Tiffany & Co - 550 Broadway

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laura9797
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Tiffany & Co - 550 Broadway

Postby laura9797 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:40 pm

I have an old coffee/tea service with the 550 Broadway address....also "GOLD & SILVERSMITHS". It is not marked STERLING but did test very strongly as sterling. and dates c.1854 ~ 1870 (J.C. Moore &; Son, maker). I certainly do not want to catalog the set as Sterling but would coin test the same?
In my research, I have found many Tiffany silver items not stamped STERLING from that time period but are listed or cataloged as sterling. I am cataloging the set for an upcoming auction and was wondering if I should just say "silver".
Thanks for any suggestions
P.S. I contacted the Tiffany archives and they want up to $1000 for access for one item!!!!!!
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Traintime
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Re: Tiffany & Co - 550 Broadway

Postby Traintime » Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:37 pm

Not giving you advice on valuations or selling, but if I was on the buyer's end then a statement like "indeterminate silver content of a minimum of at least .900 coin fineness by a known firm working in both coin and sterling" might be more re-assuring. *[And for any item, no matter what retailer, always only when you are 100% certain it is not platework.]

Aguest
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Re: Tiffany & Co - 550 Broadway

Postby Aguest » Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:16 pm

I've seen a few spectacular Tiffany Coin Silver Tea Sets, and they have that "dot" instead of the designation "ENGLISH STERLING" which is quite similar to your example. I see your point about being unsure about how to catalogue this Tea Set, as Coin Silver or Sterling Silver. We can still talk about rarity, and obviously the coin silver tea sets are more uncommon than the sterling silver tea sets, as they were only available in the early days of Tiffany.

Did whoever stamped the hallmarks just run out of room, so the "ENGLISH STERLING" hallmark was omitted? That is a possibility.

Even if you had it acid-tested (the most commonly-used assay method of Gold & Silver shops and pawn shops) by an expert with decades of experience testing silver, you would still just have an opinion that the silver tested strongly for sterling silver. Did you have it acid-tested, and in the opinion of the person who performed the test, was the result consistent with "Sterling Silver" and not "Coin Silver?"

To really know for sure, you could find someone who has an "XRF Testing Device" which is a hand-held scanner which tells you the exact level of Silver, and a coin silver composition from the 1850s would look something like this:

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I'm voting for Coin Silver, just based on the other Tiffany Coin Silver Tea Sets I have seen.

dragonflywink
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Re: Tiffany & Co - 550 Broadway

Postby dragonflywink » Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:20 am

It can be cataloged as 'Sterling', as your testing indicates - you already know it was made by John C. Moore & Son for Tiffany, and in 1851, when the Moore shop agreed to produce their holloware exclusively for Tiffany, they also adopted the sterling standard for their wares. Tiffany moved to 550 Broadway in 1853, and your mark shows the two 'M's for John C. and Edward C. Moore, used from 1854-70; your pattern number '365' indicates the design was introduced between 1856 and 1859, likely fairly early in that window, the 'dot' mark is a centering punch and is often found on hand-raised holloware. The same style mark as yours, also without indication of fineness, is illustrated in Carpenter's 'Tiffany Silver' (1978), page 249, No. 11.

~Cheryl


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