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If you are new here, please read our first post, "Let your sterling education begin--Welcome!", to learn what this blog is about! The newest posts appear just below this box.

Sterling Silver Goblets

January 15, 2010

The goblet is a descendant of the Standing Cup, an iconic symbol of royalty and an important piece on banquet tables in the 16th Century. Standing cups were typically 12 to 20 inches tall, and the wine in them was shared among the guests. In contrast, today’s sterling silver goblets range from 6½ to 8 inches in height; Each guest at the table has their own, filled with water. Although the styling and purpose of the goblet has changed since its inception, it remains a focal point on a perfectly set table.

Of bell shaped form and raised foot, goblets are as diverse in design as flatware, in fact some popular flatware patterns have matching goblets.

Examples Include:

  •  Chantilly by Gorham
  • Repousse by Kirk Steiff
  • Francis I by Reed & Barton
  • Rose Point by Wallace
  • Prelude by International

Given as a wedding present or to commemorate an event, a sterling silver goblet is a gift that is beautiful, useful and has with lasting value.

For in-depth instructions on cleaning and caring for goblets, please visit our website in the caring for section of www.beverlybremer.com.

Our current inventory of goblets is available online here.  If you already have some goblets and are looking to add to a set, please look on the bottom of the goblet, under the stem for the maker (it may written out or symbolized) and the style number.  You will need both to match your goblet.  If you are unsure of the maker, please comment here (or email us: sterlingsilver@beverlybremer.com) with a description of the mark!  We would be happy to help you!

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Francis I by Reed and Barton

November 17, 2009

  

Francis I by Reed & Barton

Francis the 1st by Reed & Barton

Francis I by Reed & Barton

 

Francis I pattern was introduced in 1908, after 3 years of design work by Ernest Meyer. His goal was to emulate the design work of a chief court artist and sculptor for King Francis I of France, Benvenuto Cellini. The pattern is in the Renaissance-Baroque styling, displaying 15 fruit and flower designs, paying tribute to Francis 1st throne entrance in the year 1515.

 In figure one, you will see the old maker’s mark of Reed & Barton signified with an Eagle, a Lion and the letter “R” accompanied by the word sterling. The old mark was made prior to the 1950’s, after which the maker’s mark changed to “Reed & Barton” accompanied by the word sterling.

Maker's Marks by Reed & Barton

Maker's Marks by Reed & Barton

Francis I pattern by Reed & Barton has been one of the most recognized and collected patterns:  Known as the pattern of presidents and princes. In fact Eisenhower, Truman and Wilson were among the many leaders who collected this very pattern!

Burgundy, introduced in 1949,  is the sister pattern of Francis I that has less intricacy that can be paired to make a beautiful less busy set. Below is a picture that can be used for comparison.

 

Burgundy Handle by Reed & Barton

Checkout all of our other patterns by Reed & Barton at:

 Beverly Bremer Silver Shop

 Beverly Bremer Flatware Patterns

 

Do you have any patterns that you would like to know more about? 

Please comment and we will be happy to post more information on this website!

History of Reed and Barton

November 17, 2009

 A History of Reed & Barton

Reed & Barton manufacturing company dates back to the founding of a jewelry shop in 1822 in Taunton, Massachusetts by Isaac Babbit. The shop later turned its focus to pewter in 1824, where Babbit worked on innovating his materials and developed Britanna Metal, a combination of tin, antimony and copper, making a material more lustrous and white than pewter. After Babbit gained popularity with his craftsmanship and quality, two designers, Henry Reed and Charles Barton, partnered with the business. The company began to experience hardship and Babbit sold the company and factory in 1834 to Reed & Barton.

Taking their knowledge of crafting and innovation, Reed & Barton produced “in the metal” flatware and holloware, meaning that raw unplated pieces were sold to plating factories. They maintained this practice until the discovery of the Comstock Lode in Virginia City, Nevada in 1859, making silver widely available in raw form in the US.

With their knowledge of creating raw metal goods and recent fame, they soon created and cast the first Reed & Barton sterling pattern, Flora, circa 1890.

Sugar Shell in Flora by Reed & Barton

Sugar Shell in Flora by Reed & Barton

A focus towards more sterling patterns in holloware and flatware such as Francis I led them to great success as an American sterling producer.  For example, among the most popular patterns was a Francis I sterling silver 7-piece tea and coffee service and tray. Maker’s mark of Reed & Barton, Taunton, Massachusets: Comprising a tea kettle, teapot, coffeepot, cream jug, covered sugar bowl, waste bowl and tray; the tea service pieces with baluster form bodies, chased with fruit, blossoms, and foliage, with cornucopiae enclosing a vacant cartouche on either side, the shaped oval tray with bracket handles and conforming decoration.

7 Piece Francis I Tea & Coffee Set by Reed & Barton

In the 1996 Olympics, hosted by Atlanta, Reed & Barton was chosen as the designer and creator of all the medals for the awarded athletes.

Gold Medal Designed for 1996 Altanta Olympics

Gold Medal Designed for 1996 Atlanta Olympics

Currently, Reed & Barton is known as the oldest independently owned American producer of sterling flatware and holloware patterns. They have expanded into other divisions of tableware including stainless steel, crystal, china and even plastic ware; They are also the world’s largest producer of wooden chests. Despite changes in leadership and economy, living by the motto of high quality pieces and excellent customer service, Reed & Barton has been able to thrive for more than 185 years.

 Would you like to learn more about Sterling Manufactures?

Please comment and we will post the answers on this website!

What is The History of Buccellati?

October 15, 2009

In response to a question asked by a collector of Buccellati Esteval, Beverly Bremer Silver Shop has composed a brief history of Buccellati including more specifics about the pattern and its future.

Buccellati

In the Beginning of his career, Italian Goldsmith Mario Buccellati (1891-1965) carried on a family tradition dating back from the early 18th Century. In 1919 he opened his shop near the La Scala Opera House in Milan, and was the first among Italian Goldsmiths to to open a shop on Fifth Ave in New York and later in Palm Beach. As his popularity gained, his clientele came to include the Vatican and the Royal Courts of Europe, leading to his nickname, “The Prince of Goldsmiths.” Mario Buccellati drew upon the work of the Renaissance and Eighteen Century craftsman for design.

Mario’s son, Gianmaria Buccellati, became apprenticed to his father at the age of 14. Following his father’s death in 1965, he expanded the business and opened new shops around the world. Gianmaria became a leading designer of jewelry, as well as silver and gold objects dart. The quality of Buccellatti’s product was a a direct result of Gianmaria personally choosing his master craftsmen to execute his designs.

Esteval

Specifically, the Esteval pattern was named after a famous Villa in Portugal, designed with Classic Italian nature inspiration; introduced around 1920 and was continuously produced until 2001. Buccellati retained most of the global distribution rights for their sterling flatware patterns as well as much of their holloware pieces.

The production of Estaval was last carried out under Gianagelo Pradella. He was considered the best silver producer in Italy. After his retirement he closed the his factory and the pattern was no longer produced.

Since the closing of Pradella’s factory, Gino Buccellati of Bologna has started replicating patterns over the past 6 years, reintroducing Torchon and Borgia. He has recently been working on others to reproductions, Esteval being a likely choice of interest. Unfortunately, the dies that are needed to reproduce patterns take a very long time to complete and perfect. Hopefully in the future we will see more quality flatware coming out of Buccelatti and Italy.

 

Common Patterns Include :

(click the link to see what we have in stock)

References include:

  1. Joseph P. Brady (Silver Historian)
  2. Tim LeRay (Previous Executive Vice President, Buccellati)

Do you have questions regarding sterling silver patterns or serving pieces?

Please comment and we will investigate an answer!

What is the history of the silver butter dish and how is it used?

October 7, 2009
Butter in America

Cost and perishability combined, gave butter luxury status on the 19th Century table. In rural areas of the United States, women commonly made butter at home for their family’s consumption and for sale to the city’s grocers. This practice continued long after the advent of factory produced butter in the 1860’s.

In Early 20th Century, the standard for farm and factory production of butter was molding into one pound circular cakes, which measured roughly four inches in diameter. Butter dishes were usually designed to conform to the round shape and featured an ice chamber with a pierced liner, which served to keep the butter above melting ice (figure 1).

Butter Dish Liner (figure1)

Butter Dish Liner (figure1)

The use of a specialized butter knife (figure 2) helped to prevent individuals from plunging their own used knives into the main butter source. Shaping butter cylinders into curls, lead to the introduction of the butter pick (figure 3). Butter picks were specially made to retrieve one curl at a time, without breaking or dropping the delicate serving. This practice can still be found on tables in restaurants and homes, bringing a touch of exquisiteness to any meal.
Master Butter Knife (figure 2)

Master Butter Knife (figure 2)

Butter Pick (figure 3)

Butter Pick (figure 3)

Butter has always been apart of the dining experience. Today, using any knife, we use a foil wrapped piece of butter to season our accompanying side dishes. The butter dish is a piece of art that is a marvelous collectors item, guaranteeing hundreds of years of elegant use with a table setting.

Reference:  Joseph P. Brady (Silver Historian)

Do you have questions regarding sterling silver patterns or serving pieces?

Please comment and we will investigate an answer!

Can my Sterling Silver be Repaired?

September 4, 2009

Today we take a look at the processes involved in turning a Old Master fork mashed and beaten by a drain disposal back to its original state.  At Beverly Bremer Silver Shop we employ two highly skilled polishers, who together possess over 36 years of experience!  I will take you step by step through the process of fixing one simple piece of sterling silver flatware, a salad fork.

Step 1:  A customer comes into the store shopping as usual and during checkout she asks about fixing a fork that she had brought with her.  Sara, a sales associate, takes the piece and looks it over and tells the customer that she will ask the polishers to see what they can do! 

The Old Master fork pictured below, is handed to Haile, a veteran polisher, who is asked if he can fix this disposal damaged fork?

He responds with confidence, “Yes, I can fix this, as the pattern on the handle has minimal damage!”

Step 2:  Haile moves quickly to his work bench where he asseses the damage.  In a moment, he pulls out a plastic tool that resembles a small pipe, slowly and carefully he reshapes the tines to make them straight enough to hammer out into shape. 

 
 Step 3:  After the tines have been straightened by hand, he manipulates the rest of the imperfections using a plastic hammer, working on a molded spoon shaped piece connected to a vice.  To watch his quick hands make the malformed fork into a perfect piece of art again, was a sight to see.  Meticulously he fixed the outside dents and dings by working each piece of metal.  In just a few minutes the fork began to take a recognizable form.
 
 
Step 4: Using a polishing wheel with several assorted brushes and waxes, Haile works out the minor dings and scratches again, moving so fast that his hands seem to be flawlessly one with the machine.  The damage on the fork slowly disappeared until all that was left was the resin from polishing. 
 
 
Step 5:  Finally, he buffs the most lustrous metal in the world into a perfect shine, flawless and beautiful.
 
 
Step 6:  Sara picks up the fork from Haile in the polishing room with only 7 minutes of elapsed time.  Sara thanks Haile with a big smile and he responds, “No problem Sara!”
 
 
From beginning to end, the skilled expertise of the polisher using his tools led to a near perfect product of what was once scrap metal.  If you would like to know more about fixing your sterling silver pieces, please feel free to contact Beverly Bremer Silver Shop to talk with a member of our expert staff.
 
Beverly Bremer Silver Shop
3164 Peachtree Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30305
800-270-4009
404-261-4009
 
 

Fish and Visitors: The Fish Slice

July 21, 2009

Joseph P. Brady Silver Shop Historian

There have been specialized types of flatware-the sardine fork, the cucumber server, the hot cake lifter, etc.-made mostly during the Regency, Victorian, and Edwardian ages, but the fish slice (along with its cousins the tart and pudding servers) is among the earliest of such individualized utensils. The eighteenth century laws that helped to enrich already rich landowners, and the Industrial Revolution, which created a rising middle class of merchants and professional people, created a new appetite for silver tableware that was not satisfied with just knives, spoons, ladles and forks. Specialized servers “in the French manner” we desired, and these broad-blade servers led to a revolution of their own at the table. Its form was largely dictated by its special function, yet this noble piece still manage to speak to us of elegance and grace. Saw-piercing, bright cutting, and elaborate cartouches make these blades their natural home.

1
Figure 1

 

2
 Figure 2

 The fish slice, then, is a broad blade or trowel shaped server, most often used for dividing and serving fish at the table, but the earliest examples were used to serve fried fish directly from the pan (fig1). These early servers, circa1740, use the name “slice,” but their blades are rounded and symmetrical. Elaborately saw-pierced, their main purpose was to drain unwanted cooking juices. As whitebait was commonly fried in the eighteenth century home, the early examples where called whitebait servers. More elongated slices, fish shaped but still symmetrical, appeared after about 1745, and these eventually evolved into the a symmetrical fin shape we see most often(fig2). The symmetrical shape still persisted, but such later examples were usually longer and slightly pointed. Further, the most familiar scimitar blade was rarely made before 1800. The earliest known example was possibly made in London, ca. 1780, by Joseph Steward II (pudding and cake servers appeared at the same time).

The scimitar blade made its first known appearance on the Continent around 1780, but on either side of the Channel there is a bit of a gap, from the early 1780s until the early 1790s, during which almost no such examples were produced. The study of existing examples would suggest that the scimitar shape made its return around 1790 and saw steady gains in popularity until, by circa 1800, it had become the preferred shape for the fish slice. The blade recalls the shape of a fish’s fin, but a suggestion has been made that, especially in its more elongated form, it resembles the outline of a headless fish. This would be very much in keeping with the manner in which the fish appeared at the table.

The baroque and rococo style saw-piercing of the earliest fish slices usually covered the blade from side to side, sometimes leaving a border of less than one quarter inch, with more metal removed than retained. A close examination of the scroll work will show, however, the blade is not at all weakened and the holes are quite strategically placed. The piercing often featured a cartouche or reserve to be engraved with an armorial device or a monogram. The piercing was often enhanced by bright-cutting, with one or more fish forming a central motif(fig 3); fishnet pattern backgrounds were not uncommon. The more elongated neoclassical slices and fin-shaped examples often featured fish backbone-style piercing, while others were pierced with stars or comma shapes, using a punch. During the latter part of the eighteenth century the blade might also feature a border of classical-style interlocking scrolls.

 

3
Figure 3

 The piercing of Georgian fish slices took two forms. Saw-piercing by craftsman was the only method employed when they first appeared and was used throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, bit the steam-driven equipment introduced by Matthew Boulton and James Watt in the late 1760s resulted in mechanical die fly-cutting. This expensive equipment, however, was afforded only by the more prosperous firms , such as the Batemans in London. Pierced examples in Sheffield plate, although not common, can be found today.

As far as slicing and serving at the table is concerned, however, a question arises: How much of the piercing was functionally necessary and how much was simply decoration? After the mid eighteenth century , was usually brought from the kitchen in a pot and transferred to a mazarine or onto a ceramic fish drainer. Indeed, Rabinovitch says that ” the need for a pierced server…becomes questionable.”

Bright-cutting, rather than saw-pierced, more commonly characterizes the decoration of America fish sliced, but many elaborate pierced examples of coin silver can be found. Chasing of the blade became more common in the Art Nouveau period, and early twentieth century examples were usually left plain.

 Joseph P. Brady

Beverly Bremer Silver Shop Historian