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English Silver plate tea service

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Silver2051 of 2488Need Help in Identifying Punch LadleNarragansett
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Posted 6 years ago

(1 item)

My parents bought this from an antique shop in Charleston , SC in the early 1970's. They were told it was from the late 1800's England.

I have tried to research the maker's marks and come back with nothing!
The first one is a W in an octagon (or a square with the corners chopped off). The second mark is an S in it's own octagon. The third mark says &co in it's own octagon. The fourth mark is another S in it's own octagon but it is a little worn, I believe this mark refers to the year it was made. All the lettering is done in an old English script. I think this is silver plate as there is no marking for sterling from the crown or assayers office.
The entire set has very decorative engraving (hand done) all over it. There is an image engraved on each piece. It appears to be 2 long snouted mammals (dog?) that has a snakes body or is biting (fighting) a snake.
Also there appears to be 4 heads, 2 are smaller and they look like the same animal. The dog figure looks more like an Afghanistan Elkhound since it has a long snout and floppy ears. Not sure if you can tell in the detail I photocopied.

I have gone through the maker's marks websites. None of them use this ornate lettering. That was my first attempt solving this mystery. But I am most curious about the scene going on. Would like to know if this is an Egyptian themed set. If anyone knows about the animal figures on here please leave a comment.

Thank you so much!

Unsolved Mystery

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  1. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 6 years ago
    Hi, I don't think that this is Egyptian.
  2. Sophia071, 6 years ago
    I knew it was a popular theme. Didn't know how else to place a serpent with a dog's head, haha. Never seen anything like it nor can I find anything even close. Thank you!
  3. Hunter Hunter, 6 years ago
    Celtic would be my other guess - all those patterned knots. Unsure about the Afghan hound though...
  4. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 6 years ago
    Hi, all. Yes, Hunter, I noticed those too, and I think that they're very important to identifying this set. This is a very odd set. I cannot see any creatures, BTW - I believe you, but I cannot see them. Recall that in Victorian period, Turkish & etc. styles was popular in England. I don't have time to work this, but I was wondering if this could be one of those English-Afghan, English-Indian, English-Turkish, English-etc. styles. About the only intelligent thing I have to say is that it's not Egyptian style. If Vetraio50 discovers this, he'll probably solve it pronto. What a fun puzzle.
  5. Sophia071, 6 years ago
    Thanks for your comments everyone! Let me see if I can get a better photo of the creatures on the side. It may not even be a dog.
    Would a pic of the maker's marks help? I have found markings that are close but not the entire set in the manner of which it has been stamped. This is fun!
  6. Sophia071, 6 years ago
    OK I copied the creature from the creamer. If you click on this pic and then use the zoom you can sort of see a dog like animal with a snake body? I have no idea. It just may be the strangest design I have ever seen on silver. More exciting than your average flower though.
  7. Sophia071, 6 years ago
    When I zoom in it really looks as though the 4 dog heads are biting the snakes bodies?
  8. Hunter Hunter, 6 years ago
    Maker's marks would definitely help! Particularly in identifying the production location...
  9. Hunter Hunter, 6 years ago
    they do seem to resemble silver-plate marks, but can't find an exact match: http://www.925-1000.com/silverplate__Init_W.html
  10. mizjane, 6 years ago
    I love this mystery!! Let me see what I can scare up......
  11. Sophia071, 6 years ago
    I had the same trouble, Hunter. The web may be a limited resource. No ref books here. Thanks so much for the help everyone. Can't wait to find out what those animals are doing on there.
  12. Sophia071, 6 years ago

    This was the closest I found using that Old English looking font.
  13. Sophia071, 6 years ago
    Thank you all for your help. I am excited to find out the origin etc of this piece.
  14. Hunter Hunter, 6 years ago
    here's a confusing lead: this mark seems to be the same as yours, but they identify it as W.S. Savage & Co., from Sheffield. Unfortunately, no other searches for that company show the same mark...and their images are small (but zoom in on the hallmark photo): http://www.morninggloryjewelry.com/electroplated-silver-cased-spoons-set-p-6178.html
  15. Sophia071, 6 years ago
    Wow how odd. I saw something in my reading about that mark being before Sheffield was called Sheffield. But as you stated could not find confirmation or a year. Thanks !
  16. Hunter Hunter, 6 years ago
    definitely thinking celtic designs - there's a bit on the web about dogs in celtic art, often with the knot/twist design going through their mouths, and this ribbon pattern looks quite similar: http://www.cloakmaker.com/trims/sibl_celticdogs.jpg
  17. Sophia071, 6 years ago
    Hmmmm interesting. It does resemble that. Will do more research on the Celtic dogs. Thanks!
  18. Sophia071, 6 years ago
    Did not know the Celts revered dogs so much! Interesting read on their symbols. http://www.silvershake.com/store/Celtic_silver_learning.asp
  19. Sophia071, 2 years ago
    Still haven't solved this mystery. But I am still in doubt it is silver plate. If it were it would have an EP or SP on the marks but is clearly ends with an "S". It's is still driving me nuts to not know about this set.

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