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Newbie Antique Silver Flatware Valuation Help!

Hi, I inherited some silver flatware sets and greatly appreciate help with valuation (economic, setting aside sentimental).

There are 6 sets of 6 pieces each (36 total pieces), each with “Treasury Silver PATD 1921” on the bottom. They look to be in good condition (no obvious/major flaws) and have a cursive “L” on the front representing a maiden name.

Thank you, it’s much appreciated as I have absolutely no idea where to begin!

Comments

  • TomBTomB Posts: 20,610 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Howdy and welcome.

    I am not an expert on flatware, but you will have to find out if your pieces are silver-plate or silver. If they are silver they likely have hallmarks on them and at least something to indicate the fineness such as "0.925" and/or "sterling". If they are silver-plate they will not have these markings. These hallmarks can often be found along the back neck of the spoons or forks as well as perhaps at the base of the bowl of a spoon.

    In my experience, silver-plate is worth very little while sterling silver flatware should be worth at least its weight (and sometimes significantly more) in silver.

    Thomas Bush Numismatics & Numismatic Photography

    In honor of the memory of Cpl. Michael E. Thompson

    image
  • BaleyBaley Posts: 22,658 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Weigh the sterling forks and spoons, but realize that the knives likely have stainless blades and hollow, plaster filled handles.

    Liberty: Parent of Science & Industry

  • WeissWeiss Posts: 9,922 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 14, 2021 12:48PM

    @Moog16 , check the piece again? This time very, very carefully :)

    If it says "TREASURE" and "STERLING Patd 1921" rather than "Treasury Silver Patd 1921" then it is almost certainly solid sterling silver and made by a well-known and somewhat in demand company called Lunt Silversmiths.

    We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
    --Severian the Lame
  • @Weiss - yes, thank you! It says "Treasure" and looks exactly as the pic you posted.

    So, what does that mean for value? Is there a market for these? I appreciate all the input!

  • thefinnthefinn Posts: 2,652 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Tiffany or Gorham are marks that bring good premiums. I don't know who issued "Treasure" - it isn't a mark that is sought after as far as I know. The 1921 trademark doesn't mean that these date from then, just that that was when this pattern was trademarked.

    thefinn
  • WeissWeiss Posts: 9,922 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Wonderful, and congrats.

    Sterling silver is 92.5% pure. So DO NOT SELL IT CHEAP!!

    If you wish to delve deeper, or accumulate info to use for reselling, you'll want to discover what pattern it is.

    I just did a quick scroll through this website ( https://www.replacements.com/silver-lunt-silver/b/003-800762?gclid=CjwKCAiAhbeCBhBcEiwAkv2cY18mLB03OWIlabhUxAmJTEl00Tf4Ctq3u94yfAh411cot0kb5gOD2hoCHBkQAvD_BwE ) and saw only one pattern with a 1921 date, and that's their "William & Mary" pattern:

    There may be others. Compare this image to yours and maybe it's a match.

    On that website above, Replacements Ltd, you can sort on most popular. If yours is in fact William & Mary, then you've got an in-demand set. The bad news is that monogram will limit marketability. The good news is that "L" is not uncommon.

    You can search past eBay sales to see what similar sets are going for. As @Baley said above, knife handles are often just a thick foil of silver over plaster or resin, and the blades are almost always steel rather than silver. That appears to be the case with the William & Mary pattern.

    The forks and spoons, however, should be a nice, solid sterling silver. They seem (double check this) to clock in at about 2 ounces each. With silver at about $25 per ounce, each fork or spoon should contain maybe $40 or $50 worth of silver. It adds up!

    We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
    --Severian the Lame
  • WeissWeiss Posts: 9,922 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You might be able to sell them for more than their silver value. It could take some time, though, and it can be tricky if you're not used to this type of reselling.

    Also, a set of 6 place settings might be a little smaller than some people might want. I think 8 place settings is standard, but I could be wrong.

    A thumbnail sketch says about 30 pieces at about 2 ounces each should be about 60 ounces. 60 ounces x $25 per ounce means your set is "worth" about $1500 in silver value. The knives do have some value as well, but they require effort to reclaim (removing the blades and plaster).

    If you decide to sell them locally, you need to find a reputable precious metals buyer. Remember they have to make some money as well, so they might only offer $1000, give or take. And again, that's only if my calculations are close.

    Again, all of this is really hard to be precise on without lots of images.

    We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
    --Severian the Lame
  • @Weiss - great, info, I really appreciate it! I will take a look at that site and dig a bit deeper for the particular pattern, etc. - thank you!

    I expect to keep them, but it's helpful to understand more, including what they are worth (thinking now that these will not be a play thing for the kids!). Thanks again.

  • WeissWeiss Posts: 9,922 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You're very welcome. And keeping them is a great idea, too!

    We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
    --Severian the Lame
  • jmski52jmski52 Posts: 22,265 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This thread made me get out my great grandfathers 6-piece set. The knives look to be 2-pieces joined together - but both pieces look to be silver, not ss and not a hollow handle. Holmes & Edwards. Is anyone familiar with this maker?

    Q: Are You Printing Money? Bernanke: Not Literally

    I knew it would happen.
  • KliaoKliao Posts: 5,425 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jmski52 said:
    This thread made me get out my great grandfathers 6-piece set. The knives look to be 2-pieces joined together - but both pieces look to be silver, not ss and not a hollow handle. Holmes & Edwards. Is anyone familiar with this maker?

    Try a magnet and see if it sticks to the blade. That would tell you if SS and sterling or solid sterling. :)

    Young Numismatist/collector
    73 Positive BST transactions buying and selling with 44 members and counting!
    instagram.com/klnumismatics

  • jmski52jmski52 Posts: 22,265 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks, Kliao - the blade tested magnetic. Looking through ebay and reading a little about the company online, it does appear that the company seems to have made silverplate almost exclusively. Dang. I only found 2 matching hallmarked pieces on ebay out of 1120 items, so I bid on an auction and if I win it, I will file a piece and do a chemical spot test.

    Thanks for your help. ;)

    Q: Are You Printing Money? Bernanke: Not Literally

    I knew it would happen.
  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Moog16 .... Welcome aboard.... Good decision to keep the family heirloom. But also good to know and understand what you have in terms of value and collector interest. Cheers, RickO

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