Need Help With Salt Cellar
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Thread: Need Help With Salt Cellar

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  1. #1
    us
    Nov 2009
    1,377
    1253 times

    Need Help With Salt Cellar

    I picked this up from an estate sale that had several pieces of coin silver from the late 1700's to the early 1800's.
    In general I'm suspicious of pieces marked "silver". This piece has the look & feel of sterling.
    I can't find my silver acid to test. The color looks a little funky because I wiped it down with a disinfecting wipe when I brought it home. What do y'all think? I also picked up a coin silver spoon that's marked with the makers initials and the head of a lady facing right. If I can get a picture of the marks I'll post it also.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    wagbert and luke_00 like this.

  2. #2
    gb
    Dec 2019
    Surrey
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    I could be wrong but don’t think that’s tremendously old. It looks very Art Deco.

    It’s rather similar to this one from Ernest W Haywood of Birmingham (in full silver and sold as part of a set) from 1937. In fact, yours looks even more Art Deco, with the straighter sides.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The thing about silver, like many things, it that when a particular style comes into fashion then everyone climbs on the bandwagon to produce their own version and a lot of copying goes on. It may well be silver but without proper marks, apart from ‘J.K.’ it’s anyone’s guess who made it and where, but for poorly marked pieces like this I tend to think ‘American’ or at least made for the American market.
    AARC and Drmad7 like this.

  3. #3
    EQ8
    EQ8 is offline
    us
    Feb 2020
    Sw Wisconsin
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    Kind of an odd "rule of thumb" when it comes to silver items.
    IF the item has the word "silver" on it, or stamped in it, it is either plated or has no silver at all. (like nickel silver)..
    Magnifying your pic it looks something like "J.K. Silver".
    My bet is on plated.
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  4. #4
    us
    Sep 2005
    Indiana
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    Looks older, it's not uncommon for early American silver to be marked such before sterling became more standard

    HH
    -GC

  5. #5
    us
    May 2009
    NC USA
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    With all due respect disregard what EQ8 says. Silver is a common mark in Chinese export silver and this clearly looks to be of that type of mark. It would need to be tested for sure.

  6. #6
    gb
    Dec 2019
    Surrey
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    Quote Originally Posted by EQ8 View Post
    Kind of an odd "rule of thumb" when it comes to silver items.
    IF the item has the word "silver" on it, or stamped in it, it is either plated or has no silver at all. (like nickel silver)..
    Magnifying your pic it looks something like "J.K. Silver".
    My bet is on plated.
    And I'm neither saying it is silver (of some standard that isn't necessarily Sterling) nor disagreeing with your view that it might not be. The point is that the US has traditionally been a poorly regulated market as well as poorly policed one (versus most of Europe and Canada)... to the extent that 'silver' stamped on a piece really gives you no confidence either way. The 1906 Act required an indication of metal purity but was ignored and abused in equal measure by small producers. There was no further protection for consumers by regulation until the 1961 Act, requiring quality-marked pieces to also carry a U.S. registered trademark of the company or person that will stand behind the mark.
    Drmad7 likes this.

  7. #7
    us
    Nov 2009
    1,377
    1253 times
    Those are all good points. I've been buying for resale several years now. While there is a possibility this could be a plated piece, & we won't know for sure until I test, I'm 99% sure it's a silver alloy of some sort. I'm well aware of Chinese export silver marks. This piece didn't strike me as being the right style for that.

  8. #8
    us
    Grant Brandenburg

    Jan 2013
    Colorado
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    My hunch its solid silver and probably around coin grade made from all the coinage silver the Chinese acquired over the centuries. I believe they mark pieces as such, because they cared not to guarantee the purity. Also I've had jewelry from Japan marked only with the word SILVER. Still it should be tested.
    Drmad7 likes this.

  9. #9
    us
    Nov 2009
    1,377
    1253 times
    I got some JSP silver test acid in the mail yesterday. I put a drop on the underside of the lid. Definitely silver. The color wasn't as bright red as I'd expect for sterling. If I had to guess I'd put it somewhere between .800-.900 silver.
    Drmad7 likes this.

  10. #10

    Mar 2008
    515
    379 times
    Do you think that the spoon, which has been identified, fits the salt seller, that has the same J.K. mark ?

  11. #11
    us
    Nov 2009
    1,377
    1253 times
    The spoon is marked JW.

  12. #12
    us
    Jul 2015
    Tesoro
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    I collect early American coin silver, English silver and some early foreign pieces. This is most definitely not early American coin. Itís a 20th century piece made for export. China or somewhere in Asia would be my guess. Still a nice piece though, especially if it tests positive for silver.

 

 

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