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Author Topic:   Three mystery flatware patterns
Sue M

Posts: 10
Registered: Aug 2019

iconnumber posted 09-17-2019 05:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Sue M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In my silver plate and sterling flatware collection are three pieces that I cannot identify the manufacturer for. Does anyone recognize one of these?

The first appears to be an individual dinner fork, 8 1/8” in length, with a raised asymmetric design on the handle, including oak leaves, which is identical on the front and back. I’ve nicknamed it the Russian Fork because the mark on the back of the neck includes a backward “N”.

The second is a cake server, 10 1/8” in length. The only mark is something like an old English T or J and STERLING on the side of the handle. The mark is so teeny, tiny that I thought it was a faint scratch in the silver until I took a macro photo of it!

The third is a teaspoon. 5 ½” in length, with a lily of the valley pattern on the handle. The only marks are STERLING and a G on the back of the neck.

Thank you for your help!

[This message has been edited by Scott Martin (edited 09-17-2019).]

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Sue M

Posts: 10
Registered: Aug 2019

iconnumber posted 09-17-2019 05:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Sue M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I did pretty good for a first post including photos, except I put the second photo up twice! Here are the marks on the back of my Russian Fork:

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Sue M

Posts: 10
Registered: Aug 2019

iconnumber posted 09-17-2019 06:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Sue M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, Scott. I had a notion you'd come along and find a more elegant way to get me out of my jam. And just now, searching around for how to enter this reply, I found the icon for editing my own post! Next mistake, I'll be well prepared. biggrin

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dragonflywink

Posts: 975
Registered: Dec 2002

iconnumber posted 09-17-2019 09:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello and welcome.

The Rococo-inspired fork is Soviet era Russian nickel silver/melchior, МHЦ = Медь/Никель/Цинк (copper/nickel/zinc), can't help with the factory or dating.

The sterling handle server is Towle's 'Louis XIV' pattern, introduced in 1924.

The lily of the valley spoon was made by F.S. Gilbert (1899-1913), the design was acid-etched and it was most likely marketed as a 'birth flower' souvenir spoon.

~Cheryl

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ahwt

Posts: 2173
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 09-17-2019 09:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is amazing Cheryl.

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Sue M

Posts: 10
Registered: Aug 2019

iconnumber posted 09-19-2019 12:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Sue M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you, Dragon Fly!

I think you are right about the lily of the valley being a souvenir spoon because I bought it with a number of other souvenir spoons from the same dealer.

The info on the Russian piece is really cool to know! I wonder if some traveler to the USSR took a chance and brought it back in her purse. . . I will fish around a bit, to see if there's anything out there re. the manufacturer.

Thanks again!

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ahwt

Posts: 2173
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 09-19-2019 10:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some how I have lived my whole life without knowing that there were birth flowers months and that the flowers for England are somewhat different than the flowers for the US.

Lily of the valley happens to represent May in both systems.
The F.S. Gilbert spoon is a lovely example.

[This message has been edited by Scott Martin (edited 09-20-2019).]

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dragonflywink

Posts: 975
Registered: Dec 2002

iconnumber posted 09-20-2019 07:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Lily of the valley is my birth flower, though I loved the pretty things before I even learned that - my first souvenir spoon was Whiting's popular 'Lily of the Valley' (a full-line pattern introduced in 1885), the bowl etched with a view of Joliet Penitentiary. Have dozens of lily of the valley spoons, including this one, which is quite well-done and not particularly common, can't recall running across any other flowers (though I'm usually looking for lilies of the valley), so am not sure that it is part of a birth flower series...

~Cheryl

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Sue M

Posts: 10
Registered: Aug 2019

iconnumber posted 09-20-2019 02:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Sue M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It boggles my mind, the diversity of places, things, and events that were chosen for commemoration with a souvenir spoon! It speaks to what a national collecting rage they were in the day.

I don't recall ever seeing one of these plants, which seems incredible to me because I love flowers and visit gardens and arboretums wherever I travel. They aren't native to my state, though apparently they can be grown here, so perhaps they never caught on.

My first introduction to them was last month when I purchased this spoon and, in trying to identify it, came across other patterns named "Lily of the Valley." I am another one born in May who never realized I have a birth flower.

They are a lovely choice for representation in silver, I must say!

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dragonflywink

Posts: 975
Registered: Dec 2002

iconnumber posted 09-20-2019 05:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Where do you live, Sue? Lilies of the valley grew like weeds at my childhood homes in Kansas and Illinois, they have a lovely sweet scent, and look beautiful in floral arrangements and bridal bouquets. I've been in Central Florida for almost half a century, but they like a cold winter rest, so just don't grow here, though the pips will occasionally show up in nurseries for forcing in the spring - they'll bloom in the house, but that's about it.

Here's an old slide show, please forgive my poor pics and text, would like to redo it when time allows, also adding some more recent acquisitions: Lily of the Valley Spoons

~Cheryl

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Sue M

Posts: 10
Registered: Aug 2019

iconnumber posted 09-22-2019 02:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Sue M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow, Cheryl, I am so impressed by your Lily of the Valley collection! Since you answered my post last week I have been seeing these flowers on flatware all over the internet!

I live on the West Coast in an area which is too warm in winter and too arid. But we have a native, drought-tolerant bush here called the manzanita that has little white flowers on it that hang upside down. They are about the size of thumbnail.

The other problem living here is that antique stores have very few genuine antiques—I thinks settlers must have thrown grandma’s furniture off the buckboard by the time they migrated this far. We do get a lot of interesting old family photos, though, from the midwest and east coast.

My husband and I collect many things, inexpensive flatware and vintage photos being just two of my interests. I’m kind of a maniac about cleaning, cataloging, and preserving my treasures, so for every piece I buy I spend a couple of hours making it feel at home. I’ve only collected about 100 pieces of flatware, but I’m about to fill up my second silverware chest and will need to look for a third one—oh dear!!

If you give me your want list, I’ll be happy to keep an eye open for you as I browse the net and visit the local vintage and thrift shops.

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dragonflywink

Posts: 975
Registered: Dec 2002

iconnumber posted 09-22-2019 04:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The manzanita is so sweet, I'm really a sucker for any hanging bell type flower - and thank you for the kind offer to keep an eye out for my 'wants', but I manage to get in enough trouble on my own.

Regarding the treatment of your treasures, suspect most of the regular members here are of the same ilk. I used to try and keep my spoons limited to around 500, culling out as I added, then it sort of slid up to around 600, then pretty much gave up - haven't really counted, but with the recent passing of my Mom, her small but select collection added to mine certainly brings it well over a thousand...

~Cheryl

[This message has been edited by dragonflywink (edited 09-22-2019).]

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