WS = W. Sobey? Help in identifying Exeter marks

PHOTOS REQUIRED - marks + item
pmpadley
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:04 pm
Location: Upper Midwest

WS = W. Sobey? Help in identifying Exeter marks

Postby pmpadley » Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:49 pm

I have two identical mustard spoons marked WS and date mark "p", Lion passant, three castle towers for Exeter, and the sovereign head. I find a W. Sobey in Wiley's (p. 184), but I am not sure if this is Exeter Plate or Sterling. Wiley's has it under Exeter Plate, but the lion passant leads me to Sterling. Any advice? I will mention that I am going through my grandfather's American coin silver collection of 20,000 to 30,000 pieces and his notes are not always accurate. He annotated these pieces as Exeter Plate from about 1831-1832. I am grateful for any guidance.

Image
Image

user701
contributor
Posts: 415
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:21 pm
Location: UK

Re: WS = W. Sobey? Help in identifying Exeter marks

Postby user701 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:36 am

Makers mark looks to me to be William Sweet
Date letter p for 1831

William Rawlings Sobey's mark is normally WRS

dognose
Site Admin
Posts: 32369
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:53 pm
Location: England

Re: WS = W. Sobey? Help in identifying Exeter marks

Postby dognose » Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:46 am

Hi,

In most respects, with the exception of the maker, your grandfather was correct, but so are you.

It's all about terminology. Up until the the start of the 20th century, and perhaps a lot later, the term 'plate' referred to solid silver. The term pre-dates the invention of silver plating and was an old throw back to the days when your silver was often made up with that what was connected to the dining table. It gradually fell into disuse because of the confusion between 'Plate' and 'Plated'.

Your spoons are made of sterling standard silver, assayed at Exeter in 1831. The maker was William Sweet.

It sounds as if your grandfather had a wonderful collection, I hope you'll show us a lot more of it. Remember, it's not necessary to have a question about something to post it on the Forum, if you anything that's slightly out of the unusual, we're always pleased to see it (but please try and keep your images to a max. of 7 inches, for the benefit of those with smaller monitor screens).

Trev.

pmpadley
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:04 pm
Location: Upper Midwest

Re: WS = W. Sobey? Help in identifying Exeter marks

Postby pmpadley » Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:06 am

This explains so much, and now I understand the sections in Wiley's which are devoted to "Exeter Plate", "Chester Plate", and why they all show the lion passant. My grandfather has also written parenthetically that these were sterling, so he was on the right track. He collected American coin silver for many years, and when a purchase arrived which turned out to be Sterling and not Coin, he would say, "I hate it when that happens!" It certainly was his passion. So, now I am cataloging and identifying this vast collection, and it is good to see all of the labels and notes in his shaky handwriting. He had only the reference books for identification and no online resources such as this forum. You have been wonderfully helpful to me in these first few questions I have put out there. Thank you! (And, I am working on properly resizing the images.)


Return to “Exeter Hallmarks”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest