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Author Topic:   Bailey & Co Butter Dish?
nukfish

Posts: 13
Registered: Oct 2016

iconnumber posted 10-29-2016 02:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nukfish     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just picked up and old silver dish from Bailey and Co. I know its from the mid 1800s but cannot tell exactly what it is. Similar dishes were called butter dishes but I could not find the one I have.
Also can someone tell me if it is silver or silver plate?
I posted a few pictures but don't know how to link them to this post.

Thanks for any help.
Perry

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agleopar

Posts: 850
Registered: Jun 2004

iconnumber posted 10-29-2016 05:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for agleopar     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Welcome nukfish/Perry,

This forum is volunteer driven and therefor the regulars, those that have posted for a long time do not necessarily jump to answering questions. We all love silver and are extremely interested in it. Most have seen more than you or I can imagine.

It is worth trying to sort out the images so we can at least see what you are asking about. Otherwise without seeing the marks and style it is almost impossible.

Also while your at it introduce yourself and let us know that you are not just wanting info to use to sell.

You already know that you have an attractive piece made by a great company and we'd love to enjoy it and discuss it with you.

Good luck!

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nukfish

Posts: 13
Registered: Oct 2016

iconnumber posted 10-30-2016 10:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for nukfish     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you for the reply Agloepar.
I'm not sure I'm doing it correct but below are the images I uploaded. I'll try it and see if it works.

I've been collecting a long time. I like garage sales because you never know what you are going to find. The most fun is researching what you found. Some times it is fairly simple (like having Bailey & Co makers mark on the item) but even then I know only some things about the dish.

Thanks in advance for any responses.

Perry


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nukfish

Posts: 13
Registered: Oct 2016

iconnumber posted 10-30-2016 10:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for nukfish     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, one image came through, let me try the others separately.

Perry


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nukfish

Posts: 13
Registered: Oct 2016

iconnumber posted 10-30-2016 10:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for nukfish     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
OK here is the last one. I have a bet with my son if it is actually a butter dish.

Perry


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agleopar

Posts: 850
Registered: Jun 2004

iconnumber posted 10-30-2016 12:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for agleopar     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good job with the images! If it is small under 8-6" then yes I think it is a butter dish with a grate for ice maybe. Polish it up it will look great!

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ahwt

Posts: 2309
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 10-30-2016 01:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bailey and Co. were located a 136 Chestnut in Philadelphia from 1846 to 1859 and they introduced the Lion S Shield mark in 1855. This mark was used for sterling quality silver items and often had a larger lion passant mark with it. While worn I think these are the marks on your butter dish. Your dish was probably made between 1855 and 1859.
They moved the company to 819 Chestnut in 1859 so after 1859 they most likely quit using the old address on their silver.
Enjoy your wonderful old butter disk, but I does not have to be used just for butter.

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ahwt

Posts: 2309
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 10-30-2016 01:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I should add that the information I gave above came from Catherine Hollan's book "Philadelphia Silversmiths and Related Artisans to 1861". Ms. Holland is one the leading writers and researchers of American silver of our time.

[This message has been edited by ahwt (edited 10-30-2016).]

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asheland

Posts: 935
Registered: Nov 2003

iconnumber posted 10-31-2016 10:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for asheland     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's a splendid find!
Welcome to the forum. smile

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nukfish

Posts: 13
Registered: Oct 2016

iconnumber posted 10-31-2016 11:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for nukfish     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for all the help!

I as curious as to the best way to clean this piece with all the intricate details?
I checked the forum but there were a number ways for different variations of materials.

Perry

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Kimo

Posts: 1620
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 10-31-2016 11:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Use an old and very soft 100 percent pure cotton cloth or rag and some high quality silver polish paste or liquid. Do not, repeat, do not dip it in a liquid dip. There are two main reasons to not use a dip: 1) liquid dips have a chemical in them called thiourea that is cancer causing; 2) liquid dips remove all of the tarnish from everywhere including the tiny crevices and the result makes the object look like it was made yesterday so you will have removed all of the patina that makes old silver so nice to look at. You really do want the dark tarnish in the crevices.

Next, do not, repeat do not use a buffing wheel on it as that will cause a fair amount of damage by removing silver and details in the designs. Hand polish only.

If you do a search here on how to polish silver you will find some great recommendations on which silver polishes are the best ones to use.

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nukfish

Posts: 13
Registered: Oct 2016

iconnumber posted 10-31-2016 11:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for nukfish     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, I wondered what to do with all the cracks and crevices. I didn't think about it but leaving them dark will make it stand out more.

Perry

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nukfish

Posts: 13
Registered: Oct 2016

iconnumber posted 10-31-2016 11:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for nukfish     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
as you may see in the picture, the one edge of the dish off shape. Should I try to flatten it, or leave as is?
If I should flatten what is the best way?
My thought were to put it upside down on a flat cushioned surface and simply push down on that side to align the edge?

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nukfish

Posts: 13
Registered: Oct 2016

iconnumber posted 10-31-2016 09:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nukfish     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Butter Dish After Polishing


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Scott Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 11504
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 10-31-2016 10:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looks very nice. I also suspect you might have used a "dip". The reason for my suspicion is much of the shadowing which gives such a piece dimension seems to have been minimized.

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nukfish

Posts: 13
Registered: Oct 2016

iconnumber posted 11-01-2016 08:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for nukfish     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I actually used Wrights silver cream which was recommended in the forum. I only used a cotton rag specifically so I would not impact the deeper crevices and marks.

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Scott Martin
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Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 11-01-2016 09:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I stand corrected.

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asheland

Posts: 935
Registered: Nov 2003

iconnumber posted 11-01-2016 09:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for asheland     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wright's silver cream is what I use, too. Well done. It looks terrific!

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ahwt

Posts: 2309
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 11-01-2016 02:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looks great. When your butter dish was new butter was often formed in round balls. Half of one of these butter balls would fit nicely in your dish.
You may be able to straighten the lid for your dish, but I would consider taking it to a silversmith. It is all about knowing exactly where to put pressure.

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nukfish

Posts: 13
Registered: Oct 2016

iconnumber posted 11-01-2016 02:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nukfish     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks ahwt! Yes I figured that out and was trying to explain to my son butter didn't always come in sticks in the old days (my era).
I flexed it a little but am a little gun shy about working on something this old and I assume somewhat valuable. I'll probably leave as is.

perry

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Vetdaddy

Posts: 70
Registered: Feb 2016

iconnumber posted 11-01-2016 11:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Vetdaddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice!! What a difference the polishing makes...thanks for the before and after pics. From here I would suggest letting it darken a bit, then lightly polish the raised areas. You should be able to achieve the intended contrast over time.

As to the repair- IMHO a silversmith or bust. I have learned the hard way to defer the work to the professionals. Is a repair mandatory...personal opinion.

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nukfish

Posts: 13
Registered: Oct 2016

iconnumber posted 11-02-2016 08:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for nukfish     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Its funny in reading about the Wrights cream they said it would take more work to polish it. But you can't tell how much tarnish is coming off until it is too late, then you got to match the rest.
The lightly polish a little at a time seems a better approach

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June Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 1298
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 11-02-2016 08:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for June Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great job on the polishing and providing the before and after photos. What a wonderful find! And welcome to the forums.

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Kimo

Posts: 1620
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 11-03-2016 12:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It looks great. Silver was made to be used and I hope you use this often on your dining table. The more you use silver the less it needs polishing. Also, should you store it it would be best kept in a silvercloth bag which will keep it from tarnishing. Also, when storing it, keep it away from anything with rubber in it, including rubber bands, as rubber contains Sulphur and a slight gas forms near it which will cause tarnish in any silver that is nearby. The same for keeping it away from a gas stove as slight amounts of natural gas will do the same thing.

By the way, you can make your own butter (or margarine if you must) half balls or even fancier forms to serve in this. All you need is a mold, even a fancy one, that you would use for muffin making or mini-bundt cake making or whatever will fit in your butter dish, let your butter (or margarine) sit out for a bit to get soft, press it in the mold and put the mold in the fridge to firm it up, then just before serving put the bottom part of the mold in warm water for a few seconds to make it come out easily and presto you have a beautiful mound of butter in your beautiful butter dish.

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nukfish

Posts: 13
Registered: Oct 2016

iconnumber posted 11-03-2016 01:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nukfish     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for all the replies and information. It is beautiful but would look funny on my dinning room table with the paper plates all around it :-)

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 11-03-2016 02:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
FWIW --

Antique butter molds come in all shapes and sizes...


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Kimo

Posts: 1620
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iconnumber posted 11-03-2016 03:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is beautiful but would look funny on my dinning room table with the paper plates all around it :)

I think it would look great if you made it a start towards eventually having an all silver and china and crystal dining room table. You could tell everyone that this is the first step in a long journey to change the table and bring everyone up in class. Add one new piece of flatware or hollowware every so often such as on special occasions, birthdays, Thanksgivings, etc. Make it a family event that everyone can enjoy watching it unfold and perhaps even contributing to as the years go by. Make some family memories that you can eventually pass down to your children or grandchildren.

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Kimo

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iconnumber posted 11-03-2016 03:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Scott's photos of antique butter molds are great. They are not hard to find at antique malls and shows and you can start by buying maybe just one and perhaps adding more as time goes by.

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nukfish

Posts: 13
Registered: Oct 2016

iconnumber posted 11-03-2016 03:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nukfish     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
yes I did like the butter molds. I have see something similar before but did not know what it was. I've already been thinking it would be something nice to display with the dish.
I seldom go to antique stores being cheap as I am. I used to go to Flea Markets but never go to the permanent booths. Surprising enough there is not much good in the way of Flea Markets here in ATL so I mainly do Garage sales. I do find some interesting pieces. Some I sell, some I keep. I figured I'd sell this to start with but after the research and polishing it up it would be hard to sell. Now I have to find pieces to go with it.

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ahwt

Posts: 2309
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 11-04-2016 07:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nutfish, You may enjoy going to Scott's Antique Market in Atlanta. A couple of thousand dealers from all over set up the second weekend of every month. They open midday on Thursday and close on Sunday. The range of things for sale is pretty broad so there really is something for everyone including lots of silver.
Also the dealers really do like to talk about their wares, so if you see something interesting ask the dealer to tell you what he knows about it. It is a great place to increase you knowledge.

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 11-04-2016 01:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You might look for a hand crank butter churn...Make your own butter biggrin

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Lycoris

Posts: 22
Registered: Apr 2022

iconnumber posted 04-16-2022 01:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lycoris     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by agleopar:
Good job with the images! If it is small under 8-6" then yes I think it is a butter dish with a grate for ice maybe.

Hi Agleopar (rawr)!

The grate is not for ice, but rather to allow the butter to "drain" and to catch condensation.

Homemade fresh butter contains a great deal of whey, and despite best efforts (wringing out in cheesecloth, pressing in a butter mold), it will continue to seep out of the butter, thus making it watery. And a puddle of watery whey surrounding your butter is just not DONE!

People were not exactly conscientious about food safety back in the day, and butter is much easier to use when room temperature, so they didn't bother to keep it chilled. At most, it was stored in a root cellar to delay rancidity.

Additionally, if they had wanted to put the butter on ice, they wouldn't have needed holes between the butter and the ice, as solid metal would transfer the heat from the butter to the ice better without holes.

We keep a stick of butter in a butter dish at room temperature to spread on things, and it doesn't go off for at least a month.

Scott Martin,

While that device definitely works, you don't need any special tools to make your own butter.

If anyone wants to try making their own fresh butter, it is extremely simple and only takes a few minutes.

HOW TO MAKE BUTTER

1. Get a pint of heavy cream and a clean quart-sized Mason jar.

2. Pour the cream in the jar and close the lid TIGHTLY. (If you want salted butter, add a bit of salt to taste to the cream. You can add other DRY ingredients to flavor the butter if you like.)

3. Find a bored child, and tell them to shake the jar until it starts to make a "clunking" sound. (10 to 15 minutes maybe? Who needs a "Shake Weight" when you can make BUTTER??)

4. Keep shaking the jar for a couple of minutes more until you can see that all the butter has collected in a nice ball.

5. Strain and enjoy your fresh, homemade, unsalted and unadulterated butter! I love it on saltines.

6. ALTERNATE METHOD: Put the cream in a KitchenAid mixer with the whisk attachment and beat until you have butter (start on low to minimize splatter). You'll have to scrape a bunch off the sides of the bowl, but this isn't nearly the workout of the other method.

The easiest way to make little balls of butter for a more formal presentation is to use a small ice cream/baker's scoop dipped in hot water. You can then roll the balls on the surface of a fork (like gnocchi) or a nutmeg or cheese grater to texturize them if you like.

There are also tools to make pretty butter curls.

You can even buy pre-made butter balls, but you have to buy them in bulk, as their main market is the foodservice industry.

These days, I can't imagine anyone objecting to lovely fresh butter in a giant lump served in such a beautiful dish! Now all you need is a lovely master butter knife, and you'll be all set, paper plates or no! ;-)

------------------
Lycoris >^..^<

[This message has been edited by Lycoris (edited 04-16-2022).]

[This message has been edited by Lycoris (edited 04-16-2022).]

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 04-16-2022 02:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Manufacturers often reinvented how to use silver or what it was used for.

For example the pickle fork form was made lighter and then reintroduced as a pie/cake/pastry fork.

So the early and newer butter dishes might be identical but their use description might differ.

Now to find a mason jar and an idle small child.... smile

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Silverpath

Posts: 66
Registered: Jun 2020

iconnumber posted 04-18-2022 11:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Silverpath     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Lycoris,

Interesting post. The technique for making butter sounds great!

A contemporary patent application refers to the use of ice in covered butter dishes, also called butter coolers. It describes placing the ice above the pierced liner with the butter so that water from the melting ice drained into the reservoir in the base.

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Lycoris

Posts: 22
Registered: Apr 2022

iconnumber posted 04-19-2022 12:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lycoris     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Silverpath:
A contemporary patent application refers to the use of ice in covered butter dishes, also called butter coolers. It describes placing the ice above the pierced liner with the butter so that water from the melting ice drained into the reservoir in the base.

Fascinating! I wouldn’t have thought of that approach to chilling things.

I wonder if this was more about indicating wealth and status (due to the expense/extravagance of ice) than anything else.

------------------
Lycoris >^..^<

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Scott Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 11504
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 04-20-2022 03:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote




[This message has been edited by Scott Martin (edited 04-20-2022).]

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Silverpath

Posts: 66
Registered: Jun 2020

iconnumber posted 04-20-2022 09:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Silverpath     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, Scott !
Mr. Stimpson's butter cooler patent was the example I was thinking of.

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Lycoris

Posts: 22
Registered: Apr 2022

iconnumber posted 04-20-2022 11:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lycoris     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I hope no one ever turns Mr. Smith's invention on edge after the ice has melted. I suspect they would be inviting a very wet mess, as no gasket appears to be included in the design, so I am skeptical of the patency of its "hermetic" seal, especially after the ice within has chilled and contracted the metal!

Mr. Stimpson seems to have invented a butter proto-Thermos!

------------------
Lycoris >^..^<

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