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tline3open  Wilcox silver plate butter dish

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Author Topic:   Wilcox silver plate butter dish
andrea_mike
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iconnumber posted 08-31-2003 05:08 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have recently acquired a Wilcox Silverplate Co butter dish (I think). It is square with a lid and an insert with a hole in the middle. The marking is Wilcox Silverplate Co., quadruple plate, 3268. I am trying to find out any information I can. Thanks.

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 08-31-2003 06:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Have you tried the Silver Salon search function?
Search Silverplate Forum for Wilcox (click here)

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andrea_mike

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iconnumber posted 09-01-2003 11:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for andrea_mike     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

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Anuh

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iconnumber posted 09-01-2003 01:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Anuh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The pics really help. Do you have one of the dish with the lid removed, so that the insert shows? Have you tried cleaning the tarnish off this? Some of the really old pieces are virtually impossible to clean up to bright again, and that helps with dating. It is a matter of the type of plating done, from what I understand. Tarnish is damaging to silver, and is not considered desirable, and I know of no knowledgeable silver person who would tell you that it is patina and shouldn't be cleaned off! ;-D

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Anuh

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andrea_mike

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iconnumber posted 09-01-2003 07:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for andrea_mike     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here are some pictures of the inside. Picture quality is not as good. I have only cleaned the bottom of the piece so I could see the marking. Is it a butter dish? I saw another piece (slightly lower number pattern) that was round.

Does anyone know why it would be this shape?

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Anuh

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Registered: Jan 2003

iconnumber posted 09-02-2003 10:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Anuh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Definitely looks like a butter dish, and one made to accomodate the large l lb. squares of butter. The hooks on the front would have held a butter knife usually, so that you could cut off a piece of butter to set on your bread plate.

I believe that the insert is set so that you could put crushed/shaved ice under it. The hole would allow you to remove it when you cleaned up the table. I suspect, but can't prove, it to be turn of the century, give or take a few years.

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Anuh

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andrea_mike

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iconnumber posted 09-03-2003 07:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for andrea_mike     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for your reply. Are there any other places that I can research this type of information (internet, book, etc)? I have not been able to find much hard data about the manufacturer

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Anuh

Posts: 190
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iconnumber posted 09-03-2003 10:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Anuh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are a couple of paragraphs about Wilcox Silver Plate Co. in Encyclopedia of American Silver Manufacturers by Rainwater and Redfield. They also show a variety of Wilcox marks, and you might want to try your library to see if they have a copy you could look at.

One of the big problems that silver collectors have (and this seems to be even more of a problem when dealing with silverplate) is that there is a real dearth of information about company products, dates of release, pattern names, etc. The flatware area has been pretty much covered but I have yet to see a book that is as complete when talking of holloware pieces. You may well have a problem finding much.

If anyone knows of a book that covers these things thoroughly, I think we all need to know what it is! ;-D

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Anuh

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Paul Lemieux

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iconnumber posted 09-03-2003 11:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In the second picture you posted (of the marks), there is a patent date below the manufacturer's mark. I can't quite tell what the year is, as the mark is poorly stamped or worn. It appears to say 85 (for 1885). This is consistent with the circa date I would have given it--1885-1895. The only other possibility is '35 (1935) which doesn't sound quite right.

As for why your piece is square instead of round, suspect that was just one of the design choices the company offered, depending on individual taste. The 1880s were never known for a lack of choices in silverware design. Also, one shape or design might go better with some flatware patterns. This square design with the ribbed top would go well with Gorham's 1880s Colonial pattern, for example.

There are a few resources for old silverplate. Such as Rainwater's American Silverplate. I don't own this, but if I recall, it has numerous old catalog pages reprinted and also some text information. I imagine it identifies a lot of forms and makers. Catalog reprints can be helpful too. You might be able to find a copy of the 1896 Marshall Field & Co reprint, which illustrates numerous pieces of silverplate along with a lot of jewelry, clocks, and lower end sterling. These reprints are great for identifying piece types and pinning down circa dates.

But what kind of information, specifically, were you looking for? If you're looking for info on Wilcox, I don't know how much luck you will have, outside of what is published in Rainwater and other references.

[This message has been edited by Paul Lemieux (edited 09-04-2003).]

[This message has been edited by Paul Lemieux (edited 09-04-2003).]

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andrea_mike

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iconnumber posted 09-04-2003 02:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for andrea_mike     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the responses. I am not looking for any specific information, I'm just trying to find out what I can. My father enjoys going to auctions and frequently brings home pieces like this that he paid a dollar for. I'm trying to compile the information that I find for each piece I look up. I will have to get a copy of the Encyclopedia that you mentioned.

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