I have a collection of silverplate items that I received as wedding presents, and others that were handed down to me from family members. I have seldom used them although I am thinking about using them more often. What is the point of having them if I don’t use them! Luckily most have a manufacturer’s mark on the bottom and that helps identify and date them. With the help of a book I have on American Silver Manufacturers, and various Internet searches, I have been able to locate information about the manufacturers of these items and sometimes identify when they were made. This small tray belonged to my mother-in-law’s family, it is engraved with the initial S which gives me a clue as to which family it belonged to.
On the bottom of the tray is the name of the manufacturer, Meriden S.P. Co. (Meriden Silver Plate Company), International S. Co. (international Silver Company) and the number 2327 as well as a trademark of the company. The research I did indicated that Meriden became a part of the International Silver Company in 1898 so this tray was made after 1898. Further research revealed that this half circle trademark was first used in 1921 so the tray’s production now moves forward to after 1920. This narrows even further who the tray might have belonged to if I didn’t know before.
This cute little bon bon dish belonged to my mother. It may have been a wedding gift to her in 1938. I love the details along the rim.
The bottom of the dish is marked Community Plate with a number. Research determined that Community Plate was made by Oneida Silversmiths starting in 1902. I was fortunate to find a dish online with the same design and the pattern was called Grosvenor. This pattern was introduced in 1921 so I suspect it was a wedding gift to my mother because my grandmother was married in 1909.
This silverplate compote belonged to either my mother or my grandmother. (All the silverplate shown needs further polishing and some of it has damage from heavy use.)
This mark was difficult to photograph because it is on a curve. The mark says Wallace, E.P.W.M. with the letter V and number 8510. The manufacturer was Wallace. I wasn’t able to date the compote.
These candlesticks have a great deal of wear where the silverplate is gone. My mother inherited them from her mother. I am glad to have them because my grandmother died when I was six and I have no memories of her. I love having something that belonged to her. I have thought about having them replated. I had a large silver tray replated and it looks absolutely wonderful so I may have these done as well. I had to send the tray across the country but I am really pleased with the result. (There are those who would say that replating these candlesticks would decrease their value but they aren’t worth that much as is anyway.)
The candlesticks are marked Forbes S. P. Co. (Forbes Silver Company) with a hallmark and the number 807. The Forbes Company was formed in 1894. The hallmark is a bird although it is difficult to see. Forbes later became part of the International Silver Company. My grandmother was married in 1909 so these candlesticks may have been a wedding present.
This epergne belonged to my grandmother. When I was a child I remember a shallow white frosted bowl that sat on it. The bowl had a scalloped rim and small delicate hand painted flowers. At some point it must have broken. I have been looking for a replacement for over 40 years! I will know it when I see it. A few years ago I had this epergne repaired because it was broken in a few places. The repairman did a great job and didn’t want to do too much to it except stabilize it. I love the bamboo design arms and all the detail work on it.
The epergne is marked Aurora S. P. Mfg Co. Warranted Triple Plate with the number 747. The Aurora Silver Plate Company was organized in 1869 and was succeeded by Mulholland Bros. in 1919 so this epergne was made between those years. I suspect it may have been a wedding present to my grandmother in 1909. Triple plate meant that the piece was a higher quality than regular silverplate because it was plated three times so it had more silver.
I use a few different products to polish my silver and silverplate. I’m sure others will say that my methods are wrong but they work for me. I start with Goddard’s Silver Dip. It is very strong and abrasive so I don’t leave it on the piece very long. I then use Hagerty’s Silversmith Polish and Spray Polish. I just bought a Hagerty’s Horsehair Silver Brush and I love the way it gets into corners and depressions in the metal. The spray is easy to use but do it outside or with open windows because you don’t want to breath those fumes. I end with Weiman’s Silver Wipes. Sometimes I go back and forth between them all depending on how bad the tarnish is. I never get all the tarnish removed. It takes too long!
The value of silver and silverplate has decreased. It depends on the current price of silver and also the demand for these items. As with many antiques, there isn’t the interest now that there was in these items in past decades. Younger generations have different life styles than our parents and grandparents.
I really enjoy owning these cherished silverplate heirlooms.
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