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Author Topic:   Victorian silver
Saull123

Posts: 3
Registered: Oct 2000

iconnumber posted 10-18-2000 01:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Saull123     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I purchased a victorian cruet set on e-bay. It was sold as sterling, but I have my doubts. Can parts of it be sterling, even though the word sterling does not appear on it? It does have some markings on it. On the base is a shield with the letters JC over an S. The handle has a stylized diamond shape with a large R in the center, an M below and a letter on top which I cannot make out. Can you help me? I paid $100 for it and it really is in pretty good condition. Did I get ripped?

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Brent

Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 10-18-2000 01:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Your set is probably English, and most likely silverplate. The diamond shape you describe sounds like an English design registry mark; there should be a character in each corner of the diamond, with an Rd in the middle. If you can describe all of the characters, we can date your set quite accurately. Resgidtration marks are rare on English sterling, but reasonably common on plated wares. The JC over an S in a shield sounds like an English plater's mark; see if there isn't an & sign before the S.

Lots of European silver is not marked STERLING, including English sterling. English sterling is usually marked with a lion passant( a lion standing with one leg raised). If you find a lion anywhere on your set, you MIGHT be in luck.

With a cruet set, there is the possibility that some pieces (i.e. the bottle tops) would be sterling, while the frame is plated. The set could have been assembled, and may not have gone together originally. Some pieces may also have been lost and replaced. The possibilities are numerous.

My recommendation is to get yourself a good magnifier and look at every metal piece. Copy down any marks on any pieces, then carefully examine the entire piece to see if all the designs match. While you are at it, look for places where base metal might be showing through, like on the base. If it looks too good, it might have been replated.

If you have pictures, please send them along with your observations, and we will try to make a determination. Cruet sets are tough, due to the multiple parts and the possibility of the set being assembled. If there are some sterling bits, the seller may have made an honest mistake by not examining the entire set.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Brent

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Saull123

Posts: 3
Registered: Oct 2000

iconnumber posted 10-18-2000 02:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Saull123     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Brent,
Thanks so much for your quick response. I whipped out my 10x loupe and there is no & sign before the S, but it is JGS not JCS. On the handle above the R is the number 20. Above the 20 is a thick circle with a thick vertical line through the middle.The flat base is deinitely silverplate as it was corroded and when I cleaned it up the copper came through. The dividers are also silverplate. The three feet on the bottom also have the diamond shape mark. The bottles are crystal and cleaned up beautifully. The salt and pepper shakers have silver lids. One possibly sterling, one not. One was replaced because it does not match identically(that's the plated one). I would scan a picture but I have a new computer and am waiting for software to update my scanner. I really appreciate your help.

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Brent

Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 10-18-2000 10:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, it is definitely English silverplate. You often find the registry marks on the feet, as in your set. Whether the seller deliberately misrepresented the set or just didn't know any better is for you to decide. As for whether or not you got "ripped", a genuine intact sterling set would have cost you a lot more than $100.

Glad we could be of help, even if the news is not so great!

Brent

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