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Meriden Britannia Co. Serving Spoon 1850-1898

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Posted 2 years ago

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BHock45
(626 items)

This is an old metal spoon it is 9 inches long and 1.2 ounces in weight. It is exactly as I found it. I haven't cleaned it, shined it or anything. It is very interesting to me because it is very light, but rather large.

My guess is that it is a serving spoon. The only marks on can make out on the back are the three letters "MBC". I am wondering if someone can help me ID the type of metal based on the oxidation, and if anyone knows some history about this one. Thanks!

Mystery Solved

Comments

  1. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    I bet this is a wonderful spoon. Coin silver, OLD! Need to clean it up a little and look at hallmark carefully. Maker likely won't be as easy to identify as more recent silver. Following article provides some interesting info.

    http://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/saving-vermont-history-one-silver-spoon-at-a-time/

    http://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/saving-vermont-history-one-silver-spoon-at-a-time/
  2. BHock45 BHock45, 2 years ago
    Thanks everyone and mikkochristmas for the great info. Do you think I should clean it up or leave it as is? I love how old looking this spoon is. But then again I can't find anything else about it. I saw it buried in a closet in a store and I thought "it's mine!" The only letters stamped are MBC. Could it be meridian brittiana company? Thanks so much all! What should be my next step to find out more about this spoon?
  3. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    Hi, BHock45! Yes, a super find! Gorgeous antique American coin silver spoon. Yes, I would clean it up if I were you, and then get a good photo of the hallmark. Might take some looking with these old ones, but I'll give it a shot when you get the good photo of the hallmark. : )
  4. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    No, I think that this is too early to be Meriden.
  5. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    Here's an excellent comment on the best sources for researching old coin silver hallmarks.

    http://www.ecommercebytes.com/forums/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=16013

    I used the following database recently to help solve a silver mystery for filmnet. It is excellent!

    http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~silversmiths/
  6. BHock45 BHock45, 2 years ago
    mikkochristmas11 thank you so much for helping me again, as soon as I return home I will start to clean it up and I will keep you posted!
  7. BHock45 BHock45, 2 years ago
    thank you blunderbuss2 and bellin68for the loves!
  8. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    Hi, BHock45! You're most welcome, sir. I am a little bit alarmed now. I see that this weighs over a pound? I don't think it will be coin silver if it weighs over a pound. I am also a bit alarmed to see the enlarged photos of the 'finish'. Some of it looks consistent with tarnish, but not all of it. The solution to this might be quite unexpected. A very fine mystery, sir!
  9. BHock45 BHock45, 2 years ago
    Hi mikkochristmas11. The spoon is very large. Almost like a modern day serving spoon. My first impression when I picked it up was...wow this is light! I did weigh it on an accurate scale though. I am away for the weekend, and I will start to uncover the mystery as soon as I arrive home tomorrow. Thanks again!
  10. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    Hi, BHock45! Thanks for the info and your very kind comments! Enjoy your weekend!, and whenever you find it convenient to post a good photo of hallmarks I'll set to work. Good thing you weighed this - most excellent clue! : )
  11. BHock45 BHock45, 2 years ago
    mikkochristmas11. Major mistake weighing the spoon the first time! 1.2 ounces is the weight of the spoon. Please pardon the mistake! is 1.2 ounces more accurate with coin silver?
  12. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    Hi, BHock45! Thanks for checking! : ) Yes, much better than 1 lb 2 oz. I'd be searching for concrete spoons then! : )
  13. BHock45 BHock45, 2 years ago
    lol. just a quick question. do you have any tips on how to go about cleaning this spoon? Should I just polish it like I would any other spoon? Basically I am getting a whole lot of black tarnish and it is very hard to get to a "silver". The color it gets down to is more like a bronze brownish. How would you go about cleaning this is more of my question? thanks!
  14. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    Hi, BHock45! I'm not quite sure I understand you. If you mean that you've gotten to the base metal - and it's not silver, but is brown, there's a problem - it won't be silver. If you mean, instead, that you are encountering thick accumulations on the metal, a lot of which have been black tarnish, but much of which looks like brown accumulations on top of the spoon, then spoon could still be coin silver. If the latter obtains, then perhaps you should try soaking it in warm water with a drop of so of liguid dish washing detergent. Let it soak overnight, and see if you can make progress tomorrow with the silver polish. If you've made no progress, then, we'll try something else. Best wishes for success! : )
  15. BHock45 BHock45, 2 years ago
    This is how it appears so far. The top layer is a thick black tarnish. Once removed there is a brownish tarnish, very hard to remove, but under that appears to be all silver. Ill have another go at it and let you know.
  16. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    Hi, AR8Jason. I was just thinking of you when BHock45 reported the presence of brown accumulation. I had intended to ask you to weigh in if BHock45 didn't discover coin silver beneath, but I am delighted that you're here now.

    FYI, I have seen coin silver spoons of this form, and I have also seen a HUGE one. Very old HUGE American coin silver spoon more than a foot long. The one that was more than a foot long was so very light that I asked the owner, an antique dealer, why it was so light. I had a hard time accepting that it was truly coin silver.

    AR8Jason, did you notice the dings in bowl? Quite significant, perhaps. If not coin silver, what metal did you have in mind? Your opinion is greatly respected, sir. Thank you!
  17. BHock45 BHock45, 2 years ago
    Hey, now that I have worked on it a little bit. I notice something. Is it perhaps some type of coated copper? It looks like the "silver" has worn away, and the next layer is copper, or at least copper colored. Thanks guys.
  18. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    Thanks much, BHock45! I look forward to seeing the hallmark when you're finished. : )
  19. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    Hi, AR8Jason! Do you think that any of the metals that you listed - excluding aluminum - would be susceptible to the dings that one observes in the bowl of this spoon? Thanks a lot!
  20. BHock45 BHock45, 2 years ago
    Please take a good look at photo 2 from the left. Zoom into the area right above the shoulder. There is a chip in the metal where you can see a brass/bronze color. Perhaps it is brass? I always thought brass to be heavy.
  21. BHock45 BHock45, 2 years ago
    updated photos:
    http://www.collectorsweekly.com/stories/74479-old-metal-spoon-continued
  22. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    Hi, all. Just checked my email and saw this. Yes, hallmark looks like one used by Meriden Britannia Co. The reference I had consulted when I first saw this spoon gave the Meriden Brit. Co. mark as middle 1860's, not earlier. This is a very early form of spoon, and I wouldn't have thought that Meriden would produce it in the 1860's. I see from Sterling Flatware Fashions that Meriden produced silver plated wares as early as 1855. Thanks for the link, AR8Jason!

    http://www.sterlingflatwarefashions.com/Silversmiths/SilversmithsM6.html

    http://www.925-1000.com/silverplate_M.html
  23. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    Hi, gentlemen! The thing that looks very old on this spoon is the shoulder. The shoulders are in the junction between the bowl and handle. FYI, follows a link to a diagram of the anatomy of a spoon.

    http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&sa=X&tbo=d&biw=1366&bih=622&tbm=isch&tbnid=6kUvhU0nWTHQ1M:&imgrefurl=http://www.925-1000.com/a_spoonanatomy.html&docid=XiRPrxTEQf5FsM&imgurl=http://www.925-1000.com/glos/A_SpoonAnatomy.jpg&w=699&h=221&ei=U5uqUPGxHITbyAHCtoHgBg&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=2&vpy=172&dur=724&hovh=126&hovw=400&tx=204&ty=55&sig=117829367177864580229&page=1&tbnh=77&tbnw=219&start=0&ndsp=23&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0,i:74

    From about 1800-1805 in America, spoons developed a sharp shoulder, and afterwards a rounded shoulder. These rounded shoulders began to disappear after circa 1850. My MBC hallmark was 1868, which seemed too old for this shape. I don't doubt that AR8Jason has seen some of these spoons in plate, but prior to this posting, I had not seen one. I have seen this shape in coin silver and in pewter only. BHock45, this spoon is historically interesting, even if it's not of much commercial value. I think that it's a very nice find. If it’s 9 inches, it’s a big one! I personally love these old ‘coin silver shape’ spoons. : )

    After reading AR8Jason's most recent posting, I consulted Noel D. Turner’s “American Silver Flatware 1837 -1910” (Newbury N. J.: A. S. Barnes and Company, Inc., 1972, first edition), and did not find one single spoon from Meriden or Rogers with this exact, dramatic shoulder. I found some patterns with flourishes in this area, but none in this pattern with shoulders exactly like this. The closest I got was in the Section entitled “Standard Patterns” (p.85). Sixteen ‘standard’ patterns are given in this section. Of those, only two are closely similar to yours’ and neither of these is an exact match. To make sure I’m on the same page, BHock45, in your spoon, the design on the tip is on reverse of the spoon, isn’t it? If so, Turner refers to this pattern as “Reverse Tip (French Tip)”. If the design on the tip is on the front, Turner refers to this pattern as “Plain Tipped (Tipped, Tip’t)”. No dates are given. To be fair, I must say that one must expect some 'abstraction' in a 'standard patterns' gallery, so the fact that your spoon doesn't exactly correspond to the closest spoon in the 'standard patterns' gallery doesn't mean that your spoon doesn't fit this pattern/category.

    Hope your Thanksgiving observances are splendid, gentlemen!
  24. MattyG MattyG, 2 years ago
    I have the same exact looking spoon only it's 21" long and made of cast aluminum and painted flat black and marked DDC on the back. It came with a matching fork and both were made for wall decor with a small hole for hanging on each. Exact identical design too.
  25. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    Very interesting. Does it have the same dramatic shoulders? The shoulders make it look very old.
  26. MattyG MattyG, 2 years ago
    I will upload the pair sometime today.
  27. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    Super! I'll check back for it. Thanks!

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