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Mauser? M M Company? Help!

Hello all. Please help! I have a very nice EPNS Hammered Silverplate Pitcher (Cocktail I’d assume) that on the bottom has the following: M M Co. EPNS N558. It’s a very Art Deco looking piece, but… is the ‘M M Co.’ in fact Mauser Manufacturing Company? If I have guessed incorrectly, could one of you brilliant silver-istas tell me who it really is. This will be sold and I try to always give my customers as much CORRECT info as I can. Thank you in advance for your help! Vincent

Vincent, thanks for joining us here on silver-collector.com, glad to have you aboard. I’m the American silver moderator and happened to see your post. Mauser sterling is my favoirte, so I thought I’d chime in on your question.

Your item is not Mauser. Frank Mauser, joined later by one of his brothers, began their silversmithing shop in Andover, Mass. in 1887 then moved it to New York in about 1890. To my knowledge the company never produced any silverplated goods, only sterling. And they produced very fine sterling, in my view among the best examples of American sterling, ever. The name “Mauser” seldom appeared on the goods, only the tiny Mauser logo of the unicorn (many still call it a “horse”, but its a unicorn). The company was merged with the Mount Vernon Silver Co. in 1903 and the combined companies were acquired by Gorham in 1913. I have seen the unicorn on items made between 1903 and 1913, but not often, and usually with the “Mauser Mfg. Co. New York” stamp.

The 1887-1903 Mauser marks are the unicorn, usually leaping to the left (but I own a few smalls with it leaping right) impressed on one side of the bottom of holloware, then "925/1000 FINE’ ("fine is always in all caps), 90 degrees from the first mark, then the word “sterling” around another 90 degrees, then a pattern number to complete the compass roundabout.

I’ve looked in some of my books, which I’ll admit are short on American silverplate makers (there are a huge number of American silver plate makers) and cannot find who made yours.

Again, thanks for joining us on silver-collector.com.

Uncle Vic

:blush: Hello Uncle Vic! Thanks for the info… I looked through so many sites, but this one at least had folks talking and helping. I appreciate it very much!

Vincent, we do the best we can with American marks. We are playing with a short deck vs. the UK uniform marks mandated by law there for hundreds of year. The US never had uniform silver marks, so most of what we use for reference is collateral data and a lot of detective work.

It is much worse with American silver plate marks. At least most of the signifigant American sterling makers stayed in business for many years, but the silver plate makers by and large came and went over just a few years. None of them had to “register” their marks, they just came and went in very large numbers, leaving virtually no tracks… Now and then I take a look on eBay at some American silverplate items, usually trays (good values mostly) and just marvel at the array of makers and unknown marks.

So there you have it, we just do the best we can, and enjoy every minute of talking about and researching our silver.

Again, thanks for visiting silver-collector.com, and come back soon.

Uncle Vic

Vincent - your posting was from 2006 - ever so long ago. I have a piece with the same marking. a 13.5 X 9.5" tray with 4 feet, probably to put ‘meat’ or something with juice because there are recessed veins (leaf like veins) on it. Did you ever learn any more about your piece and it’s Mark? TIA