could you please tell me the value of a fish knife and fork set made by Mappin Brothers London Bridge 222 Regent Street. The set is engraved at the top with what looks like leaves and on the blade is tall grass with three leaves coming up from the grass. The forks have the same but smaller. The symbols on the back are star like sun, m in a box, b in a box, mappin in a box.
From the marks you describe, the set sounds like Victorian silverplate.
Are the handles silverplate / bone / mother of pearl??
How many pieces are there??
If you examine the pieces, can you find areas where the silverplate is worn off allowing nickel to show through? (nickel is yellow-ish in colour)
There are 12 knives and 12 forks with a large knife and fork serving set. There are no signs of anything tarnishing. They are silver with ivory handles.
‘Nickel showing through’ and ‘tarnish’ are very different things. Silver tarnishes (turns yellow) by reacting with sulphur in the air to form silver sulphate. This is easily reversed using any silver polish. However, with silverplate, the thin layer of silver on top of the base metal (usually nickel) can become so worn (usually by excess polishing) that in some places the silver is completely worn off and the base metal shows through. This can only be fixed by re-plating the item. So, my question is… can you see any areas where the silver plate is completely worn off?
also, are there any cracks or chips in the handles?
are there any other signs of wear??
there isn’t any wear on the silver plate. I don’t see any yellow. Seven of the handles are cracked where they join at the handle.
unfortunately, with cracked handles the set is not worth very much. I would say £30-50 at the most. Very often with plated items, the restoration costs are simply too great to make any financial sense. Sorry!