Shiebler Fakes?

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Shiebler Fakes?

Postby SnoodinOrange » Thu May 10, 2018 11:54 pm

Hi there! I have been gradually growing my Shiebler flatware collection over the last few years and have come across some pieces of Flora where the Sterling stamp reads "Sterlng" (the letter I seems to be missing on the strike.) On some of them, the S inside the wings is even backwards, sometimes the S with wings appears correct and only the missing I seems odd.

Has anyone seen this before and do you think that is cause for authenticity concern? The quality on the pieces seems to be there when it comes to integrity of the pattern, and some of them are even monogrammed and have retailers stamps like Mermod, etc.

I have also read that making flatware dies is expensive to do and so I have a hard time thinking they would be fake as usually you can spot knock off quality. Also, I have found this on pieces that are fairly rare in form, a serving fork and some reticulated flora demitasse spoons, which I know were made because the Silver magazine mentions the cutout handled spoons in their article. I would think if they were fakes, there would be more of them on the market?

Any thoughts? Thanks for any feedback! As I grow my collection (Shiebler and Durgin are our favorite makers at the moment), I want to make sure I don't make any mistakes.


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Re: Shiebler Fakes?

Postby Aguest » Fri May 11, 2018 3:59 am

I found a similar question regarding a Shiebler Letter Opener and the expert provided this answer:

"The backward S shows up quite a bit on Shiebler pieces, most likely a die-maker's error.

Cheryl ;o)"

You see dies sold from one company to the next, so I believe it was true that dies were very expensive to produce, I think you are right about that.

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Re: Shiebler Fakes?

Postby dognose » Fri May 11, 2018 4:55 am

You see dies sold from one company to the next

Not Shiebler's:

One of the greatest regrets in the last years of Mr. Shiebler's life was the fact that when, he failed in business the buyers of his factory only took it under the stipulation that every spoon and fork die located therein was to be at once destroyed. The only reason ever designed for this was that the work was so massive that the metal used in each piece made the spoons and forks commercially unprofitable to handle. The destruction of these dies caused great sorrow among' all true lovers of sterling silver table appointments.

Source: The Metal Industry - October 1920


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Re: Shiebler Fakes?

Postby JLDoggett » Sat May 12, 2018 1:31 am

Dies are very expensive to make. First there is the hubbing die, which looks like the finished piece carved in a block of steel, it allows multiple dies to be made from it over time and the item is always the same one for the front, one for the back. The hub is hardened after it is perfect. This takes about a month to produce. Following is a set of prepping dies. Made from the hubs, they have the details ground out and will be ysed ro produce the blanks for patterns with high profiles, hardened and polished. Next is the actual die made from the hub, refined, polished and hardened, with its recess to form the silver when struck. There are at least 2 dies per piece (front and back) which must be aligned and fitted to produce the correct thickness of the final piece. Then there are the trimming dies which remove the flashing from the stamped pieces, specific to each piece. Lastly if the piece has tines or perforations that is done with a separate set of perfing dies which, again, are specific to each piece.

As you can see there may be as many as 5 sets of dies needed to make one piece of flatware. in all it can take a team of 5-6 die-makers over a year to produce the dies for a new pattern.

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Re: Shiebler Fakes?

Postby SnoodinOrange » Mon May 14, 2018 9:34 pm

Thanks everybody... okay wow. I knew that it was a long and expensive process but I had no idea it entailed all that.
So do you think I am safe to assume that the pieces I see with the missing "I" in Sterling are still actually Shiebler pieces then?
I had read on a Tiffany fakes site that sometimes a missing letter could indicate a fraudulent piece so I was concerned but as I mentioned, the patterns and quality seem right on.
I see the post above that their dies were destroyed so the "error" unless it was intentional, would have occurred while Shiebler was still in business so I thought quality control would have prevented this from happening but maybe not.
Or perhaps the dies just got worn?
Thanks again for everyone's time. I enjoyed the information but didn't know if anyone had a definitive opinion on the peace of mind in buying some of these with marks that seem slightly off.

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