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tline3open  Identity of a coffee set?? -- I am now really confused!!

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Author Topic:   Identity of a coffee set?? -- I am now really confused!!
Felicia
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iconnumber posted 11-12-2000 05:33 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi,

I have been searching on the net to try and find the identity of a coffee set I recently purchased. I looked at a web page for the British hallmarks and another for American. I am now really confused. While searching, I came across your site, and was hoping maybe you could help. I bought it because I really loved the design, the fact that it is footed and that it had so many pieces. It is strictly for my own enjoyment. However, I was curious about the hallmarks, and would like to find out some of it's history. I have not seen many new sets that have been so complete, or detailed, which makes me believe it is not "new". I am not a collector, so this is a new realm for me.

It is a 8 pc Silver plated Coffee Set that includes:
Footed Pierced Tray {30" from handle to handle X 19" wide}
Coffee Pot {12-1/2" tall}
Teapot {11-1/4" tall}
Covered Sugar {7-1/2" tall X 7-1/2" from handle to handle}
Creamer {6-3/4" tall X 7" from handle to spout}
Waste Bowl {5-1/8" tall} Water Pot & Stand with Burner 16" tall to top of handle when sitting on stand.

I do not mean to impose, however, I was very impressed with your site, and the forums. If you can not help me if you could direct me in the right direction, I would really appreciate it.

Thank you for your time.
Felicia


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Brent

Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 11-12-2000 05:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You fine silverplated tea and coffee service was made by the Goldfeder Silverware Co. of Brooklyn, NY. The company was founded in 1932 and relocated to Yalesville, CT in 1957. At some point prior to then, the company changed its name to the Birmingham Silver Co.

Goldfeder obtained a similar trademark to yours in 1947, with the words SILVER ON COPPER replacing the G and S. As such, I would date your set to between 1932 and 1947.

It is a nice set of high quality silverplate. Use it in good health!

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Felicia
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iconnumber posted 11-12-2000 07:10 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow! Thank you! I was really surprised how quickly you responded! I am still curious, what do the first and last stamp stand for? I really appreciate your help with this!!

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Brent

Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 11-12-2000 10:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We aim to please!

The crown and the crossed keys are traditional icons associated with Sheffield, England, the "birthplace" of silver plating. The crown has always been the town mark for Sheffield, and it appears on both plated and sterling wares. I am not certain as to the significance of the crossed keys, but they appear in the trademarks of a number of English silverplaters.

In general, the use of these icons is part homage to the silver platers of the past, and part advertisement that these wares are "just as good" as English plate. The fact that Goldfeder made silverplate on copper, as opposed to the German silver or Britannia used as a base by most American platers, heightens the link to England.

Hope this helps. Feel free to post any other treasures you may unearth!

Brent

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Brent

Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 11-13-2000 02:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just a clarification, based on some information sent me by another reader. Both American and English platers often used German silver as a base metal, due to its strength in comparison to copper and britannia. Britannia, a pewter alloy, was used extensively as a base for holloware in the Victorian era, although high quality platers often used German silver as well. German silver is almost always the base metal for flatware.

Copper was fused with silver to produce the original Old Sheffield plate. Some 20th century manufacturers, both in England and the US, produced silver plate on a copper base, despite the weakness of the material. The appeal was pure snobbery, as far as I can tell. Plate on copper was regarded as "superior", because it evoked Old fused Sheffield plate, even though it was electroplate. Your set falls in this category.

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Felicia
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iconnumber posted 11-13-2000 10:48 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In regards to the weakness of the metal, what exactly does that mean? Do I need to exercise extra care when using and cleaning it?

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Brent

Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 11-14-2000 09:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sorry if I confused you! All I meant was that pure copper is a bit more dent-prone and fragile than German silver or Britannia. It isn't anything to worry too much about. You should exercise reasonable caution when using this set, though; if you drop it on a hard surface, it probably will dent.

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