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tline3open  1890-1900 Suffolk Sterling Silver

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Author Topic:   1890-1900 Suffolk Sterling Silver
Sweet
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iconnumber posted 11-30-2000 05:44 AM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I listed a Silver tray on e-bay for auction that has suffolk silversmith with what looks like a castle and two SS crossed over each other.I recieved an e-mail telling me I was right that it was victorian and that he dated it to 1890-1900 and then had a list of quetions and test for me to do including running my nail over the tray to feel for scratches. A Collector I would guess.after going to Kovels I found one that sounded like mine and was priced at 4,600 i was asking 225.00 for mine. it's almost mint with no dents,dings,monograms,or creases. it's beautiful and has two very small light scratches. I pulled it off auction hoping to find out what it's really worth. Is there anyone familiar with Suffolk Victorian trays dated 1890-1900 era? any help would be appreciated.

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Ulysses Dietz
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Posts: 1265
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 11-30-2000 09:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wouldn't your tray have a date letter as part of the mark? Perhaps the provincial silversmiths didn't do that. The Kovel's description might have sounded like yours--but verbal descriptions are really difficult to judge from unless they're very precise. That's the main problem with price guides. The main factors to consider in the value of your tray are a)size b)design c)condition. A big ugly tray might be worth less than a little beautiful tray. Dented and scratched trays would be less valuable that ones in perfect condition, and so forth. The discrepancy between the Kovel's 4600 and your 225 makes me suspect either that your valuation is way too low (which is surely is; $225 is a plated tray, and a small one at that); but Kovel might be thinking of a really juicy large tray. I do not know if Suffolk per se is a drawing card for silver collectors--you should keepin touch with the person who contacted you.

Any other help out there?

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Sweet
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iconnumber posted 11-30-2000 12:25 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My Tray is 12 1/2 inches in diameter and the mark is faded so I haven't been able to date it .I did e-mail the Gentleman that inquired about the tray and explained to him the reason I cancelled my auction. it can still be viewed at.

The mark that is faded looks like a castle with 2 little flags at the top of each corner, thank you for your reply and again any comments or information is very much appreciated.
Theresa

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Ulysses Dietz
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Posts: 1265
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 11-30-2000 12:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Having seen your pictures, I am inclined to suspect that the SS stands not for Sterling Silver, but for Silver Soldered, which means that it is plated, and that the applied border is put on with silver (rather than nickel) solder. The name does not appear in Rainwater, making the English origin seem more likely--but Suffolk Silversmiths is not a Victorian sort of name or mark. Thus I'd actually place it in the 20th century. If it was sterling and English, it would have to have some sort of sterling hallmark to warrant that standard. If American, it would always be marked sterling if from the late 19th century or early 20th. SS is never (to my knowledge) used to suggest sterling silver on an actual piece.

"Victorian" is not really one style, but a whole series of styles through over seventy years. Your tray looks like a rococo revival piece--or imitating an 18th century style. THis was done for a long time, so that doesn't really help to date it. However, such generic rococo/Chippendale revival trays were popular forms in the early 20th century, especially in electroplate.

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Sweet
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iconnumber posted 11-30-2000 01:14 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you so much for your help,Would $225 be a fair price for this platter or am I to high? I want to be fair and also get a fair price.

Sincere Thanks,

Theresa

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Brent

Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 11-30-2000 01:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Your tray certainly looks like 20th-century silverplate. The mark "Suffolk Silverplate" has been found in conjunction with Gorham's electroplate mark on museum reproductions; perhaps Suffolk was a trade name used by Gorham. As a silverplate tray, the value is limited.

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Sweet
unregistered
iconnumber posted 12-01-2000 02:21 AM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Now I am confused , it doesn't say silverplate anywhere on the tray. just suffolk silversmiths. I also have another tray that is still listed if anyone is familiar with it,I also thought it was Sterling but possibly I am wrong again.It has a crown, then below that is spain and the W/A ? here it is:

Also the gentleman e-mailed me tonight and said he would make me a fair offer but I don't want to take advantage of anyone if indeed it's not worth much.
Thank you for all your replys and help.
Sincerely,
Theresa

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