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


Welcome to the Silver Salon Forums !
Since 1993
Over 11,793 threads & 64,769 posts !!

Tabletop Lifestyles Forum

The Silver Salon Forums are open to anyone with an interest in silver and a willingness to share. Know little or nothing about silver? Don't worry! Anyone with a genuine desire to explore the subject of silver and related metal crafts is welcome.



Favorites: (9/09/07) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11


REGISTER (click here) How to Post Photos


customtitle open  SMP Silver Salon Forums
tlineopen  Tabletop Lifestyles Forum
tline3open  Antique aluminum 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:   Antique aluminum spoon
Polly

Posts: 1843
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 02-14-2011 02:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
[16-0012]

Not exactly "lifestyles," but I'm posting here because it's not silver.

I recently found an unusual demitasse spoon. It's crafted just like a silver version, but it's made of aluminum. Not a cheap, stamped item, but carefully shaped and finished, and engraved with a monogram. Marked "PURE ALUMINUM," as if proud of the fact. The style says 1890s to me (anyone disagree?).

According to a book I have about aluminum--a catalogue from a museum exhibit a few years ago--aluminum was a precious metal until 1886, when a cheap and easy method of extracting it from clay was invented. My guess is that this spoon is from the transitional period after that invention but before aluminum became the go-to metal for cheapo mass production.

Any thoughts? And does anyone else have aluminum tableware from this period? This it the first spoon I've noticed, but I haven't been looking, particularly. (I did read an interesting thread here about an early aluminum silver alloy.)

IP: Logged

Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1755
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 02-15-2011 12:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
neat find, Polly. i haven't seen one before. i think you are right about the timing, the design is pretty standard 1890s fare.

IP: Logged

dragonflywink

Posts: 953
Registered: Dec 2002

iconnumber posted 03-07-2011 05:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice spoon, Polly - have to admit to a fondness for aluminum (really all white metals).....finally have a bit of time to run through my files and take a few quick & dirty pics:

These are tiny (approx. 1-3/4" long) Duhme miniature spoons with a wishbone design, from Mom's salt spoon collection, one gilt sterling, the other aluminum with "Xmas 1902" in the bowl - perhaps a promotional holiday giveaway?

1918 excerpt from a department store sales manual, detailing declining aluminum cost over the years:

1877 excerpt from a scientific journal on testing aluminum spoons for wear:

1880 excerpt from the Young Folks Cyclopedia on aluminum and its uses:

~Cheryl

IP: Logged

dragonflywink

Posts: 953
Registered: Dec 2002

iconnumber posted 03-07-2011 06:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
An 1896 newspaper article extolling the virtues of aluminum for household items:

1904 excerpt from an article on aluminum housewares - mentioning, "At the World's Fair in Chicago, in 1893, a large number of aluminum tea and coffee spoons were sold.", and going on to say, "...spoons of this kind were a dismal failure except for ornamental purposes.". Doesn't really go into why they were such a failure:

~Cheryl

IP: Logged

dragonflywink

Posts: 953
Registered: Dec 2002

iconnumber posted 03-07-2011 06:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A 1908 magazine article on "Veritas" Aluminum Flatware, most likely imported from Germany:

1908 Thurnauer ad for "Veritas":

Coffee spoon, clearly not "Veritas" as it's marked only "Germany":

12 inch German ladle, from the pattern, would suspect perhaps teens or twenties? Has a trademark, but can't make it out:

~Cheryl

IP: Logged

dragonflywink

Posts: 953
Registered: Dec 2002

iconnumber posted 03-07-2011 06:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A somewhat flimsy little stud box, filled with stray studs:

And an 1892 ad for a similar item in silverplate (from Rainwater's American Silverplate):

~Cheryl

IP: Logged

Scott Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 11202
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 03-07-2011 06:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cheryl,

Thanks for expanding my awareness. Brent first got me interested aluminum trays. Now, thanks to you and Polly I will have to keep a look out for aluminum flatware.

IP: Logged

dragonflywink

Posts: 953
Registered: Dec 2002

iconnumber posted 03-07-2011 06:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And just for Polly - ads for aluminum hair ornaments (perhaps you might share your aluminum combs?).

1898 ad for "Better than Silver" items, not sure if they're offering decorative combs or those for grooming:

1914 ad for rhinestone pieces:

1917 ad describing rhinestone decorated pieces as having, "the appearance of platinum and diamonds.":

1919 ad for all sorts of hair ornaments, including aluminum set with rhinestones:

And just for good measure, an 1891 ad for aluminum rings set with ruby, sapphire and emerald doublets:

~Cheryl

IP: Logged

seaduck

Posts: 335
Registered: Dec 2006

iconnumber posted 03-07-2011 09:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for seaduck     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This got me thinking about Nambé, which I'd always heard was aluminum.

It's an aluminum alloy. Here's a blurb from Wikipedia:
Nambé (pronounced /nɑːmˈbeɪ/[1]) is an eight-metal alloy whose major component is aluminum. It was created at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the 1940s and is exclusively produced by the Nambé Mills, Inc., which was founded in 1951 near Nambé Pueblo, some 10 miles north of Santa Fe, New Mexico. The alloy has the luster of silver and the solidity of iron. Nambe has a lower thermal conductivity than silver. Nambé does not contain silver, lead or pewter (a tin and copper alloy) and resists tarnishing. However, it is susceptible to discoloration or pitting with acidic foods. It is not recommended any food be stored in Nambe metal or held for greater than a few hours due to these concerns (not health). Because Nambé's alloy is a trade secret, the Nambé company does not divulge the rest of the formula. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declared Nambé safe for cooking and serving.

IP: Logged

NYCYN

Posts: 12
Registered: May 2011

iconnumber posted 06-04-2011 03:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for NYCYN     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What a fantastic thread! I would have never thought that aluminum was once considered grand. From here on I will give it an iota of respect!

Cheers!

------------------

IP: Logged

Polly

Posts: 1843
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 06-05-2011 05:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cheryl, thanks for all that wonderful information! I've been preoccupied lately with family matters and missed this thread's updates until now.

I'll post photos of my aluminum combs & hair ornaments soon.

IP: Logged

dragonflywink

Posts: 953
Registered: Dec 2002

iconnumber posted 06-05-2011 06:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Same here, Polly - finally have a bit of time for myself.....Looking forward to seeing your pics.

~Cheryl

IP: Logged

Polly

Posts: 1843
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 05-06-2012 06:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, here it is almost a year later, and I never put up photos of my aluminum combs, did I? Sorry, Cheryl!

I just found a really nice one this afternoon. I'll try to take photos of them all and post them this week.

IP: Logged

ahwt

Posts: 2022
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 05-08-2017 11:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have been reading an interesting book by Yuval Noah Harari entitled "Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind" and the author noted how Emperor Napoleon III loved aluminium and commissioned aluminium cutlery to be laid out for his most distinguished guests. Less important visitors had to make do with gold knives and forks.
This was in the 1860s. From a short internet search it appears that Napoleon was interested in aluminium because he thought it would be very useful for military weapons due to it lightness. The cost of refinement was still too high to make it economical for that purpose so Napoleon melted down what he had and made some nice flatware that he used.
I could not find any reference that indicated any of this flatware was still around, but I would be surprised if someone has not collected it.

IP: Logged

Polly

Posts: 1843
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 05-10-2017 10:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
...and here we are SIX years later, and I STILL haven't posted photos of my aluminum combs...

IP: Logged

wessex96

Posts: 52
Registered: Feb 2009

iconnumber posted 05-11-2017 08:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for wessex96     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Here is an example piece from what I believe is probably a gentleman’s lightweight toilet set, in which all the items are made from aluminium.
It is a toothbrush holder which can take 2 brushes, the brushes being placed ‘head to tail’ in the holder. The design is acid etched onto the metal and engraved. The lid is pierced to allow the brushes to dry. It was made in 1891.

IP: Logged

asheland

Posts: 856
Registered: Nov 2003

iconnumber posted 05-11-2017 10:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for asheland     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What a cool thread. Please post the pictures, I am intrigued!

IP: Logged

Polly

Posts: 1843
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 05-12-2017 10:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's a teaser--an old, low-res photo of some of my aluminum combs, plus some cut steel. I'll take new photos (or hunt down better old ones) in the daylight, but meanwhile:


[This message has been edited by Polly (edited 05-12-2017).]

IP: Logged

Polly

Posts: 1843
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 05-12-2017 10:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Oh, wait! I posted a whole threadful of them a zillion years ago:
Aluminum combs

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 - 2019 SM Publications
All Rights Reserved.
Legal & Privacy Notices