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Dating a James Dixon and Sons very large tray

I recently picked up a large, heavy tray. It is marked with the Bugle and Flag, with JD&S 8506 20 followed by a strange little symbol that looks like two back to back letter C’s. I have not attempted to clean the tray yet, as it is very tarnished, and I fear someone over time has painted something over the ornate engravings. I will endeavour to post a pic of the tray and markings. If anyone can assist me it would be appreciated. I have searched high and low to find any information at all about this piece with no luck. Thanks in advance.

Trying to add the picture of the details on the back of the tray without too much luck, will try again.
tray.jpg

Picture of the tray as it is now, before a clean.
IMAG0250.jpg

As this is electroplate it is not going to be possible to give any sort of dating information. However it certainly needs a good clean; whatever cleaning you do should be as gentle as possible to minimise damage to the silver layer.

Thank you. I gave the back of the tray a bit of a clean, and it took a good layer of tarnish off. Very pitted and scratched. Tried some cleaning on the front of the tray, but it didn’t budge a bit. Not too sure what to use on it. It actually looks like a layer of enamel has been put on there at some stage, and over the years people have scratched it to see what was underneath! It is very nasty, and I don’t want to damage what lays beneath. You can still see the engraving, but just this horrible stuff on top of it. Any ideas how to handle this one anybody? I don’t really want to scrape it.

Acetone ought to do it - I’ve never tried it myself as I haven’t had any lacquer-coated silver. It should not cause any damage or staining to the surface of the silver. Unfortunately it sounds as if parts of the silver layer may have been removed over the years. There is no real answer for this sort of damage.

Thank you again. May try the wifes nail polish remover then. I am not really worried about the tray damage, I mainly wanted to find out how old it is, and if I am correct in thinking it has been around a long time. Do the way the markings are on the back reflect any age that the tray may be?? I suppose 8506 is a catalogue nr, but I would like to know what it was listed as. It is such a heavy tray it has me baffled.

8506 is almost certainly a pattern number which may have been in production for only a limited time. Unfortunately, as far as I know, there are no records which would allow a date to be assigned to a pattern number.

Hopefully someone will read this post and have some idea. I tried the acetone on the tray. It did absolutely nothing. There is definately a layer of something on the top of the tray. Can see silver underneath it where it has been scratched. Not sure how to proceed with this. It wouldn’t have come from factory like this surely?