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In larger flatware services, pieces with different journeymen's marks may be found.To date there is no research into the identification of individual journeymen.Flatware pieces with manufacturer's numbers within a rectangle are special orders. Tiffany flatware has generally two numbers: the first is the pattern number; the second is the chronological order number.Occasionally there is a third number, representing a decoration design number.The John Hay Library in Providence, RI is the home of the Gorham archives. Hough (note 13) will research your Gorham silver item.Gorham flatware patterns, as a rule, are designated either by name or by number, but not both. For example, Gorham gave a not-full-line pattern or grouping a name and then designated different designs within that group by a specific number.
Numbers consisting of 1-2 digits and appearing on the underside of jugs, tea-and coffee pots are capacity indicators - showing the capacity of the vessel in half pints.Most collectors are familiar with termini technici like scratch weight, British registration mark, etc.but in conversations about the various meanings of all these numbers, I found out that knowledge about these is sketchy at best. 1 shows the lid and rim of a sauce tureen, bearing the numbers 4, thus indicating that lid fits to body, but also that this tureen was one of a set of four. Larger collections with multiples of the same items introduced inventory numbers.Many, but not all, Storr silver pieces have three-digit numbers stamped in, which could not have been inventory numbers. Variations and inconsistencies are many, for example only three of a set of 4 wine coolers are stamped 887, a dinner service made for Sir Thomas Picton, 1814, is marked 167 on 2 meat dishes and covers, a large meat dish, two rectangular dishes and covers.Yet the matching soup tureen and stand is not marked with this number.
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Wine coolers and soup tureens and their liners are often such numbered, with the proper way of assembly (after cleaning) in mind. B- Inventory numbers with two parts were used for sets of plates and flatware, as for example in Lot 98 'A set of twelve German Silver Dinner plates, J. Drentwett I, Augsburg 1755-57' is numbered with 33-1 to 33-12. Lot 84 'A German silver-gilt dessert service, Johann Beckert V, Augsburg 1757 '59' consisting of forty-two dessert spoons, forty-two dessert forks and forty-two dessert knives with silver blades and are stamped with inventory numbers: 9-1 to 12, 10-1 to 12, 11-1 to 12 and 12-1 to 6. Deviations from the scratch weight are indicators for alterations: A conversion from a teapot into a (much higher prized) tea caddy by removing the spout and handle, conversion from a larger mug to a teapot, added borders, spouts, handles: the examples are endless.