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Author Topic:   Angel/Devil fork

Posts: 16
Registered: Feb 2024

iconnumber posted 03-15-2024 11:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Silverbug     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Would you please give me your thoughts about this fork? The angel is on the front and there is a devil hidden on the back. Before I found your site,I polished it aggressively and its appearance suffered. I hope that when tarnishes it will have the lovely black part in the crevasses again...
It is marked with my great grandmother's date of college graduation 1909.

devil on back up close:

[This message has been edited by Silverbug (edited 03-16-2024).]

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Posts: 1002
Registered: Dec 2002

iconnumber posted 03-16-2024 04:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Should note that it's important to show any marks found, and it's also helpful to show a full shot of a piece.

This is Gorham's 'Versailles', introduced in 1888, it's a multi-motif pattern, meaning that different pieces will vary in the design.


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June Martin
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Posts: 1346
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 03-16-2024 12:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for June Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello, silverbug.

Getting started with an interest in silver is exciting and rewarding and we are happy to have you as part of our Silver Salon Forums family. As part of your education, I would suggest you check out the information on the SMPublications site about recommended books and references specifically the link on Starting a Library on Silver.

Anyone interested in American silver marks and flatware patterns should at a minimum own a copy of Dorothy Rainwataer's Encyclopedia of American Silver Manufacturers and a copy of Jeweler's Circular Keystone Silver Flatware Pattern Index.

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Posts: 16
Registered: Feb 2024

iconnumber posted 03-17-2024 12:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Silverbug     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
June, Thank you for your reference recommendations. I ordered the Rainwater book. Am I using too many questions? I appreciate the help but don't want to take advantage. I fortunately received multiple pieces of family silver recently and it is frankly overwhelming. It is spread all over the kitchen and I am trying to clean and identify what I can. I want to be a good steward of history, label it for future generations and appreciate it now.
I tried to identify it myself and had minimal success. I tried to hire an expert in our city and was unable to find someone. Clearly it is a specialized knowledge.
I am sincerely interested in knowing about silver but it has been a steep learning curve.

[This message has been edited by Silverbug (edited 03-17-2024).]

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Scott Martin
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Posts: 11581
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 03-17-2024 05:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Silver objects are beautiful. For some it is only the metal’s monitory value that they appreciate.

All of our regular long time Silver Salon Members appreciate the beauty but we see so much more. That vision grows over time as we learn the nuances in each piece in the craftsmanship and history. It is a never ending and slow process.

June & I have had some items for more than 40 years and we are still learning the silver’s secrets. Now when we look at our silver objects we see so much more than the metal.

After so many years we are still learning and are very grateful to the other SSF silverphile’s that share their learning experiences. It is slow learning. But the hunt for knowledge is very gratifying. You will never learn it all so the opportunity is life long.

Take your time. Learn about the silversmiths & the silver industry, the silver object’s relationship to history. Often it branches off into many avenues like banking, war, counterfeiting, families, medicine, Art, etc., etc.

[This message has been edited by Scott Martin (edited 03-17-2024).]

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Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 03-17-2024 08:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is a lovely pattern and I am happy to hear that you appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship that went into it along with the history of how this kind of silver was created and used at that point in time. I hope that you and your family use it regularly. My only wish is that you had come to us to find out how to polish your silver before you began so aggressively "cleaning" this beautiful fork. For example, use only high quality paste polish and a soft pure cotton rag - never any chemical dips or electric buffering machines or the like. And with dips it is not just the patina that gets ruined but most of those dips have a cancer causing chemical in them (thiurea) that you do not want in your house. The patina eventually will come back but it is going to take a very, very long time. A large part of the beauty of old silver is its patina which includes the blackening in the crevices and the hand-rubbed appearance of the surface. You can deliberately tarnish silver but it is not going to look the same as patina that has developed from over a great many decades of use.

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