I recently bought a set of 12 Towle Sterling Butter Knives on eBay and need to know a few things: a) are the blades silver-plated, b)are the handles genuinely sterling and not mixed with cement, c)what is the collector value of these knives and d)anything else you can tell me! Here are the specs:
Momogrammed TMC (I think) in ornate lettering on one side of the handle, the other side says 1909 in the same style.
It says STERLING PAT APR 14 1904 at the end of the handle nearest the blade.
The blade has a nice patina but there are some spots where it has worn away, revealing a much lighter, silverish metal on the inside. Could be the result of an acid test or oxidation if the blade is not actually silver.
Thanks for any help you can provide me, I’ve just come across this site and will probably frequent as I’ve been really getting into silver collecting!
I can’t yet figure out how to resize all the way down to the allotted 256 kb amount, tried picresize.com but didn’t get close…here’s a link to the pics on ebay of these knives:
ebay.com/itm/110822887999?ss … 1439.l2649
Hi and thanks for joining us. The blades are not solid silver as its too soft for cutting. They are probably silver plated steel. Take a magnet to them to confirm. The 1909 date engraved on one side is probably the date they were bought by the original owner and would be close to their date of manufacture.
Towle is a respected American silver maker of mid-quality flat and holloware. The handles are probably hollow like most of that era.
I have a set of Mauser sterling flatware and the knife blades were silver plated steel and had corrosion spots on them. That is near impossible to repair, so I had a silversmith replace my blades with new staniless steel ones. He did a very nice job at a moderate cost, and I had my choice of several different styles of blades.
Thanks for the response, Vic. I think the 1909 marking was when this particular batch of knives was produced, 5 years after the 1904 patent date. I think the blades still could be full sterling since they were only made for butter knives but I really have no expertise in the area. Anyone else know anything of use?
Sorry, my mistake…I overlooked that they were butter knives so the blades are of course sterling too. I’m not aware that Towle ever date-marked any of its goods so the 1909 date I’d say was engraved at the same time as the monogram.
i am 99% sure that the blade is silver plated steel and the handles are a sterling coated cement composite.