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Antique sterling silver wedding cup

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Posted 6 years ago

(2 items)

The back of the cloak says sterling 925 German IF or JF & Son LTD. He stands 14.5 inches tall. Does anyone know anything about this and how much it might be worth?

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  1. Emeraldcitylady, 6 years ago
    Thanks!! He is quite a fine fellow - you take him off the stand and turn him upside down and the groom drinks out of the cloak and the bride out of the vessel he is holding over his head. Any ideas how I can research him?
  2. Emeraldcitylady, 6 years ago
    I just figured out that this was made by Israel Freeman & Son in England and the silver is from Germany - now if I could only figure out how old it is :) - any ideas?
  3. chinablue chinablue, 6 years ago
    I found one that is made as yours is except this one has a n ivory face :
    The legend of these cups dates back about 400+ years. You can google The Legend of the Nuernberg Bridal Cup and read it on many sites as well as see how it is used. Whenever you have a mark, it is a BIG help if you'll post a pic of it. Often there are subtle differences that will make a difference in maker and/or date of the item to someone familiar with the marks but there is no way to tell without seeing it.
  4. Emeraldcitylady, 6 years ago
    Hi ChinaBlue - I took a pic through a magnifying glass to show the mark. I can't believe you found a pic of almost the identical piece!! How do you suggest I go about finding what it is worth?
    Many thanks!! :)
  5. Stillwater Stillwater, 6 years ago
    We can't tell you what its worth if you don't tell us how much it weighs. Thats how silver is sold, by weight. Its a commodity.
  6. Emeraldcitylady, 6 years ago
    Hi Stillwater,

    I am not interested in its value as a silver commodity....I am interested in its value as an antique.
  7. Stillwater Stillwater, 6 years ago
    Yes, but the silver value is about 75% of its overall value. If it was silver plate, it wouldn't be worth 1/10 of what it is if its sterling.
  8. chinablue chinablue, 6 years ago
    Glad I could help a little. Unless it's quite new, it was before WWII because of the 'Germany'. That's about all I can tell you for now. An English Maker with no other hallmarks such as a date stamp or city mark, "sterling" in English with the word "Germany" isn't making a lot of sense to me as to where this was actually made. Either I'm too tired or else I'm missing something. I have no clue about the little "m" or "3". What little I did find about Israel Freeman also used a hand holding a hammer, with IFS under it. Israel Freeman & Son of Sheffield, England worked in London at the beginning of the 20th century and moved to New York City in the 1920s. I did also find the same mark as yours, the IF&S over LTD in an oval listed for them also, but after mid 19th century. So, it looks like we're talking sometime after they quit using the hand and hammer, but I can't find when it changed. I hope some of this makes sense. If I find out anything more or can think a little better after a few hours sleep, I'll be glad to let you know! *L* Hopefully someone with a little more knowledge than I have can help you more. Good luck! :-)
  9. chinablue chinablue, 6 years ago
    ... and great picture of the marks btw!!
  10. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 6 years ago
    Hi, all! Haven't been active the last two days, but chinablue asked me to have a look, and I'm always pleased and honored to try to assist her very kind and competent soul, so please permit me to stumble in. Very interesting hallmark to be from I. Freeman & Son LTD! I've not seen this mark before. I personally do not see an "I" in your hallmark. Can you please verify that your hallmark has an "I", or is the "I" an inference on your part? If you did find an image of your hallmark, can you please provide us with a link to this Freeman hallmark? Prior to embarking on this search, I had encountered some Freeman hallmarks, and they were all on silverplated items. Here’s some information I found on the firm when I was researching an Israel Freeman hallmark on a silverplated item. The dialogue provides some very interesting information.


    A silver enthusiast in the above link identifies them as a dealer of silver goods, not a maker. I see them operating in England in the 20th century, perhaps established there circa 1928. I see them using a different hallmark in England in 1984 – on an imported sterling item. The hallmark looks similar to yours, but in my opinion it’s not a match to your hallmark. Note that this hallmark set includes a mark indicating that the item was assayed in London.


    I have only one reference to the same person/business operating in America before, and I haven't seen him operating anywhere with a hallmark like yours. The reference to I Freeman operating in America follows below. The item listed for sale is identified as made in England for I. Freeman & Son of New York, NY. The hallmark is the old hammer with old rounded rectangle mark.


    I do see an "I" Freeman & Son Inc in Scarsdale, NY, but I have no idea whether they're related. One mention has him as a jeweler; the link below identifies him as being in the silverware trade. Whether he’s maker or retailer, I don’t know.


    I think that before any of us pursue the Freeman hypothesis further, it would be a good idea for you to reexamine your hallmarks and let us know if you can positively confirm an “I” in your maker's mark. Thanks.

    My preliminary hypothesis is that if these hallmarks are genuine, this item was made in Germany for import into the USA or other country that does not have a system of silver hallmarks as highly developed as the UK. I have no idea what the “3” signifies. I see no indication that this is an antique item. The form is very old, but I don’t see any indication that this item is an antique. Why do you think that it’s antique, please? Thanks.
  11. chinablue chinablue, 6 years ago
    I'm afraid that I can't date this very old either, miKKo. At least not yet. This is what I've found so far. I. Freeman & Son had two different marks, which I had hoped was changed at a known time to help date this piece. What I found was they had one for sterling and one for plate. I found some references that showed the use of the oval on later pieces such as it shows here
    The oval IF&Sons/LTD used 1961-1974. Ref here:
    And ref here with british hallmarks for 1965 or (possibly1984):
    I found the arm with hammer mark being used by them on their silverplate early 20th century here:
    and circa 1928 here:
    As for the '3' I found mention of '4' here but no explanation of the number:
    Without having some other information, or finding the use of the oval before mid 20th century, the best I can come up with is pre WW II (because of the "germany"). I'm still looking for a date range for use of the oval mark, but so far, no luck. If I find out more, I'll post it here. Hope this all makes sense! If not, let me know. :-)
  12. chinablue chinablue, 6 years ago
    And Bellin, I loved it so please, no tickets! *L*
  13. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 6 years ago
    Hi, chinablue! Thanks very much for the detailed account! What I still don't get is why this is 'I Freeman', when the hallmark in the photo looks to me like it reads 'F&SON LTN(D)'? I think I must have missed the boat. : ) I couldn't get one of your links to open. Perhaps the information I sought was in that link. By the way, I saved a link to my favorites. : )
  14. chinablue chinablue, 6 years ago
    I got the IF from downloading the picture here and changing the gamma around so I could read it. *LOL* Not 100%, but "close enough for government work". *grin* And please, let me know which link isn't working so I can try to fix it.
  15. chinablue chinablue, 6 years ago
    Pssst, miKKo.. the "love it" police, aka Bellin68 has been here.. better love this thing before you get a ticket! *LOL*
  16. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 6 years ago
    Hi, chinablue! Thanks much for the info! What is a "gamma"? I know its usual three senses, but I don't find a sense that would fit here. I am short in the contemporary lingo dept. I have great respect for all your opinions, and I'm waiting for you to pull a rabbit from a hat! : ) The metalminnie.co.uk is the link that didn't work. : ) Best wishes for a splendid Sunday! miKKo
  17. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 6 years ago
    Hi, chinablue! Thanks for the heads-up! Look at the goofy thing I posted on my cat when he mentioned a 'citation'. As I said, I'm slow on the uptake. : (

  18. chinablue chinablue, 6 years ago
    I took a look at the beginnings of the citation issue. Too funny! I do stuff like that all the time. But when I first started on CW, I DID get fussed at by someone who shall remain nameless for NOT loving things I commented on. I learned quickly just not to comment on things I couldn't love with a clear conscious. *LOL* As for the gamma thing.. it's a graphics 'fix' that allows you to lighten or darken photos or parts of photos to better see what is lurking in the dark or in a too bright area. I download pix from here and tweak them when I'm not sure what they are. It doesn't always work, and it never helps blurry photos. As I said, the earliest I can find this mark mentioned in 1961. But I'm still looking! And it may be something besides IF, but I rather doubt it. :-)
  19. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 6 years ago
    Thanks, chinablue for the gamma info!!! I've got to look into that. Not too swift with cameras, either. : ( Good show, there!!!

    Hi, Bellin! Yes, I knighted you and gave you a medal! I had though that you had perhaps got called out for chatting, but I saw later that I was the naughty one. Thanks much for the gentle nudge! : )
  20. Emeraldcitylady, 6 years ago
    Dear MiKKo and Chinablue - many thanks for all your hard work in trying to figure out this mystery!! The cup that was on steveonsteins site is the exact same cup, just with an ivory face. The only thing I do know about this is that my Mom purchased it in the 60's at an auction house in Los Angeles called Abells.

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