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Author Topic:   Exhausted All of My Resources

Posts: 30
Registered: Sep 2003

iconnumber posted 09-16-2003 09:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for brwvabell     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Everyone!

I KNOW that you guys have a LOT more resources than the average person who just collects silver!?

Here is my problem.

I have exhausted my entire library, as well as the libraries of friends, searching for data on James Dixon of Yorkshire.

The Earliest reference that I am able to find on this persons hallmark is the D*S mark.

I have NO Clue as to whether this pertains ONLY to "Dixon and Son" circa 1822 or could this same mark have been used when he was partners with Smith? aka: Dixon and Smith circa 1811?

I have even talked to the folks at the Silver Vault in England and "They" .. Have No Clue!!

Tried to tell me that my Sheffield Plate kettle dated from around 1845-50 .. DUH .. The hallmark "AFTER" 1835 was J.Dixon and Sons among other variants!

Does anyone know how or where I can extend my search, especially when it comes to the Dixon and Smith part?

I can find NOTHING at all on this partnership!

Thank You everyone!


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Posts: 4121
Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 09-16-2003 10:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The dating of the piece seems quite reasonable, even generous -- I would have thought later. How are you convinced it is true Sheffield plate? By the design it would be most unlikely.

From my experience Dixon used all sorts of marks at all sorts of periods and have seen nothing to indicate a chronology possible by that means.

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Posts: 30
Registered: Sep 2003

iconnumber posted 09-16-2003 11:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for brwvabell     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Silver Vault .. At least, was able to confirm the Sheffield plate part.

After many faxed photos and descriptions.

I HAVE had the kettles date confirmed by Christies though, as being made between 1828 and 1835.


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Bill H

Posts: 31
Registered: Jan 2002

iconnumber posted 09-17-2003 12:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bill H     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

A few comments about your Dixon piece. D*S is identified as being J. Dixon and Sons, Sheffield ca 1840 by both Bradbury and Veitch in their respective reference books. These two gentlemen were early dealers in OSP and are considered experts. Dixon and Smith primarily manufactured Britannia metal wares from 1804-1830. Dixon and Sons manufactured both Britannia (white) metal wares as well as OSP after 1830.

True Sheffield Plate is very hard to authenticate by photos [particularly faxed photos] alone. Color, edge treatment, copper showing, mounting treatment and many other factors need to be examined to be sure the piece is real fused plate and that it has not been replated.

If this is real OSP, you should see some copper bleeding on the body [particularly at wear points] but NOT on the mountings. The mountings should be stamped sterling with lead base and have some lead showing on wear points.

Based upon the style of the pot, I wouldn't be surprised to see white metal showing on wear points. This would be consistent with Britannia wares made between 1835-50...a big market for Dixon.

I agree with WEV that the style of the pot is much more consisent with the mid 19th century than with the OSP period pre 1830.

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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1792
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 09-17-2003 02:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would also agree that stylistically, the kettle appears to be from the mid-19th century.

Also, it is by no means unprecedented for "experts" at revered auction houses to make moderately to wildly inaccurate statements about silver. So even if a place like Christie's makes some kind of claim, it is always best to try to verify that information elsewhere. (We've discussed misinformation given out by "experts" before; also see Brent's post about the subject.)

[This message has been edited by Paul Lemieux (edited 09-17-2003).]

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Posts: 30
Registered: Sep 2003

iconnumber posted 09-17-2003 02:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for brwvabell     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank You Both for your responses to my post.

I have no doubts about the kettle being Sheffield Plate.

I have taken the liberty of posting a segment of an email, that actually started my investigation of the whole James Dixon thing.

After I received this email, the kettle was shipped to Christies for confirmation.

No one though, has been able to give me more than an approximate time period. (understandable)

Ian, (see below) Did say that Dixon did not turn out "Fused" Sheffield Plate after 1838 and that the (Small D*S) was not used for James Dixon and Sons. (There is a larger D*S)

The small D*S could 'possibly' have been used for Dixon and Son (no plural) prior to 1835.

Can you see where my dilemma arises .. LOL

This is only a piece of the original letter:

Dear Brenda

Indeed, after viewing the pins (nickle), which bind the ivory insulators to the handle, the bleeding of the kettle and the base along with other factors taken into account, your kettle-on-stand (it is not a teapot) does appear to have been made in the traditional Sheffield Plate rolled silver-on-copper technique, which was virtually abandoned with the invention of electro-plating around 1845.

Ian Harris
managing director
N. Bloom & Son (1912) Ltd
12 Piccadilly Arcade
Piccadilly London SW1Y 6NH
tel: (+44) (0)20 7629 5060
fax: (+44) (0)20 7493 2528

Here are two photos of the bleed through on the base of the kettle: (ignore the ebay indictor, it is the only file folder I had free at the time. The kettle is not for sale.)

Again, A BIG Thank You to .. The both of you!!


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Posts: 30
Registered: Sep 2003

iconnumber posted 09-17-2003 03:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for brwvabell     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

I must have been writing my last post before I read yours.

I would never had believed that places like Christies made those kind of errors.

I am new to all of this so .. I have Tons to learn.

The kettle does show areas of copper showing here and there, I just didn't want to overwhelm everyone with all of my pictures.

I paid for the apprasial so I "Hope" that this is one time when it was done right.


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