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Author Topic:   Barbour Bros 5 pc set

Posts: 3
Registered: Aug 2013

iconnumber posted 08-22-2013 09:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for pepperlea     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote


I am a total novice when it comes to silver collecting. The most experience I have comes from what seemed at the time to be endless hours of polishing my grandmothers silver. This was her version of "time out" I suppose.

I am a regular at local salvation army, goodwill, and other local thrift shops. I love finding odd or random pieces and giving them new life. I recently came across a beautiful silver tea service. It was filthy and had a couple of dents, but just too unique too pass up.

Once I got it home and cleaned up I found markings on the bottom of the pieces and wanted to try and find out a little more about it. The stamp reads, Barbour Bros Co Quadruple Plate 992.

I have found a few pieces that match it in online searches, but no complete sets. I have also found very little information on the Barbour Bros Co. I know they eventually became a part of International Silver, but no real information found on pieces before that time.

I would really just like some information on approximate age and history.

Any help would be appreciated!

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Scott Martin
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Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 08-27-2013 10:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

What do you do with your finds from the "local salvation army, goodwill, and other local thrift shops"?

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Registered: Aug 2013

iconnumber posted 08-27-2013 04:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for pepperlea     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As most of my family and friends would say, I love to give homemade gifts. Most of the items I find get up cycled or re-purposed into something new. Most recently I've been gathering up random plates and saucers, pairing them up with a brass or ceramic candlestick, and voila', a cake plate or compote that can be filled up with yummy treats. As I said in my original post, I don't usually pick up silver pieces, much less whole sets, but this one was just to unique and pretty to pass on. There are a few scratches and dents, and the largest pot didn't shine up as much as the other pieces, but I still really like.

Also, it looks like the tray has a different maker stamp on it. Middletown Plate Co? I will add a picture of it as well.

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iconnumber posted 08-27-2013 08:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I like your repurposing and gifting, Pepperlea. Too often these beautiful objects are discarded when people discover they are not silver and are silver plate instead. I think that some silver plate objects are actually more aesthetically pleasing than some not so artistic objects of solid silver. This tea set is such an example where the maker obviously put much thought and work into making it very attractive.

When you clean silver plate, be sure to use only non-abrasive cleaner and find a really, soft and worn piece of white cotton such as an old worn out t-shirt or even underwear. Never scrub, just gently polish and be sure to leave all of the darkness in the crevices and nooks as it will give the design its patina and three dimensional look. If you rub too hard or try to use a buffing machine or use harsh cleaners you can wind up polishing off the silver plating which is unfortunate.

Often trays were from different makers than tea sets. I am not sure why. Also, tea sets these days need good homes as all too many were saved combined with the sad fact that today too few people have the grace and elegance to use them when company comes over.

To add a bit about the maker, Barbour Brothers - they were in business in New Haven, Connecticut starting around 1881 or 1882 and made silver plated wares until about 1892 when they were renamed the Barbour Silver Company. In 1898 they were one of a number of companies that were combined together to form the famous International Silver Company. The obvious thought then is that your nice tea set would have been made between 1882 and 1892, but that is not necessarily the case since it was the practice of the International Silver Company to continue to use the markings of the companies that it absorbed and in the case of Barbour I understand that International Silver used Barbour markings until 1931. From the design of your tea set my guess is that it would more likely have been from the earlier days than the later ones of the use of Barbour markings but I do not have old catalogs and such to check to be sure. Maybe someone else her might have those.

[This message has been edited by Kimo (edited 08-27-2013).]

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