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Unknown American Hall Mark. Help Needed

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Home -> Reading American Silver Hallmarks -> Unknown American Hall Mark. Help Needed

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DouglasB




Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 2

Posted: 28/12/2006 
Post subject: Unknown American Hall Mark. Help Needed
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Dear Daniel and Uncle Vic,

I hope you can help me identify the marks, age, value or anything concerning this Silver Tea & Coffee set. I believe that the set is American in origin and since it was my grandmother's grandmother's I would have to place it in the 1800's as a date made.

My grandmother, ok MY adapted grandmother, is quickly approaching 90 and I think she is selling off stuff in preparation to move to an assisted living home. I found this in a pile of stuff she tagged for a garage sale and told her she was NOT selling it for $20!

The set contains a tea pot, a coffee pot, a creamer, a sugar bowl, a waste bowl and a tray. All are sterling silver and in wonderful condition. I've attached views of the mark and one of the pots so you can see the design on them.

Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated!

Description:Tea Pot

tea1a.jpg


Description:view of the mark

teamark1a.jpg


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uncle vic
Moderator



Joined: 25 Sep 2006
Posts: 696
Location: Baton Rouge, LA USA

Posted: 29/12/2006 
Post subject: re: Unknown American Hall Mark. Help Needed
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Douglas - thanks for joining us here on silver-collector. First things first, take the set off the market until we can identify it. I did a quick search for the mark and came up blank. It is not one I have seen, but none of us have seen all the marks. My instinct is that it is Mexican, but cannot find that mark in my (limited) Mexican mark books or online. The reason I am leaning toward a Mexican origin is that it is a very well made pot, but the decoration appears engraved and not applied, and the stylized mark seems more modern than the pot design. Also, the numbers undr the mark seem to indicate "22 inches" so is that on the tray, perhaps the length of the tray?

In any event, it is late here in Louisiana, and ole Uncle Vic needs to get some shut-eye, but I'll be back on this in the morning.

All opinions are respectfully solicited from the silver collectors. As us Cajuns are prone to ask: "What ya'll think?"

Uncle Vic
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DouglasB




Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 2

Posted: 29/12/2006 
Post subject: re: Unknown American Hall Mark. Help Needed
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Dear Uncle Vic,

Thank you for your quick reply! I've been doing more research myself. I found a mark that is similar to the mark on the items, but not an exact match. See: http://www.925-1000.com/american-mfg9.html , Simpson, Hall, Miller & Company, Wallingford, CT 1866~1898. Also when looking at this; the mark on the tea pot seems different from the one on the tray that I posted last night. Could these be forgeries put on after the pots were made?

I've attached a pic of the tray, which is quite large and the mark from under the tea pot. The patterns on the tray, pots and bowls are infact engraved or at least they feel like they are engraved, but what do I know?

We do know that Miss Honey (86) got it from her mother who got it from her mother so the 1800's would be the right time frame assuming it was purchased 3 generations ago or even as a present for Miss Honey's mother. That the items may be Mexican is a possibility. I asked Miss Honey when her people came to the State of Texas and I was told, in a rather indignant tone of voice that her family was here for the forming of the Republic of Texas. Anyone who came to the state after it became a state apparently is NOT a “native” Texan. As for me, she lovingly refers to me as the Damn Yankee!

I am now intrigued as to what the actual history of this set is. Wouldn’t it be something if it turned out to be a true piece of American history?

Description:Pic of the top of the serving tray.

tray.jpg


Description:Mark on the bottom of the tea pot

teamark2a.jpg


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uncle vic
Moderator



Joined: 25 Sep 2006
Posts: 696
Location: Baton Rouge, LA USA

Posted: 29/12/2006 
Post subject: re: Unknown American Hall Mark. Help Needed
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Douglas, the mystery is solved. The set was made by the International Silver Co. (I. S. Co.). International was formed in 1898 in New England by the combination of several silver smithing shops - including the Simpson, Hall, & Miller Co. The logo on your set appears to have been in use from 1898 until the early 20th century, so I'm going to estimate the age between 1898 and 1910. The exact logo is shown as one of the International marks in the listing of marks on www.silvercollecting.com as well as on a spoon site. There was a set for sale on eBay that appears to be the same pattern as yours and the seller thought the pattern was "Windsor". I was unable to verify that through replacements.com. Replacements has several similar complete American tea/coffee sets for sale with asking prices ranging from about $3,000 to well over $10,000. I would place a conservative value on your 6-pc. set of $5,000.

You should carefully weigh each piece and record it as well as photograph each and the entire set for insurance purposes.

In any event, you are a hero for saving this very valuable set from the gararge sale!

Glad we could help.

Uncle Vic
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anthonypeake




Joined: 03 Jan 2007
Posts: 3
Location: Devon

Posted: 04/01/2007 
Post subject: re: Unknown American Hall Mark. Help Needed
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I am new to Silver collecting, and very new to this site, but I can verify that this is International Silver Co.

I know this as I have a similar set that has been identified, valued and is about to be sold by Sotherby's. P.S. They get very good prices.

Regards
Anthony
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Jonathan Franks
Site Admin



Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 191
Location: London

Posted: 04/01/2007 
Post subject: re: Unknown American Hall Mark. Help Needed
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---> Douglas,

You did do a good job saving that set from the garage sale. I just want to add a few points about its possible value.

The fact that the set has a matching tray (if all the marks are identical) is very important and adds considerably to the value of the set. I agree with Uncle Vic, that $5000 is conservative and you should have the set professionally appraised. Unfortunately, I don't know any dealers in the States to recommend. (I'm based in the UK).

When you get the set appraised be sure to make it clear that you don't want to sell the set. Otherwise an unscrupulous dealer might try to underestimate it in order to purchase it cheap. Its also important to understand that the set has two values, 'replacement value' and 'probate value'. The probate value is the value you should hope for when you sell the set. The replacement value is the value you should insure the set for and is the price you would pay to buy that set from an antique's dealer. You need an appraisal for the insurance value. Be sure to get this because, although Uncle Vic is an expert, the discussion on this forum will not convince your insurance company.

And now the bad news... You may have noticed that the fine art of afternoon tea has been in decline for about 100 years Wink Tea sets, except for the most superb and grandiose examples, are not very desired these days. This means that although the replacement value of your set will be quite high, the probate value will be considerably less.

I hope that helps / Jonathan

---> Anthony

Thanks for getting involved. Silver-collector is growing fast and Uncle Vic and Daniel are doing a great job of helping people. But what we really want is a community of interested people helping each other.

Best wishes for the new year / Jonathan
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Daniel Franks
Site Admin



Joined: 14 Sep 2006
Posts: 175
Location: London

Posted: 04/01/2007 
Post subject: re: Unknown American Hall Mark. Help Needed
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And may I just add that, the more people who help out on the site, the less work for me, so the more time for holidays!

Speaking of which I am off snow boarding on saturday for a week, so will be back on the forum on monday the 15th.

Happy new year!

Daniel
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john72




Joined: 08 Sep 2007
Posts: 4

Posted: 08/09/2007 
Post subject: re: Unknown American Hall Mark. Help Needed
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Good idea to check it in this place
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