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Author Topic:   What is this???
littlepenny

Posts: 5
Registered: Feb 2006

iconnumber posted 02-14-2006 01:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for littlepenny     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

[26-0904]

Hey...I'm new to this,so here goes. I have a straw spoon that has what looks like to me to be a crest on the flat part of the bowl of the spoon. Inside the crest it has 800, underneath that number is MM. Can someone tell me what this is and what it means, please? Thanks so much!

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tmockait

Posts: 963
Registered: Jul 2004

iconnumber posted 02-14-2006 01:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tmockait     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Welcome to the forum. It would be helpful if you could post photos of the item and the marks so that we can make a more accurate determination. We also ask new members to tell us a bit about themselves and their interest in silver.

A tentative answer to your question: 800 indicates that your piece is solid silver (as opposed to silver plate) that is 80%pure
(800 means 800 parts per thousand pure silver). The mark is hard to interpret without a photo, but it may be the post 1888 German mark, which was the crescent moon, a crown, and the silver purity mark. See if you can find a crown. The "MM" would probably be the makers initials. We need photos to be sure.

Tom

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littlepenny

Posts: 5
Registered: Feb 2006

iconnumber posted 02-14-2006 03:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for littlepenny     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Tom,
You suggest I tell you a little about myself...I have been going through some things from my Mother's estate and ran across these spoons. My daughter just loves old looking things and I have given her a lot of my Mom's stuff. She wanted these and asked me if I could find out something about them. So being a good Mom, I'm trying to do as she asked. She treasures all the things that I give her that was her Grandmothers'. I'm sure these will be passed down to her daughter and we would both love to know their origin.
As for sending pictures, I just have a very inexpensive camera and I have tried to get a good clear close up of the mark but it just doesn't come out clear, and also it is tiny. The only way that I can more clearly describe the mark is: if you drew an oblong box from right to left, put 800 in it; added an indented half circle to the bottom of the oblong and put MM in it...you would have what the mark looks like. I did not see any other markings on any of the spoons. No crowns or anything. They do have a lot of scroll work on them, but no crowns. I have pictures that I can email you if you think that would help.
Thank you for the information about the 800, at least I know that they are silver now. Thanks again...Penny

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Kimo

Posts: 1597
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 02-15-2006 10:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Penny and welcome to the forum! I think you are a great mom for passing on your mother's treasures to your daughter and wanting to give her as much information about them as possible so that she will appreciate them to their fullest.

Photos of both the overall spoon and a closeup of the markings really are so important for us to be able to tell you much about your spoon. While we can't guarantee we will be be to identify it since there is still much not known or recorded about many silver markings around the world, without the photos the most we can do is guess. If your camera does not take closeup photos, perhaps a family member or friend has one that can do this? Most modern digital cameras have a setting called a macro function which enables the camera to take clear closeups. If no one you know has a camera that can do this, a trick you can do with an old style camera is to use a large magnifying glass, holding it up to the spoon as if you were going to use it to see the details and then taking the photo through the magnifying lens. This takes some practice but you can just delete the unsuccessful attempts until you get the hang of it.

Another bit of information that could be helpful is whether your mother used to live in another country or whether she was a world traveler. This can help us pin down possible origins of her things.

To add a bit more to Tom's information, 800 silver is of a lower standard than Sterling which is 925 parts per thousand pure silver. You have to add at least 50 to 75 parts copper and nickle to silver to create an alloy that is strong enough to withstand use. If you were to make a spoon out of absolutely pure, 1000 parts out of 1000 parts, silver, it would be so soft that it would bend and deform with little pressure.

The 800 standard and marking is not only found in some continental Europe countries but, you also find it in many countries in Southeast Asia and throughout Latin America. It is also sometimes found on American silver.

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tmockait

Posts: 963
Registered: Jul 2004

iconnumber posted 02-15-2006 04:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tmockait     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Penny,

If you can e-mail your photos, you can also post them. Go photobucket.com, set up a free account, and then upload them to the photo album photobuckets lets you create. Once the image appears, highlight the url tag underneath it. It looks like this: [IMG]http:// .....[/IMG]. You do need to make sure they are of a certain size, no wider than 490 pixels. If this seems to complicated, I don't mind if you send them too me and I will post them on the forum with your permision. My e-mail is tmockait@depaul.edu

Tom

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littlepenny

Posts: 5
Registered: Feb 2006

iconnumber posted 02-15-2006 05:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for littlepenny     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Tom....I tried the suggestion from Kim about using the magnifying glass but it didn't help. I sent the pictures I have to you at your e-mail address. Thanks so much for your help.

P.S. Thanks to Kim for her suggestion too.

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tmockait

Posts: 963
Registered: Jul 2004

iconnumber posted 02-15-2006 05:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tmockait     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here are Penny's "spoons." As I shared with her, they are bambillas, "straws" for sipping Mate (South Americna herbal tea).

Refer to the this link for a recent forum thread on the same subject.
Another Whatzit?

Tom

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FWG

Posts: 845
Registered: Aug 2005

iconnumber posted 02-15-2006 07:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FWG     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Spot on, except that the spelling is with an 'o': bombilla. I can't remember the derivation, though....

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littlepenny

Posts: 5
Registered: Feb 2006

iconnumber posted 02-15-2006 07:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for littlepenny     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yep, Tom sent me the thread and I was amazed that he had one. It's a small world after all.
Needless to say I thought they were spoons....I need to get out more..LOL

Now that the mystery of my "spoons" has been solved, I extend many thanks to all.

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outwest

Posts: 390
Registered: Nov 2005

iconnumber posted 02-15-2006 08:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for outwest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is quite a bit about mate tea and the ritual of drinking it with these 'straws' on the web. Just when one thinks they know a little about a lot they find out how little they really know. Facinating.

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Kimo

Posts: 1597
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 02-16-2006 12:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Penny.

I'm glad your photos were posted - as we were saying once we had a look at what you had, we would have a chance at giving you a much more helpful response.

By the way, my name is Kimo, rather than Kim. smile Kimo is the Hawai'ian version of the given name James. It is pronounced KEE-mo.

Aloha nui loa (which means much aloha),
Kimo

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littlepenny

Posts: 5
Registered: Feb 2006

iconnumber posted 02-16-2006 01:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for littlepenny     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Oh my gosh.....I am so very sorry, Kimo. I guess I really do need to get out more. Have a great day and again I am so sorry...Penny

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Kimo

Posts: 1597
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 02-16-2006 02:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've always thought Hawai'i is a nice place to start seeing the world wink

Or maybe South America? You could take your silver bombillas to Argentina and sip some mate with the gauchos (South American cowboys) during the day, go to the opera in Buenos Aires at one of the fanciest opera theaters in the world and afterwards go to a club and dance the tango until the wee hours of the morning. biggrin

In the meantime, if you have any other interesting silver items you might like a bit more information on before you pass them along to your daughter please feel welcome to ask us about them. smile

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FWG

Posts: 845
Registered: Aug 2005

iconnumber posted 02-16-2006 04:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FWG     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It turns out the derivation is evident if you think what else is called bombilla in Spanish: a lightbulb. The word designates that bulbous tubular shape -- on a small scale, thus the diminutive form bombilla rather than bomba, from which it derives.

Interestingly, the original root is the Latin bombus, or noise. There is a class of musical instruments known in Spanish as bomba (they have similar tubular form). There's also a music and dance genre in Puerto Rico and Cuba, of African derivation, called bomba, which is based on drumming, which perhaps goes more obviously back to the Latin root.

And of course the genus of bumblebees is bombus, derived from the noise they make flying....

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Polly

Posts: 1939
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 02-16-2006 10:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks! That info is da bomb!

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