A junk shop "find" or am I fooling myself?

Trying to give the house a sort of Regency makeover, a month ago I bought a totally blackened little salver/tray to go on my hall table which seemed to fit in with the scheme. Had no idea what it was made from but thought it could be EPNS and laid out the princely sum of 50 pence for it. Yesterday I washed it, dried it and buffed it with a silver cleaning cloth. Hhmmm :confused: Did that a few more times, :open_mouth: blinked :open_mouth: , then hit the internet.

This is what I “think” I found out. It is Sheffield silver made by Younge, Greaves and Hoyland. It appears to bear the Kings head duty mark for 1784/5 but I am stumped on the date mark which requires a tremendous leap of faith to resemble the Sheffield mark for 1785 although I have convinced myself I can see “1784” etched on the reverse “when it was made”. It’s 51/2 inches in diameter and stands on three hollow feet, but it is very thin/lightweight and has a few dinks on the outer rim.

Shame about the monogram (and my dirty finger marks on the edge)

Hope you can shed some light on the date mark and please tell me you can also see “1784” top-left.

What do you think? Should I treasure it or leave it on the hall table for some numpty to throw his car keys on :unamused:

Hi Lorraine and thanks for joining us. I’ll leave it to some of my UK friends to identify the maker and date, but obviously you have a solid silver tray there and your 50 pence was a great investment.

I’ll chime in on the issue of monograms since you seem somewhat disappointed that your treasure bears one. Siver is art. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. My personal view is that classic engraving such as your monogram actually enhances the beauty and value of an antique piece. Engraving such as this is fast becoming a lost art. When I am browsing antique silver I’m always looking for monograms as artwork…I will pay a little more for a piece with a fancy monogram vs. one that is barren.

Of course, like all art, whatever floats your boat, and that’s why they make more than one brand of beer! Your tray is a real beauty, and please don’t let anyone chunk car keys on it.


Uncle Vic

A novice here & what I think is a great find.
I make it 1785/6, with the slim possiblity of the maker being John Young & Co (YG&H) Jacksons pg 425, or even Young Greaves & Hoyland. However, should the ‘y’ of the date letter be in an oval with a crown to the top?

John Young in partnership with Edmund Greaves & William Hoyland are John Young & Co so John Young & Co and Young, Greaves & Hoyland are alternative names for the same company.

This is definitely the date code for 1785/86 and no it should not be in an oval with the crown on top; this form of the assay mark was only used on small items.

But what a wonderful find! You’d better keep the location of the junk shop to yourself or we’ll all be down there.

I believe that it is most likely to be a teapot stand.

Uncle Vic
I actually agree with you about beautiful and expertly engraved monograms. My remark was a flippant one, for which I apologise, based on my experiences of selling family silver and possessions when my father died a few years ago. If only I had a pound for every time I heard “shame about the monogram/cartouche/coat of arms it seriously diminishes the value, you know”. WHAT!!! that’s provenance, particularly when the family can be traced back for several centuries. Still many people seem to want antiques to be as ‘perfect’ as the day they were made.

That date letter had me foxed, too, a bit of a conundrum, but we seem to have the definitive answer. I guess I now have to look for a display case for it, but I don’t want it to be lonely in there all by itself… I feel a new hobby coming on.

I’m grateful to you and as a reward I have decided to give you a clue as to the location of the junk shop… … …
London! :wink:

Thank you all for taking the time to read and reply - very much appreciated.