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Author Topic:   1847 Rogers Bros
Liz
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iconnumber posted 10-31-1999 08:59 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I recently received a set of 1847 Rogers Bros silverware from my great grandmother's estate. I know nothing about silverware. Could you please provide any background information? It is a set of 6 knives, forks, large and small spoons and maybe a ladel and butter knife (I'm not sure what they are) which reads 1847 ROGERS BROS XS TRIPLE. There are 4 grape bunches on the front and a grape leaf on the back of each piece. It looks to be very intricate detailing. I think the box is original since it has the 1847 ROGERS BROS ribbon on the inside bottom right corner of the lid. Any information would be helpful. Thank you.

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 11-01-1999 08:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It sounds like the silver plate pattern called Vintage. Vintage was introduced in 1904. It would help to see a photo.

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Ulysses Dietz
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iconnumber posted 11-05-1999 11:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with Scott--it sounds like "Vintage." The set in its original box is a rare survival, so take good care of the box. Do you know when your great-grandmother was married? Where she lived?

Your boxed set, probably intended as a wedding gift in its marketing, could either be a "tea" or dessert flatware service, or simply a starter set. It has the basic number of pieces found in flatware sets in the pre-1880 period--without all the specialty forms (like oyster forks and cream soup spoons) that flooded the high-end sterling flatware market in the 1890s and 1900s. One fork, one knife, one small spoon and one large spoon is a standard place setting dating back to the 18th century; each piece could have multiple use. Unless, of course, this was really intended for a specific kind of meal, like luncheon, "tea" or something like that. Companies like Rogers were aiming at an aspiring but not wealthy marketplace; white collar people who wanted a genteel lifestyle but weren't going to invest in huge services the way the Fifth Avenue crowd in New York did. The more you know about your family, the better you can understand what this set might have meant to your great-grandmother. History is so important in objects like this (from a curator's viewpoint).

Rogers is probably the most confusing and overused trade name in the silver world. The only consistancy is that it is almost always electroplated silver (maybe always, but I always hedge my bets to guard against my own possible ignorance). By the time your family set was made, 1847 Rogers Brothers had become a division of the Meriden Britannia Company, which in turn became International Silver in 1898. The name begins in 1847 with Asa Rogers, who starts making plated spoons. Hence the trade name that carries on, through many family divisions and corporate mergers, into the 20th century.

Your best references for this would be Dorothy Rainwater's book "The Encyclopedia of American Silver Manufacturers," and also Scott Martin's book on flatware patterns (see elsewhere in this site).

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