Hi to you all fellow forum participants.
Hopefully my thread does not break any forum policies which I looked through. Please forgive me if I did as being a non-English speaking person (I am Russian) it is sometimes hard to understand this beautiful language.
There are couple of questions I would like to ask about a sterling silver coffee spoon set
I bought a year ago or so. It was hallmarked in Birmingham hence I have chosen this forum section. These spoons beautiful enamel work on their bowls (let’s just forget about Faberge for a while). Please take into account all enamel is identical just as the spoons but there is one big mystery and another one just a bit smaller.
So what is that mystery if mystery at all. The spoons were advertised as renowned Mappin & Webb
and they came with an original box.
The big mystery is that one of the spoons shows a completely different manufacturer.
It is not Mappin & Webb as I would expect but Turner & Simpson
. The date code is the same (a "J" date code standing for 1933) as on M&W spoons.
Let me remind (forgive me for saying this but it is what I actually told myself when found this out) that all the spoons are identical
: I compared shapes of their bowls, transitions and handles and even tried to point differences in enamel decoration but there were none. I am 100% positive the bowl is original to handle as a) enamel work confirms that & b) no signs of reattachment can be seen.
So I thought these companies may have been in partnership but I was not able to find any confirmation of that. Then I tried to find some pieces made by T&S just to see what this manufacturer could offer to a consumer. I was quite surprised to see the company made enamelled ware to include powder compacts, cigarette cases etc. & spoons were among them.
But this is not the most interesting part of the story. I managed to find an identical set (just like mine) of coffee spoons entirely made by T&S which was sold at DuMouchelles back in 2014 (September, 13).
One can think that DuMouchelles’ set is the one I have but thankfully that one has an “M” date code for 1936 which means it is a different one. I can imagine somewhere out there could be more of set like mine this being just one of some.
This fact can partially answer the question how come 1 spoon from my set appears to be made by T&S and not by M&W. The M&W one was lost and later an identical T&S saved the set of six.
That is a good story but still is it really possible that T&S could legally make exactly the same items as M&W? (I am not talking about some resemblance as the pieces are just identical). I just can not imagine T&S could simply copy M&W and the latter felt positive about that. So again it leads to a question whether such an important company as M&W could put another manufacturer to do some certain pieces marked as M&W (nowadays commissions like this happen here and there). I really am curious about the situation and I think I feel it is not an ordinary replacement, it is more than that.I plea if someone knows the answer or would like to make an assumption of his own.
You may have forgotten but there is a smaller mystery. I am certain it is no big deal but I saw that not all handles (not the bowls!) have sterling silver & date hallmarks (two spoons lack these hallmarks). Is there an answer how could this happen? I can only guess it was not obligatory to place hallmarks there so manufacturers were free to decide whether to duplicate sterling silver and date codes or rather not.
I enclose all photos and I do hope their quality is enough to come further. Forgive me for bad macros but I tried as hard as I could.
Thanks in advance for your valued attention & I hope we can come to conclusion.