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  Any info on this mark found on a silverplated candelabra?

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:   Any info on this mark found on a silverplated candelabra?
nautilusjv

Posts: 246
Registered: Nov 2008

iconnumber posted 12-20-2008 12:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nautilusjv     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
[26-1763]

This is a 4 arm candelabra that measures 16" tall. I am sure it is silverplate; it is in good condition with hardly any plate loss. In addition to the mark pictured here, the base of the candelabra is nicely engraved with the year "1884" and the initials "EMB". They appear to be original to the piece. Another site:



shows the mark as unidentified English, but I'm not sure. Any information on the maker would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

IP: Logged

FWG

Posts: 845
Registered: Aug 2005

iconnumber posted 12-20-2008 04:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FWG     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looks like the mark identified by Mappin as Horace Woodward & Co., Birmingham, 1876-1893 - which would fit with your engraved date.

IP: Logged

nautilusjv

Posts: 246
Registered: Nov 2008

iconnumber posted 12-21-2008 09:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nautilusjv     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you FWG; that's great to know. I have a few other Woodward pieces, but in sterling and from the London branch of the firm. I did not realize that they also made silverplate. My favorite piece is a 1912 salt. Thanks again.

IP: Logged

Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 12-22-2008 02:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Silverplate is frequently used when strength is desired. The strength can not come economically from sterling. To do this in sterling, at a price that is credible, would involve a thin sheet of sterling over some sort of form. Nice candle sticks.

IP: Logged

nautilusjv

Posts: 246
Registered: Nov 2008

iconnumber posted 12-22-2008 07:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for nautilusjv     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you Dale. That makes perfect sense.

Thanks again,

Kelly

IP: Logged

bascall

Posts: 1621
Registered: Nov 99

iconnumber posted 12-22-2008 08:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dale, concerning strength, it's all the more interesting that the trademark depicts that subject.

[This message has been edited by bascall (edited 12-22-2008).]

IP: Logged

Kimo

Posts: 1577
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 12-24-2008 09:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Strength is a practical reason why most objects such as these candlesticks are made out of silver plate. The other practical reason is cost - very few people could afford such large and heavy objects made out of solid sterling. When you do find them, some are still not solid sterling - they can be sheets of sterling filled with pitch or cement cores to give them weight a solidity.

IP: Logged

nautilusjv

Posts: 246
Registered: Nov 2008

iconnumber posted 12-27-2008 04:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nautilusjv     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you everyone for your replies. My candlesticks are actually weighted with I guess cement or pitch (it appears to be a whitish material) as Kimo says and I wonder if that might suggest that it is composed of a thin sheet of sterling over that material rather than silverplate. No marks on the candelabra indicates either one. I have not noticed any plate wear to the piece as well which could definitively identify it to be plate. Either way I love the piece and it looks splendid on my round dining room table.

IP: Logged

agphile

Posts: 798
Registered: Apr 2008

iconnumber posted 12-27-2008 05:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for agphile     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As this has been identified as being by a Birmingham maker but is without assay office marks, it must surely be plated. As you say, this does not detract from its appeal.

IP: Logged

nautilusjv

Posts: 246
Registered: Nov 2008

iconnumber posted 12-27-2008 05:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nautilusjv     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with you Agphile about it being plated. It was just interesting to me all the discussion about weighting a piece in order to save on the amount of silver used and the fact that my piece is indeed weighted. As I said in my last post, I just love the object.

IP: Logged

Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 12-27-2008 07:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Weighting performs a practical function also. Lighting devices with an open flame need to be bottom heavy to prevent them from tiping over and starting a fire. One proof of age in furniture is if has some fire or smoke damage.

IP: Logged

Kimo

Posts: 1577
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 12-30-2008 11:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Plate can also be found in weighted versopms to save even more on manufacturing costs to keep the objects' costs affordable for more people. Cement is less costly than putting enough copper alloy/base metal in the base of a candelabra to make it stable.

IP: Logged

nautilusjv

Posts: 246
Registered: Nov 2008

iconnumber posted 03-11-2009 06:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nautilusjv     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I thought this post might be an interesting addendum to the "story" of this candelabra. I recently bought The Meriden Britannia Silver-Plate Treasury, a catalog reprint from 1886-1887. Looking through the catalog, what do I find, but my exact candelabra.

In regards to this "match" I have learned from posts by Dale that it is the silverplate dies which are valuable rather than an intrinsic value to the item as in a piece of sterling and that these dies were bought and sold. Also, here I would cite his ideas of a unified style. In addition, I have learned that unplated wares were often sold in large numbers by big firms and then plated (with or without quality) by the purchaser from reading Rainwater's book on silverplate. Anyway, it is interesting to me that there is a connection between an English piece of silverplate by Horace Woodward and the American company, Meriden Britania. I do know that Meriden had a showroom in London.

I came across another example as well. A creamer I have marked Rogers and Bros. is listed in the Meriden catalog.

So, perhaps not an earth shattering post, but interesting to me as a new collector, nonetheless.

Thanks, Kelly

IP: Logged

Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1755
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 03-11-2009 07:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think a lot of the silver plate companies in the 19th century plagiarized bestselling designs from other makers. I have read of numerous patent infringement lawsuits. I think this is why some makers would stamp "PATENTED" etc. on their items, even if the patent was merely pending or even nonexistent.

My grandmother uses a set of junky old Rogers silver plate flatware, but the design is nearly identical to Gorham's popular Lancaster Rose pattern. I don't like the original pattern in the first place, but it is even worse using a crummy silver plate knockoff.

Given that and different companies/retailers marking the same items as their own, it is not surprising to find the same piece signed differently.

As for your candelabrum, it seems like a fairly traditional design, so it is not surprising to see multiple makers producing it. It would be interesting to compare your piece with the Meriden example in terms of quality.

Also interesting that the trademark used on your candelabrum resembles the shape of the British Registry mark. Maybe this was a tactic to imply the design was patented or to add some kind of cachet to the piece.

This is the British Registry mark:

IP: Logged

nautilusjv

Posts: 246
Registered: Nov 2008

iconnumber posted 03-11-2009 07:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nautilusjv     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Paul for your thoughts. You are right of course that the candelabrum is a traditional design. It seems to me that this relates to Dale's idea of a unified style, a piece that denotes "taste" and can have currency in different periods, transhistorical so to speak.

A comparision of quality if possible would be interesting. Rainwater talks about how a lack of government standards in terms of the amount of silver plated on a piece led to a wide range of quality of the unplated pieces sold to a variety of purchasers.

I also didn't mention in my last post that the Meriden piece had a price of $73 or $75
depending on finish. Does this seem incredibly high? On the same page the next most expensive candelabra is only $25 and of a similar size.

I like your reference to the British registry mark and the notion that it imbues the piece with a certain cachet. I too noticed the similarity as I also collect 19th English transferware, many with registry marks.

[This message has been edited by nautilusjv (edited 03-11-2009).]

IP: Logged

Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 03-11-2009 08:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rainwater alludes to a practice among silver makers, which strikes me as plausible, that many of the items made by the larger makers included parts made by small speciality companies. Having looked at many pieces, it is striking how the identical horse, squirrel, handle and finial can appear on many different maker's items. We know very little about these companies; we can infer their existance but not their names.

The jewelry trade today has people who work this way. They have a few items of their own creation they make as needed by others. And the high end lamp trade does the same thing. Somewhere there are finial makers turning out distinctive and interesting work. But we don't know who they are.

It is also possible that the dies for your candlelabra made a grand world tour over many decades. In fact they still may be doing so, as I believe I have seen this one recently in a jewelry store.

IP: Logged

Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 03-11-2009 08:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I found a Consumer Price Index for the period 1800 to 2003. In it 1967=100. The number for 1886 is 27. To establish the 1967 dollar equivelent, we multiply by 4 to get a price of $300.00 in that year. Which I suspect was a fair high end price for that year.

The kicker is that the number for 2003 is 552. Multiplying the 300 by 5.5 we get 1,750.00 as the current price for it in 1886 dollars. You can buy one much more cheaply than that now.

For fullness:
1800=51

1825=34

1850=25

1865=46

1875=33

1900=25

1925=52.5

1950=72.1

1975=161.4

IP: Logged

nautilusjv

Posts: 246
Registered: Nov 2008

iconnumber posted 03-11-2009 08:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nautilusjv     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow, thanks for figuring that out Dale. I wonder why it was such an expensive piece at the time. I certainly didn't pay almost $1,750 for the candelabra!

IP: Logged

Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1755
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 03-11-2009 09:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am not very knowledgeable about silver plate. I always assumed the larger companies (e.g. Meriden, Rogers, R&B) manufactured and plated all of their own wares in-house. I didn't think they might produce the base metal object only to be plated by somebody else. Was this a common practice for those companies?

IP: Logged

nautilusjv

Posts: 246
Registered: Nov 2008

iconnumber posted 03-11-2009 09:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nautilusjv     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rainwater states in American Silverplate that in the mid 1860's independent jobbers and retailers who did their own plating purchased two-thirds of the Reed and Barton factory output and marked them with their own trademarks. She doesn't mention what occured later on, but the Rogers & Bros. creamer I posted above I guess could be an example where Meriden sold them blanks. According to Rainwater in her Encyclopedia of American Silver Manufacturers Rogers & Bros. did not start making holloware until 1874. So, perhaps the practice continued.
Perhaps Dale knows more about this practice.

[This message has been edited by nautilusjv (edited 03-11-2009).]

IP: Logged

nautilusjv

Posts: 246
Registered: Nov 2008

iconnumber posted 03-11-2009 10:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nautilusjv     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So, I have a slightly different example of what we have been discussing. I have a spooner marked Rogers, Smith & Co. with a mark used between the early 1880's and 1918 according to Rainwater.

(This piece has subsequently been replated.)

Rainwater also informs us that Meriden Britania bought the holloware division of Rogers, Smith & Co. in 1863, but obviously the old trademark continued to be used. In the Meriden catalog reprint of 1886-87 there is a tete-a-tete set with the same motif of the dragonfly and the crab.

IP: Logged

Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 03-11-2009 11:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Silverplate companies had all sorts of practices that we know very little about. Many of the early silverplate firms had a background in pewter making. The thing to keep in mind is that silverplate is manufactured while sterling is crafted. Very different areas.

What is needed is to examine the receiving dock and accounts payable records of these firms. Which do not exist for Oneida or any of the IS companies.

So, what we can do is look at silverplate. And apply some general business practices to the subject. The principal expense for each individual unit was making the die or mold. The buildings, equipment and cyanide could be spread over a large production and would represent very little of the cost component of a finished item.

Die making is both an art and a science. There are firms that specialize in die making which makes it safe to posit that there always have been such firms. Considering that casting a brittania ware item in the die is a fairly simple process that can be done on a cook stove. So, it is real easy to see that there were die makers who also made and sold pieces. We just don't know much about it.

In its heyday, MB was a hi tech firm. And they had cost accountants. Who were able to come up with all the calculations that pointed to the most economical number to produce for any given item.

So, while sales might estimate a total demand of 150, cost was saying that 250 was the most economical. Being scientific, the company produces 250, uses 150 and sells 100 to another maker. Maybe they trade. This is a method of handling risk.

It is also rather clear that frequently pieces were assembled and not plated. Some were sold as pewter, some just waited for orders.

The dragonfly panel can be found with numerous marks, including AIR Pairpoint.

IP: Logged

nautilusjv

Posts: 246
Registered: Nov 2008

iconnumber posted 03-11-2009 11:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nautilusjv     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks again Dale for sharing your knowledge on this subject. Do you know or anyone else other good books on 19th century silverplate in addition to Rainwater?

[This message has been edited by nautilusjv (edited 03-12-2009).]

IP: Logged

Scott Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 11202
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 09-10-2015 03:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Early in this thread it mentions Horace Woodward & Co.
See also:

Here is another example:

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 - 2019 SM Publications
All Rights Reserved.
Legal & Privacy Notices