Whiting manufacturing company - New York

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AG2012
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Whiting manufacturing company - New York

Postby AG2012 » Thu Dec 10, 2015 8:13 am

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Whiting manufacturing company card case.
Whiting Manufacturing Company was founded in 1866. Date marks started in 1905.
According to incised (engraved) letters on various objects with rather low pattern (serial) numbers it seems there were date letters well before 1905. If ``j`` was for 1879 then ``a`` should be 1870 and ``n`` 1883.
Any idea is appreciated.
Thanks for looking
Kindest regards

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Re: Whiting manufacturing company - New York

Postby dragonflywink » Thu Dec 10, 2015 2:10 pm

Personally, have never read or heard of Whiting using date marks before 1905, and doubt the letters shown, which look to be engraved rather than stamped, have anything to do with dating. Production codes were not necessarily assigned in sequential order, and suspect that in this case, '16' would be the code for the card case, and the 'A' or 'J' likely designating a variation, probably the engraved design.

~Cheryl

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Re: Whiting manufacturing company - New York

Postby AG2012 » Fri Dec 11, 2015 4:03 am

Right.
Incised letters appear on Whiting engraved silver, sometimes very personalized.
Those engraved letters have already been discussed:
I don't know what the "A" is about, but for myself, I take it as a mark for internal company use.

search.php?st=0&sk=t&sd=d&sr=posts&keywords=WHITING&start=60

In conclusion, they are NOT date letters as I thought for a moment.
Another idea: engraver’s mark.

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Re: Whiting manufacturing company - New York

Postby JLDoggett » Sat Dec 12, 2015 3:14 am

They would not be engraver's marks as the engraving would have been done after it was finished and considered one piece. Moreover most companies would never allow their engravers to put a personal mark on a piece that was so crudely done.

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Re: Whiting manufacturing company - New York

Postby AG2012 » Sat Dec 12, 2015 8:11 am

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This one was engraved with ``F``.
It`s still a mystery to me, crude or not.

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Re: Whiting manufacturing company - New York

Postby dragonflywink » Sat Dec 12, 2015 12:57 pm

Jim - wasn't thinking it might be the engraver's personal mark, but an indicator of factory engraved variants. The reason I suggest engraving in this case is that the same design card case can be found with the engraved design being the only difference, have also seen different letters on the same shape Whiting holloware pieces, with the same numeric codes, the only difference being in the engraving, chasing or repousse work (the number '16', without any letter is also found on a card case of a completely different design, along with very nice fancy engraving). Find it interesting that these letters are engraved rather than stamped, though to my eye, the 'A' on the flatware piece in the previous thread referenced, does appear to be stamped...

~Cheryl

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Re: Whiting manufacturing company - New York

Postby JLDoggett » Sun Dec 13, 2015 4:31 am

Hi Cheryl - That is an interesting idea, and sounds like a good paper to write. It could be an industry aberration worth studying. On the first example with the "A" and "J" the pattern is two companion pieces. One would expect the patterns to be sequential in their letters, or at least closer. The second piece shows a continuous pattern from the body to the lid so a single letter makes sense. I know at Towels the pieces would be numbered the same on all pieces once fitted and before soldering or pinning a hinge, however the engraving pattern was not denoted in any way on the piece. In all the pieces I have studied I have not seen a similar way of marking. Maybe we can write a paper "Unique Whiting Engraving Patterns and Their Specialized Markings" ?

By-the-way the letter in the other article is indeed stamped.

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Re: Whiting manufacturing company - New York

Postby AG2012 » Sun Dec 13, 2015 5:34 am

Letters on these cases are incised.
``To my wife Dec.11th 1879`` is very personalized. Meaning engraved letters cannot be ``pattern``at the factory.
I suppose they had engravers in shops to add desired pattern and personalize, as seen elsewhere. Were the engravers allowed to incise letters, whatever they meant? (Compared with watchmakers who engraved dates and numbers inside when repairing).
But I am not familiar with the organization of Whiting business at the time.
Have a nice Sunday

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Re: Whiting manufacturing company - New York

Postby dragonflywink » Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:18 am

Engraving could be done in-house at production or later engraved by the retailer, personalization would have been done at the retail level, though a large purchase (like a presentation piece, special order or large matching set) might have been done at the factory. Might keep in mind too, that engraved dates can be a good indicator of age, but the engraving was not necessarily done immediately after production, and in theory, could also have been done at any time after that date, though it would be an unusual occurrence...

Jim - though it's not made clear in the original post, the 'A' is on the case shown, the 'J', is on another case, with the engraved 1879 date, the 'N' mark is also taken from an online source. Your suggestion would be an interesting project, will add it to my long list of 'things to do when I finally have some free time '. LOL Interestingly, I have a small Towle bowl with a stamped Old English 'F' after the production number, have seen a few others in the same pattern over the years, all with similar letters, also running across a few other pieces, looking to be late 19th to early 20th century, with either single or a series of similar letters. They remain a mystery to me, like the seemingly random letters that sometimes appear on old Gorham...

~Cheryl

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Re: Whiting manufacturing company - New York

Postby JLDoggett » Sun Dec 13, 2015 11:44 pm

Cheryl - I added it to my list of things to do, too, LOL some day.

I can shed light on your odd letters on footed and covered pieces from Towle. They are internal record marks, used by the silversmiths (I was one once) to keep pieces together when working multiple pieces of the same style. Feet, lids, spouts and handles would be fitted to specific bodies and marked with the same letter (numbers were reserved for model identification) so many added on pieces could be fitted then soldered when a run was ready. Typically, the letter on feet, etc... were marked on an edge where it was hidden in the solder seam. The letter was always left on the body near the quality and makers marks for use in internal inventory after the piece was completed.

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Re: Whiting manufacturing company - New York

Postby dragonflywink » Mon Dec 14, 2015 2:34 am

Wonderful, my sweet little bowl and those in the same pattern do indeed have three little ball feet - thank you for the answer to that little mystery (glad I mentioned it)!

~Cheryl

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Re: Whiting manufacturing company - New York

Postby Aguest » Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:32 am

I found the "S" crude hallmark on a Whiting Card Case from 1882, Aesthetic-Period type of engravings:

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I don't know if this is a "date code" either, this is an interesting topic, however:

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Re: Whiting manufacturing company - New York

Postby Aguest » Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:42 am

I'm convinced that whoever engraved the "S" engraved a "1" beside it...

It's as if he knew the factory number was supposed to be "17" and the worker accidentally failed to punch the "1" in front of the "7"...

This reminds me of long-time employee at Gibson Guitars who told me that sometimes model numbers would be omitted, or a guitar was stamped with the wrong model number, and once I found an example of this in a 1961 Gibson Acoustic Guitar which sparked our conversation about this phenomenon...

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Re: Whiting manufacturing company - New York

Postby Aguest » Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:09 am

There is one other bit of information I have on the Whiting Engravings:

Back of a Whiting Hand-Hammered tablespoon 5-3/4 inches long with smooth bowl (these hand-hammered "vine trailing" spoons are quite uncommon):

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And the front of the handle:

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The engraving on the back of the handle, the "1881" date engraving, was so unbelievably similar to a cheese-scoop which is owned by a prominent silver dealer, and this cheese-scoop has a hand-hammered handle with a similar vine-type of plant trailing up the handle, and there is a mouse at the very top of the handle, and on the back is says "ELIZABETH CHURCHYARD" in the exact same font as my spoon. When I asked the dealer, who seemed quite knowledgable, he said that in his opinion, both the name and the date were engraved by Whiting In-House. Note that there is a monogram on my spoon, which is cruder and much different in construction, and that monogram must have been done at the retail-shop level, or else purchased at a retail shop and then taken to a local jeweler for engraving (my opinion).

This might add some new facts to the Whiting Engraving Paper.

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Re: Whiting manufacturing company - New York

Postby Aguest » Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:37 am

Forgot to add, the cheese-scoop is engraved "ELIZABETH CHURCHYARD" and the date of "1882" is underneath it...
Engraved on the underneath (the reverse) of the handle. The mouse is on the top of the handle, of course...


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