I recently saw a “Duchess Plate” spoon on my local market bric-a-brac stall. I did not buy it, thinking, it was a well-identified trademark and kept burrowing through the box for something more interesting. When I got back home I had a quick check on line to confirm my thoughts on “Duchess Plate”. It appears I was incorrect. The “silvercollection.it” has the reference linking “Duchess” and “Bird&Blake” of Sheffield but no image. That particular entry mirrors the information in the superb Canadian PDF “tome” “Trademarks on Base-Metal Tableware”. However the Canadians also had sources, 2 references, and possibly this is where the 1882 – 1919 dates stem from that have indicated the activity period of “Bird&Blake”. The 2 reference papers quoted were I believe published in 1882 and 1919.
Now on looking around, it seems there are literally tons of “Duchess Plate” cutlery, to be found and “Bird&Blake” or some other concerns must have been producing electroplated ware before and after those dates suggested. What we need is bit more information but some of the usual “Sheffield “ cutlery sources do not mention “Bird&Blake” at all. I went back to the market bric-a-brac stall at the next opportunity and burrowed in the box again and found a “Duchess Plate” teaspoon. Its marks are shown in my photo below.
It looks more like “DuchessO Plate. Interestingly I had a look around on line and I found a “Duchess M Plate” spoon. These spoons should be from the same company. They both have a weight (presumably of silver used in plating) on to indicate a particular method of plating.
I do not think we have the complete situation for the makers of “Duchess Plate” yet. Underlining my dating doubts and possibly also “Grid’s” feeling relating to his spoon’s age, we have an image of a “Duchess Plate” spoon, typically in Art Deco style from a fruit server set.
I have a couple more images to show, although I am sorry to say the next is of poor quality but illustrates Roden Brothers “Duchess Plate” trademark.
The last image, although not exactly the same “Duchess Plate” is hopefully a bit more thought provoking for Forum silver plate fans.
I am sure by time I get back from holiday there will be a few more leads from the Forum for “Duchess Silver”.