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Author Topic:   Indian Silver
lorne_scharf

Posts: 8
Registered: Sep 2003

iconnumber posted 09-01-2003 06:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lorne_scharf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
[01-1209]

I have several old indian coin silver bowls.

What is the standard reference text for these pieces?

Any help appreciated!!!

Lorne Scharf

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Anuh

Posts: 190
Registered: Jan 2003

iconnumber posted 09-02-2003 09:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Anuh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by lorne_scharf:
I have several old indian coin silver bowls.
What is the standard reference text for these pieces?

Lorne,

Pictures are the lifeblood of a forum like this.

My first question is "how do you know these are old indian coin silver bowls?"

Pictures might give us the answer, but many people do make assumptions about what they have that are not borne out by the reality. Pictures are always worth a thousand words!

biggrin

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Anuh

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Anuh

Posts: 190
Registered: Jan 2003

iconnumber posted 09-04-2003 04:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Anuh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Lorne emailed me today with a picture of one of her bowls. I gave her the basic directions for posting a picture as posted on the forum and encourage her to post the picture directly. This is my response to her email other than that.

---

That's a lovely bowl, but it still doesn't answer my question as to why you think it is "Indian Silver". Is that the way it is marked? Are there any markings at all, including name, numbers and figures? Or were you just told they were Indian coin silver bowls?

You see, there were companies which liked to imply that their goods were better than they actually were. They tried to pretend that silverplate was sterling or that an alloy of metals was "silver" by using the term Indian Silver, Nevada Silver, Brazil Silver, etc. Most of these had no silver content at all, although some of them were silverplated over this "alloy".

In order to know exactly what we are dealing with, we need pictures of the markings as well. These can be hard to get, I admit, but they are very important.

I'm posting this response to the forum so that everyone can have their input to the issue.

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Anuh

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nihontochicken

Posts: 289
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 09-05-2003 12:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for nihontochicken     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, Anuh, I didn't know that! I've seen pieces marked "Nevada Silver" and "Brazil Silver" before, but thought that this just indicated the source of the silver, not that it was a "ruse"!

BTW, as an aside, I ordered a book on silver from England, and was advised it should arrive in 14 to 45 days. It took 59 days.

Seems that the terrorism countermeasures are drastically slowing the transport of benign goods. FWIW.

Rick

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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1768
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 09-05-2003 12:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Anuh, since you now have the pictures, could you post them here? Also, has Lorne replied to your email asking about marks?

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lorne_scharf

Posts: 8
Registered: Sep 2003

iconnumber posted 09-05-2003 12:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lorne_scharf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi!
Thank you for the advice.

Unfortunately I cannot find a mark, but here is a picture:

Any comments appreciated!

Lorne

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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1768
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 09-05-2003 01:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Lorne, I see why you call these "Indian coin silver". I'm almost sure these were made in India or Siam, going from design alone. The value of such pieces depends mostly on metal content and quality of workmanship (i.e. how fine is the detail? Does the piece seem crudely made or skillfully made?). I can't tell from the pictures.

The term "coin silver" means 90% silver, and was/is most commonly used to refer to American silver of this standard (which was originally made from old melted down silver coins). Sometimes it is used incorrectly as a catch-all for any kind of non-sterling silver.

If these are not marked, you will have to have them tested to ascertain their metal content. They could be real silver or just some white metal alloy.

I don't know what the dates of these are. Suspect 20th century sometime. They appear as though they could be lower end tourist pieces, in which case they may not be extremely valuable.

[This message has been edited by Paul Lemieux (edited 09-05-2003).]

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Anuh

Posts: 190
Registered: Jan 2003

iconnumber posted 09-05-2003 07:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Anuh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The second picture really does show the "India" influence.

India has long been famous for its brass wares, and they did do a lot with brass and some beautiful, high quality pieces as well. The past few years I'm seeing a LOT of pieces which are silver-plated, with their latest plasticky label that says "Made in India". The pieces are beautiful and some of them appear to be very good quality pieces as well.

My suspicion is that this is silverplate, Made in India, for the export market. Like everything else, the best advice is to buy what you love and love it for life! If it turns out to be valuable, that is an added bonus. Like Paul, I suspect that these aren't going to be terribly valuable. But they are gorgeous in their own way and if you love them, who can tell you not to! ;-D

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Anuh

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Anuh

Posts: 190
Registered: Jan 2003

iconnumber posted 09-05-2003 07:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Anuh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by nihontochicken:
Thanks, Anuh, I didn't know that! I've seen pieces marked "Nevada Silver" and "Brazil Silver" before, but thought that this just indicated the source of the silver, not that it was a "ruse"!

Rick, that was apparently why they did this! I've seen lots of pretty Nevada silver patterns that have been silverplated, and I think all of it probably was. Brazil silver is silverplated. Nickel Silver can pass for silver when buffed highly and is used in jewelry without plating, but is used as a base metal in flatware and holloware.

The intent is definitely to deceive by implication, rather than outright lying. People jump to assumptions based on what they want to believe. That's why laws were made (and enforced) and why the FTC is still pushing to educate sellers that they may be guilty of fraud!

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Anuh

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