registered with the USPTO. From my experience, they often were not prior to the 1940's. So it's not always clear how long a particular trademark was in use, and because Isidor's sons were not even in their teens in 1915, chances are that this was just Isidor's mark. All that said, I'd say you are on the right track with the retailer anyway.

Good luck with your research!

[This message has been edited by bascall (edited 01-12-2011).]

IP: Logged

Kimo

Posts: 1597
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 01-12-2011 11:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi PStager and welcome to the forum.

Collecting souvenir spoons is fun and there are countless ways to do it. Have you decided on a theme for your own collecting yet? Do you have other spoons along the lines of this one in your collection? How did you get started in your collecting? It is wonderful to see new people getting started in the hobby.

Best,
Kimo
Contributing Editor

IP: Logged

PStager

Posts: 18
Registered: Jan 2011

iconnumber posted 01-12-2011 03:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PStager     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kimo:
Hi PStager and welcome to the forum.

Collecting souvenir spoons is fun and there are countless ways to do it. Have you decided on a theme for your own collecting yet? Do you have other spoons along the lines of this one in your collection? How did you get started in your collecting? It is wonderful to see new people getting started in the hobby.

Best,
Kimo
Contributing Editor


Thank you so much for responding and making me feel welcome.

As I said in this first posting, I am a "newbie" to spoon collecting. I had inherited a collection of about 300 from my aunt about a year ago and just last month I decided to take a look at them and find out what they were.

Most of them seem to date back to the late 1800’s to early 1900’s and I have literally become engrossed on a quest to research each and every one. It is turning out to be a fascinating, educational and enlightening experience as I discover, more and more, that many of these are not just pieces of metal, but that they are actual physical links to antecedents who once possessed them.

For example, one of the spoons in the collection was from a church in Iowa. It was finely engraved as with a picture of a church building appearing to be of turn of the century design and the name of the church. By "dating" the spoon, using maker’s marks and pattern design, I was able to determine that it was, in fact, of that vintage. I contacted the church and their historian was able to locate actual records of the commission of the piece and even a list of who the spoons were given to in a special celebration that honored a group of people who were responsible for the rebuilding of the church, after it had been destroyed by fire in the late 1800’s.

I have contacted several, "historians"” of churches, court buildings, historical landmarks, etc. and have been astounded by the wealth of information and knowledge that I am gaining upon my quest, not to speak of the host of new "friends" that I am becoming associated with along the way such as historians, a State Supreme Court Judge, and a County Commissioner who have communicated with me during my search thus far.

I don’t want to bore you, but, in short, I think that I am "hooked".

Thank you for allowing me to share this with you.

PStager

P.S. I very much respect the comments made by the members who have responded to me, but, in one I was told (relating to this spoon with the dates 1894 – 1904), "I wouldn't try to link the dates on your spoon to anything historical".

On a similar spoon, during my research, I was contacted by a very lovely “senior” from Nebraska, who had seen the pictures of the spoon, and she told me that her deceased mother had once been given an identical spoon (even down to the initials that were engraved upon it) at a special ceremony that she was invited to at the State Capitol in honor of the signing of the Nebraska – Kansas Act of 1854 that actually occurred in a semi-centennial celebration in 1904.

IP: Logged

bascall

Posts: 1626
Registered: Nov 99

iconnumber posted 01-12-2011 04:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ulysses Dietz:
I wouldn't try to link the dates on your spoon to anything historical...since a PHiladelphia jeweler wouldn't care about anything in Kansas...

I can't imagine a jeweler in Philadelphia or any other part of the country not being willing to put whatever dates a customer wanted to pay for on a spoon.

Enjoy your new hobby PStager!

IP: Logged

Polly

Posts: 1939
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 01-12-2011 05:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Isn't it fun finding the real-life stories of what seemed like anonymous objects? Enjoy!

IP: Logged

PStager

Posts: 18
Registered: Jan 2011

iconnumber posted 01-12-2011 07:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PStager     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bascall:
I can't imagine a jeweler in Philadelphia or any other part of the country not being willing to put whatever dates a customer wanted to pay for on a spoon.

Enjoy your new hobby PStager!


I first of all want to state that I do highly respect the statements of Ulysses Dietz, Moderator.

He was the very first person to respond to a “newbie” like me (with what might have sounded like a pretty dumb question) and adding that he has been in this “arena” a lot longer than me, I hold him in high regards.

I also want to state that his response does not go unwarranted, especially to a new “spooner” like me, because it does have “much needed to be learned” information.

He said “I wouldn't try to link the dates on your spoon to anything historical--such spoons were given for birthday gifts, or anniversary gifts.” and the dates inscribed on a spoon may, as well, have the meaning that it was given/gifted for just such an event as he described or an maybe an anniversary perhaps, and that it shouldn’t be automatically be linked to a historical event.

I am finding out, very quickly, while conducting research, I shouldn’t “jump to a conclusion” and should instead, use sites like this, to “bounce it off the wall” of some people that know more than me.

I do hope that he will offer me more of his wisdom in the future.

I am also finding that, especially with “personalized” pieces, they do (or, as it is a fact, did) represent a very real and special event, in a very real person’s life. At least for me, and I hope many others, when conducting their research, that they take this into consideration and do the very best job that they can, not only to be accurate, but to be able to carry on that person’s story and legacy into the future with the highest levels of respect and dignity for all involved, both past and present.

I might just sound like an “old man talking” and, if that is the case, I admire the accuracy of your judgments and your opinions and I sincerely hope to hear from you in the future.

Sincerely,
PStager

P.S. I am very much enjoying “my new hobby” and with the addition of associates and comments from people like you, I am sure that I will enjoy it even more. I do hope to hear from you again soon.

IP: Logged

PStager

Posts: 18
Registered: Jan 2011

iconnumber posted 01-12-2011 08:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PStager     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Polly:
Isn't it fun finding the real-life stories of what seemed like anonymous objects? Enjoy!


Polly,
I just can’t describe it in words.

Especially with me being in the “Golden/Sterling Years” of life, it almost feels as though I have found a new “purpose for being”.

As I look at the younger generation today and being the grandparent of 10, I sincerely hope that “hobbies” such as this are aggressively promoted to the continuing generations so that a respect for our antecedents and a true value of our history is not lost.

The true value isn't found in the piece of metal, if you know what I mean.
PStager

IP: Logged

bascall

Posts: 1626
Registered: Nov 99

iconnumber posted 01-12-2011 09:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
PStage you make a good point about the dates, and I owe Mr Dietz an apology. I misunderstood what he was saying, and then I misquoted him, for both I apologize. As a lame excuse, the idea that a Philadelphia jeweler wouldn't care about anything in Kansas... threw me off track.

[This message has been edited by bascall (edited 01-12-2011).]

IP: Logged

taloncrest

Posts: 169
Registered: Jun 2004

iconnumber posted 01-12-2011 11:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for taloncrest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by PStager:
I thank you so much for your respnse.
Do you have any ides on the "Retailers" mark?


I don't know anything about the retailers mark, but I find it a fascinating one. I do think it is an odd place to put it.

I've always had an interest in both Buttercup and Cambridge, as a dear friend had a set of both, and he commented on the similarities between the two designs.

IP: Logged

PStager

Posts: 18
Registered: Jan 2011

iconnumber posted 01-12-2011 11:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PStager     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bascall:
PStage you make a good point about the dates, and I owe Mr Dietz an apology. I misunderstood what he was saying, and then I misquoted him, for both I apologize. As a lame excuse, the idea that a Philadelphia jeweler wouldn't care about anything in Kansas... threw me off track.

[This message has been edited by bascall (edited 01-12-2011).]


You have both made valid points from which I have learned.

Thank you and looking foreward to sharing more in the future.

IP: Logged

PStager

Posts: 18
Registered: Jan 2011

iconnumber posted 01-12-2011 11:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PStager     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by taloncrest:
I don't know anything about the retailers mark, but I find it a fascinating one. I do think it is an odd place to put it.

I've always had an interest in both Buttercup and Cambridge, as a dear friend had a set of both, and he commented on the similarities between the two designs.


Thank you so much.
I agree, it is an odd place for a mark. I'll keep you posted if I learn more about it.

IP: Logged

All times are ET

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.46a


1. Public Silver Forums (open Free membership) - anyone with a valid e-mail address may register. Once you have received your Silver Salon Forum password, and then if you abide by the Silver Salon Forum Guidelines, you may start a thread or post a reply in the New Members' Forum. New Members who show a continued willingness to participate, to completely read and abide by the Guidelines will be allowed to post to the Member Public Forums.
Click here to Register for a Free password

2. Private Silver Salon Forums (invitational or $ donation membership) - The Private Silver Salon Forums require registration and special authorization to view, search, start a thread or to post a reply. Special authorization can be obtained in one of several ways: by Invitation; Annual $ Donation; or via Special Limited Membership. For more details click here (under development).

3. Administrative/Special Private Forums (special membership required) - These forums are reserved for special subjects or administrative discussion. These forums are not open to the public and require special authorization to view or post.


| Home | Order | The Guide to Evaluating Gold & Silver Objects | The Book of Silver
| Update BOS Registration | Silver Library | For Sale | Our Wants List | Silver Dealers | Speakers Bureau |
| Silversmiths | How to set a table | Shows | SMP | Silver News |
copyright © 1993 - 2020 SM Publications
All Rights Reserved.
Legal & Privacy Notices