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Author Topic:   Newburyport Tea Service
iconnumber posted 03-21-2000 05:46 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have just inherited a four piece silver tea service with the following markings on each piece: Newburyport Silver Co. Tauton, Mass Quadruple 838. What does this mean? Is this of significant value?

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iconnumber posted 03-21-2000 11:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to Rainwater, The Newburyport Silver Company was located in Keene, New Hampshire, and was in business for only 10 years, 1904-1914. That said, Rogers Lunt and Bowlen, who bought out their stock, may have set up another firm of the same name in Taunton later on. Obviously there is still some research to do on this company.

"Quadruple" means quadruple plate, usually the highest grade of silver plate (i.e. the thickest coating of silver). Value will depend primarily on condition and design. The base metal is probably britannia, a high-grade pewter. If the plate is worn through, the base metal will appear as black areas which won't polish. Lots of wear will bring down the value considerably. The other factor is design. Unfortunately, 1904-1914 was not a great period for interesting design in silverplate; victorian plate is a lot more desirable.

So: If it is in good shape, and the design is not too plain, it has some value. If it is in bad condition the value will be less. Plate can be restored successfully, but it usually isn't worth it for plain pieces that aren't all that desirable anyway. Ho-hum plated tea sets are kind of a glut on the market, unfortunately, so unless your set is uncharacteristically attractive, it probably is not worth a whole lot of money.

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