SMP Logo
SM Publications
Silver Salon Forums - The premier site for discussing Silver.
SMP | Silver Salon Forums | SSF - Guidelines | SSF - FAQ | Silver Sales

The Silver Salon Forums
Since 1993
Over 11,793 threads & 64,769 posts !!
Silverplate Forum
How to Post Photos REGISTER (click here)

customtitle open  SMP Silver Salon Forums
tlineopen  Silverplate Forum
tline3open  French Silverplaters in the 1800s to 1900's

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

ForumFriend SSFFriend: Email This Page to Someone! next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   French Silverplaters in the 1800s to 1900's

Posts: 3
Registered: Aug 2004

iconnumber posted 08-15-2004 05:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tiktik     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Two questions:
1) Outside of Christofle and Ercuis, can someone supply a list (or additional names) of the manufacturers of Silverplate and their marks that were active in the 1800's and 1900's?

2) What were the mandatory French Assay regulation marks on SP since it was first introduced? Nothing is mentioned on SP in my Tardy.

Thanks to all who respond.

IP: Logged

iconnumber posted 08-15-2004 10:29 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
1. Christofle introduced electroplated silver wares to France in 1842. During the Restoration of the French monarchy, King Louis XVIII had Emperor Napoleon's famous vermeil silver service by Biennais melted down and replaced it with a huge electroplated service by Christofle. Suddenly it became acceptable to own silverplate, and attractive tableware became accessible to a larger percentage of the population. Soon most silver makers also were producing silverplate, sometimes offering the same flatware pattern in either silver or silverplate! The companies that made silverplate items only were the button makers. There were hundreds of silver makers in France until the late 1920's, when the world economic situation began to thin out their ranks. The advent of WW II when France was an occupied country dried up the supply of silver as well as demand, and most French makers closed their doors for good. I don't know of any published list of all the 19th and 20th Century makers who made silverplate. Many someone else can help you here.
2. I'm not sure I understand your second question. As silverplate is a base metal covered with a coating of silver, it cannot be assayed. If you're asking whether the French government controls or guarantees the thickness or quality of the silver coating on silverplate, the answer is sort of. A brief overview: a law in 1797 implicitly recognized a maker's right to make silverplated wares by suggesting 2 possible marks: either the maker's mark in a square or the maker's name spelled out in a rectangle with the word plaque or double depending on the technique of manufacture. These marks did not carry a government guarantee as did items made of silver. A decree in 1860 stated that all plated wares no matter the method of manufacture had to have a square maker's mark. Makers generally used the same mark as that on their silver objects; just the shape of the mark was different - a square rather than a lozenge shape. Another mark indicating the number of grams of silver used in plating the piece was optional, and needless to say most makers omitted this. Since 1983 the situation has tightened up. Silverplated items must have a square maker's mark with either the number I or II in the square indicating the minimal average thickness of the silver coating expressed in microns. But this is a very loose guarantee of quality because items marked I can have silver from 10 to 33 microns thick depending on the type of object, and items marked II can have silver from 6 to 20 microns thick. There are many nuances to this general outline of marks on French silverplate. Hope this helps.

IP: Logged


Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 08-24-2004 12:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Makers in Italy and Spain and Latin America frequently followed the French style in marking their wares. I have had a number of pieces I thought were French silverplate only to discover they had been made in Other Latin speaking countries. So this both expands the world of French style silverplate and makes it more confusing. Recently had a set of plate that looked for all the world to be French, totally wonderful, but came with a firm provenance in Italy.

IP: Logged

All times are ET

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.46a

1. Public Silver Forums (open Free membership) - anyone with a valid e-mail address may register. Once you have received your Silver Salon Forum password, and then if you abide by the Silver Salon Forum Guidelines, you may start a thread or post a reply in the New Members' Forum. New Members who show a continued willingness to participate, to completely read and abide by the Guidelines will be allowed to post to the Member Public Forums.
Click here to Register for a Free password

2. Private Silver Salon Forums (invitational or $ donation membership) - The Private Silver Salon Forums require registration and special authorization to view, search, start a thread or to post a reply. Special authorization can be obtained in one of several ways: by Invitation; Annual $ Donation; or via Special Limited Membership. For more details click here (under development).

3. Administrative/Special Private Forums (special membership required) - These forums are reserved for special subjects or administrative discussion. These forums are not open to the public and require special authorization to view or post.

| Home | Order | The Guide to Evaluating Gold & Silver Objects | The Book of Silver
| Update BOS Registration | Silver Library | For Sale | Our Wants List | Silver Dealers | Speakers Bureau |
| Silversmiths | How to set a table | Shows | SMP | Silver News |
copyright © 1993 - 2022 SM Publications
All Rights Reserved.
Legal & Privacy Notices