Silver flatware

Discussion in 'Silver' started by verybrad, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. verybrad

    verybrad Well-Known Member

    Here are a couple pieces I need some help with.

    The aesthetic period knife is about 8" long and silverplate. It is marked Reed and Barton with a number 3. Seems a bit big and too pointed for a butter knife. Any other use? Pattern name?

    What is the skewer thing and any idea of maker? The first mark is an elongated walking lion. The second mark looks like a fancy R but may actually be a bird with head at upper left and tail at lower right. Marked both sterling and 925.

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    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
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  2. Ladybranch

    Ladybranch Well-Known Member

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  3. afantiques

    afantiques Well-Known Member

    The first one looks like some kind of pickle handler, the second possibly a combined cake knife and server. Or possibly a whipped cream spreader, somehow I see it as a device for piling calories on calories.

    I have my doubts about the 'fish knife' attribution, the handle of a fish knife is usually fatter and the blade less broad.
     
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  4. Ladybranch

    Ladybranch Well-Known Member

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  5. verybrad

    verybrad Well-Known Member

    I am by nature a night owl when I am getting some work done, well engaged, or having some fun. Tonight only fits in to one of those categories. Will be off to bed very soon.

    Appreciate the quick response. Never would have figured a butter pick. I was thinking along the same lines as af.
     
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  6. verybrad

    verybrad Well-Known Member

    Might be Roden Bros but the mark looks different besides the reversal of order. The lion on my piece is solid rather than outlined and less cartoon-like if that makes sense. The R, while similar, is not the same. Sorry my pic is not better. This was the best of about 15 attempts and taken through a magnifying glass.
     
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  7. Ladybranch

    Ladybranch Well-Known Member

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  8. Ladybranch

    Ladybranch Well-Known Member

  9. silverthwait

    silverthwait Well-Known Member

    Butter pick and master butter knife - and, yes, I suppose it is calorie on calorie. Pass the muffins, please. :)
     
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  10. Bakersgma

    Bakersgma Well-Known Member

    The Reed & Barton knife is plated, not sterling, Brad. The 3 is a plating indicator.
     
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  11. Figtree3

    Figtree3 What would you do if you weren't afraid?

    I have almost no silver or silverplate, but I do by chance have a number of pieces of flatware in the "Unique" pattern by Reed & Barton. Yes, it is plated, not sterling. Bought a few teaspoons about 4 years ago and laboriously looked through Replacements until I figured out what pattern it is -- then bought several more things. I've often seen that pattern listed as 1879 rather than 1880, but it probably doesn't matter. I have no authoritative sources to consult, anyway.

    If you search eBay for Unique Reed Barton you will find more than one of these master butter knives for sale. I really like the pattern, and some of the pieces go for a little more than others.
     
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  12. verybrad

    verybrad Well-Known Member

    Thanks all!

    As indicated in my opening post, I do know that the knife is silverplate. I see a couple of these on ebay have the handle twisted to 90 degrees. What would be the reason/difference?

    Susan,
    The mark you showed for Roden in the second link is pretty much identical, including the R. I am now convinced that it is not a bird .... LOL! Seems to be a fair amount of variation in their mark. .
     
  13. silverthwait

    silverthwait Well-Known Member

    Aside from the Victorian penchant for ruffling fireplaces, antimacassering chairs, and generally embellishing the heck out of everything -- the only reason for the twist in the master butter knife is that it actually does sit more securely on the butter container, and takes up less space.
     
  14. silverthwait

    silverthwait Well-Known Member

    And, once one has sectioned off one's chunk of butter, the pointy tip of the knife is stabbed in it to convey the pat to one's butter plate (or at a formal dinner, the edge of one's dinner plate).

    Apologies to Emily, Amy, and Elizabeth for the rather casual phraseology. :)
     
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  15. Bakersgma

    Bakersgma Well-Known Member

    Sorry about missing the place where you said silverplate in the OP, Brad. Too early and not enough coffee - my only excuse. ;)
     
  16. silverthwait

    silverthwait Well-Known Member

    Not enough coffee is an excuse for almost anything!
     
  17. Bakersgma

    Bakersgma Well-Known Member

    Especially at this time of the year when it's still very dark here. ;)
     
  18. Figtree3

    Figtree3 What would you do if you weren't afraid?

    I have noticed that the Unique pattern pieces each have a separate number on them. Brad mentioned the butter knife has the number 3. I was assuming these numbers are to identify them as part of a full set, and to give the individual numbers in the full set. Is that correct? If not, what are the numbers for? And do other sets have this, normally?
     
  19. Ladybranch

    Ladybranch Well-Known Member

    Baker covered it in her reply #10 "plating indicator."
     
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  20. Bakersgma

    Bakersgma Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Susan.

    Just to expand on what "plating indicator" meant - In the early days of electroplating in the US, some makers stamped flatware with a number that was supposed to represent the quantity of silver used in plating a large quantity of pieces of the same type - so many troy ounces or so many "dwt" (meaning "pennyweights") of silver per gross of teaspoons (for example.) Since pieces vary in size, different amounts of silver would be needed to achieve the same theoretical thickness of plating. This indicator eventually morphed into designations such as "double plate," "triple plate" etc. Since none of this was independently regulated, it was mostly marketing hype.
     
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