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Author Topic:   Identification Help Needed

Posts: 4
Registered: Jan 2019

iconnumber posted 01-06-2019 08:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for WMKeck     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My name is Martin.

I volunteer for a county historical society in Western Pennsylvania. One of my duties is to inventory and research donations made to the society.

A recent donation included the candle wick trimmer shown in the photo.It looks to be silver plate but I'm not sure due to my limited knowledge of silver.

I have searched numerous sites on the internet but can not identify the marks or maker. The marks are shown vertical in the photo (my uploading mistake) but are horizontal on the trimmer. The first letter of the four appears to be an "S" but also may be a "B" or an "8". I believe the center mark is a pineapple which would be lying on it's side in the horizontal on the trimmer.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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June Martin
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Posts: 1223
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 01-07-2019 08:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for June Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Welcome to the forums. I don't recognize the marks on your piece, but hopefully some other member will be able to help.

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Posts: 1597
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 01-14-2019 11:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm stumped also. Are you sure they are silver plated or silver? It is really hard to tell much from an internet photo but my first reaction to the photo as it appears on my monitor is to think it might be pewter?

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Posts: 4
Registered: Jan 2019

iconnumber posted 01-14-2019 10:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for WMKeck     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Sorry about the quality of the photograph. The trimmer needs a good cleaning so appears to be darker. A member of the historical society who is a pewter collector looked at the trimmer and said it is not pewter. The donation contained 2 silver plate pieces and 1 sterling silver piece in addition to the trimmer.

Thank you for your interest in helping to identify this piece.

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Posts: 11
Registered: Dec 2017

iconnumber posted 10-22-2019 05:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for pewter2     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
a belated reply regarding your candle wick trimmer

SALT was a cutler located at Hollis Street Sheffield (UK) operating from 1787 as a cutler.......your trimmer is finished by a process called close plating. This allowed for a silver finish on items made from steel to compliment silver items. this was a process adopted prior to the electroplating process being developed circa 1840, This trimmer would have been accompanied by a sterling silver or Old Sheffield Plate (fused plate) tray and not necessarily made by same maker. Strict rules governed trades.

The process involved applying a coating of tin over a flux of borax over the item then a thin layer of sterling silver was applied to the tinned surface and a hot iron was run over the silver foil, thus melting the tin and subsequentialy fusing the silver to the item ......the final process was to burnish the surface. Quite often the rosette was made in straight silver.....hoping this assists in description and processes.


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Posts: 4
Registered: Jan 2019

iconnumber posted 10-27-2019 10:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for WMKeck     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you for your reply. The information you supplied will be helpful in doing further research on the candle wick trimmer.

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Rifles & Relics

Posts: 3
Registered: Dec 2019

iconnumber posted 01-16-2020 07:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rifles & Relics     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great reply Pewter2.

Did anyone notice the “SALT” hallmark stamps were two different punches?

The edges are slightly different and the one mark has a “Y” sideways across the S. I can also discern a J cut into the face of another letter. These could possibly be additional info concerning apprentices in the shop they came from. The raised area around the screw may also be more than it appears to be.

Pewter2 probably provided enough info for your purpose of identification and this is more of a curiosity than anything else, but can you post a higher resolution photo of each stamp and the raised area around the screw?

I think this is a good example of the lengths the smiths would go to to insure their work wasn’t easily counterfeited. Two different stamps that include more info than a few letters.

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Posts: 400
Registered: May 2008

iconnumber posted 04-04-2020 05:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hose_dk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
items made by this method is, today, as interesting as pieces made of silver.

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Posts: 11
Registered: Dec 2017

iconnumber posted 04-04-2020 09:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for pewter2     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello again....the information I previously provided is correct and refers to the process of close plating. The finish that you are confused about regarding pewter appearance is primarily because the process of close plating involves the tinning of the surface ( with tin) to allow for the bonding of thin silver foil through heating surface to allow the silver film to bond with the tin ( similar to a soldering process) (As an aside solder is an alloy of tin and lead)

When all the silver surface has , in this case been removed by obvious over polishing it reveals the tin film which over time tarnishes as this has occurred, thus giving a pewter appearance. The rosette covering hinge area consists of a silver outer portion filled with a lead/tin filled hollow and subsequently soldered to surface.

Now guess what.....pewter is an alloy of tin. and that is why it appears dull through oxidation.
The trimmer itself was made by SALT as noted in previous correspondence, marks obviously mistruck to appear as an 8 it is SALT . refer to many references.... Bradbury, Wiler, Wiley, and/ or Jacksons for verification of this makers marks.

The trimmer itself is made from steel and the close plating process was utilised to coordinate / match with a silver or old sheffield plate snuffer tray, that may be your next search to complete set.

Mentioned above is the term Old Sheffield Plate...this is a different process, often referred to as Fused Plate.. a process invented prior to the electro plating process . 1740 to 1840 approximately.. as opposed to the electro plating process invented after 1840 ....if you need more information regarding any of the above don't hesitate to ask..

I hope this additional information further convinces you of the methods used to make your candle wick TRIMMER..(not a snuffer). (I had to edit my incorrectly used term of snuffer) aaahgh slap my hand I won't do that again..

[This message has been edited by pewter2 (edited 04-04-2020).]

[This message has been edited by Scott Martin (edited 04-04-2020).]

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Posts: 847
Registered: Jun 2004

iconnumber posted 04-06-2020 04:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for agleopar     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you for the great description. Have you tried to do it?
I always thought it was electroplating and if I had thought it out would have realized that all these steel items were pre 1840...
It is such a satisfying solution to the problem.

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Posts: 11
Registered: Dec 2017

iconnumber posted 04-06-2020 04:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for pewter2     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Glad to be involved Angleopar.... regards ..pewter2


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