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Unknown number meanings on tea caddy

Hi all,

Any help would be much appreciated with the following:

Have a mid-late 1800s Shaw & Fisher sheffield Tea caddy/ tobacco canister. That has some numbers I’m not
Too sure the meaning of. Above the makers mark is 33 and below the makers mark 187. I’m not sure either if this caddy is silver plated/ brittania metal or Brittania silver or electroplated.

Any help is great as I’m learning the ropes,



Ps sorry no pics. Couldn’t seem to be able to do it off an iPad.

If you only have the maker’s mark and some numbers it can’t be silver. Electroplate frequently has what we normally assume to be a pattern number; that could account for the 33 or the 187.

Thanks for the Reply

Oddly enough it’s in such good condition and doesn’t appear to be plated at. Will polish it up and see what happens,


That’s good to know. So, if you see these numbers on any piece then it won’t be silver at all? Usually it is fairly simple to see when something isn’t silver, but rare cases do happen.