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Fraget Silver Plated Fork 1896-1915

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Posted 2 years ago

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BHock45
(599 items)

I was very happy to find this fork today. I was just reading an article about marks on European silver plate. Specifically about Fraget in Poland/Russia. And then I came upon this fork. I think it is one of those cases where it is better left uncleaned, in this condition. For some reason it looks perfectly old to me. I tried to highlight the makers mark in the third picture but I was not getting good light at all. It reads:

"FRAGET N PLAQUE" (Fraget Silver Plate on Alpacca)

"The coat of arms of the Russian Empire (double-headed eagle to the left) on the mark means a gold medal at the All-Russia Exhibition of Manufactured Goods or the sign of the official purveyor to the Court of His Majesty Russian Tsar."

Anyone know the pattern name or type of fork?

Based on the link to the following article that I read I would date the fork between 1896-1915. Anyone agree/disagree please chime in. The history of Fraget and Norblin can be found in the link posted below. It was a very interesting read for me. Thanks for the help and for visiting.

Comments

  1. BHock45 BHock45, 2 years ago
    http://www.ascasonline.org/windowFEBBRA57.html

    thanks to: by Prof. David N. Nikogosyan, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
  2. BHock45 BHock45, 2 years ago
    related article: http://www.ascasonline.org/windowMARZO58.html
  3. BHock45 BHock45, 2 years ago
    thanks blunderbuss2!
  4. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    Have five minutes to wait, so I logged on and saw your message.

    Oh, how exciting. I missed this one, but looks like you have done a splendid job IDing it. The only thing I can safely say is that if this had been an American spoon, I'd call it a strawberry fork. Strawberry forks are not in the 'standard wardrobe', but are a 'luxury addition'. Strawberry forks are rather popular these days, and most of them are vintage or antique. I don't have time to read the Fraget article now. I'll take a look later. Time to run again. : )
  5. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    OK, I'm back. I am thrilled by the link you provide in your Comment No. 1. Fascinating information, of which I was completely unawares before encountering this show and tell. I've bookmarked the link. : ) Yes, this is a beautiful pattern.

    I am not following you. I think that the Norblin history is fascinating, but I don't see what bearing it has on the Fraget fork. I must be missing something.

    Obviously, this is Fraget and "Plaque" (silverplate), and if the letter in the 'interrupted' lozenge or rhombus is an "N", then I think you are correct in asserting that this is silverplate on Alpaca. To me, the letter looks like an "M", but I don't have good resolution on this laptop, so my reading might well be incorrect. I also don’t see the double-headed eagle on your fork, but again, I must leave that to you.

    RE date: I can't confirm your dating. I don’t assert that I think that it’s incorrect, but I assert that I don’t have sufficient information to make such a judgment. I think that perhaps I missed something here. I can understand an hypothesis of an end date of circa 1917, the year in which Tsar Nicholas II ‘resigned’, but I don't get your beginning date - 1896 or the end date - 1915. Although I could see such a pattern being produced in America circa 1896*, I don’t know enough about Fraget’s patterns or about Polish or Russian styles of the period to say whether I think it a likely initial date. I see from Prof. David N. Nikogosyan’s article (See linked article in BHock45’s Comment No. 1.) that circa 1850’s-1860’s Fraget began or concentrated on producing electroplated silver items, and that it exported them – principally to the Russian market, where they enjoyed considerable popularity. Professor N. states that in the Russian Empire silverplated items were referred to as “fraget”.) Fraget ceased production in 1939. So, without other information, the only end date I can assign is on or before 1939.

    I found a set of marks that closely resembles yours on http://www.925-1000.com/silverplate_F.html . The dates given therein will not correspond precisely to date ranges in which the two given hallmarks were used. The 925-1000 date range begins with 1825 and ends in 1961. 1825 is the founding date of the firm, and 1961 was the date of the merger that resulted in the new firm HEFRA. Now, electroplating was first discovered in 1840, so there couldn’t have been an Alpaca “plaque” before 1840. I cannot find a precise date range that corresponds to the fork's hallmarks, though I did find a number of pieces with this particular hallmark. Now, some considerations on the end date of the date range.

    Suppose the double-headed eagle represented the Tsar's patronage. After Nicholas II ‘resigned’, I think it possible that this silver might have continued to be made with this double-headed eagle mark -- to indicate the very high quality of the pattern and/or firm. It could have signified that the pattern’s/or firm’s quality had once been favored by the Tsar’s royal warrant. Granted, under this post-resignation scenario, wares with this mark were perhaps not marketed in Russia, but might have been elsewhere, say in Poland or another country. I note that we don't know that this particular pattern found favor with the Tsar. In England, a royal warrant can attach to a firm, and I don't think that the warrant mark on a jar of British lime marmalade indicates that that particular product inspired a royal warrant, unless it is the only item made by the firm. (I might be mistaken here. I don’t pay much attention to Royal Warrants.)

    Now, consider the hypothesis that this double-headed eagle represents a gold medal awarded at an All-Russia Exhibition of Manufactured Goods. My grounds for abstaining from confirming your terminal production date, as given in previous paragraphs, still hold.

    Link on strawberry forks follows. I have seen four-tined strawberry forks.

    http://fiveoclockteaspoon.blogspot.com/2009/06/strawberry-fork-remembered.html

    Have a look at the shoulders on the Russian dinner fork in the following link. The fork is dated 1850-1899, and the shoulders are like those on your fork. It looks to be like the tine end of this huge Russian dinner fork is both broader and perhaps shorter (relative to staff length) than the tine end on your fork.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Massive-8-1-2-Russian-Tsar-Nicholas-II-dinner-forks-Kokoshnik-mark-/350572577976

    RE pattern name. I think that this was perhaps a popular pattern. I did a Google Images search and found a number of items with this pattern. In none of these postings was the pattern name identified.

    Have a look at this old auction. Note that the hallmarks on the spoon or fork are like yours. (Except that I can’t see discern the "N" or the eagle on your fork.)These marks might well be the marks used on flatware, whereas the hallmarks in Prof. Nikogosyan’s article might be found only on, or primarily on, hollowware or large pieces only. (Gorham has used hallmarks for flatware that are different from their hallmarks on hollowware. A flatware hallmark must needs be narrow and small.) I translated the Russian auction description using an online translator. I don’t know a word of Russian, so I didn’t try to clean it up. Seller didn’t know the pattern name either, even though he/she spoke Russian and had an elegant cased set in desirable condition that he was trying to sell. Point: It might be pretty hard to find the pattern name. Immediately following the translation is the link to the original Russian listing.

    At the end of the auction: 2011-06-14 7:34:46 PM the seller: m?lisim? Buy now: 7800 roubles FRAGET N plaque N?rblin set of 22 cutlery polish porcelain "Fr?get N Pl?que" in box 6 tablespoons 21.5 cm 6 yokes 21.5 cm 6 teaspoons 14.5 cm 4 knife restoration for 26 see obliging NB

    http://xarhiv.ru/stolovye-pribory-22-predm-fraget-n-plaque-norblin-i1632488307.html

    Note that the knives have some different markings.

    I see that Professor Nikogosyan has included a ‘literature’ list at the end of his article. No. 3 looks particularly interesting. It is, alas, in Russian. Perhaps you should write Prof. N. at University College-Cork and ask him if he has a suggestion on how you might find the pattern name, and whether or not he has contacted any of the authors who wrote the pieces he cites. The Professor seems to be rather interested in Fraget, and he has 'corrected' one or more of the authors in his article.

    That’s all I have to say. Best wishes for success!

    * Compare Durgin’s “New Vintage” pattern of 1904 for shoulders and back of bowl design. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antq-1904-Durgin-New-Vintage-Pattern-Sterling-Silver-Repousse-Style-Spoon-NR-/320982351058?nma=true&si=RM7av%2FF4ffG95r32AHHn9aB0aZM%3D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

  6. BHock45 BHock45, 2 years ago
    mikkochristmas, hey hope all is well. The Norblin I just included because it was interesting. Yeah, this fork has nothing to do with that. Secondly, the double headed bird is there. To the left of the word FRAGET, it is very very hard to see, even on my monitor which is quite good. But, I have to give my little girl a bath...I'll finish reading later!!!
  7. BHock45 BHock45, 2 years ago
    OK...back to work here. Yes, the letter is an "N" FRAGET N PLAQUE. The rationale for my dating the fork is as follows:the article by Prof. David N. Nikogosyan, he goes through the procession of FRAGET mark. The original mark (as he labels #1) was "Marked by the inscription "WARSZAWA FRAGET" + the year of production, placed in the oval. 1:QTE (1:QUALITE) means 1st QUALITY (in French)." When you finally reach #6 (1896-1915) he says, "Marked by the inscription "FRAGET N PLAQUE" (which means "FRAGET SILVER PLATE ON ALPACCA"), placed in the oval. The size of the oval is between 7x9 mm and 8x11 mm. In the small oval there is the coat of arms of the coppersmiths' corporation (two crossed hammers with a pair of compasses). The coat of arms of the Russian Empire (double-headed eagle) on the mark means a gold medal at the All-Russia Exhibition of Manufactured Goods or the sign of the official purveyor to the Court of His Majesty Russian Tsar." This is the same mark as mine. YOU ARE CORRECT HOWEVER, THIS IS NOT 100% FACT AS HE DOES NOT DISCUSS FLATWARE MARKINGS. But that is my rationale.
  8. BHock45 BHock45, 2 years ago
    Forgive me. I read your post in my usual "ADHD" fashion....scattered, but now I have put it together. I have some more work to find flatware markings.
  9. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    Hi, BHock45. Thanks much for the explanation!! : ) If you do find or develop an assembled list/explanation of Fraget flatware hallmarks, you'll be the man of the hour. : ) Before you posted this fork, I'd never heard of Fraget. If you do find/develop said list/explanation, I hope you'll post your findings on ascasonline.org for the whole world to see. For the excellent research and analysis that you've already produced: Bravo! Take care, sir.
  10. BHock45 BHock45, 2 years ago
    thank you mrmajestic1!

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