Searching for Silver
Portland, Oregon silversmith James Mackie's new figural napkin rings are so well made, they are virtually impossible to separate from antique Victorian originals. This article is an update on additional napkin rings Mackie has added since his work was first reported in 1995.
Another group of new figural napkin rings has just appeared in the market. This latest batch is made in India. All are genuine silver plate over brass. The new rings are copies of specific Victorian originals but none have any permanent mark. ACRN paid $50 for the group of four new rings shown in this article.
Most reproduction wholesalers offer look-alike Victorian silver plate. One of the most common new items is a reproduction of a brides basket frame. In this article well compare a typical new frame to the features of typical old originals.
There is another generation of reproduction figural napkin rings in the market. The key feature in identifying this new group is an extremely thin lightweight base with a pressed design (see Figs. 2 3).
Latest Reproductions Identified by New Hallmark - A batch of sterling silver match safes featuring sporting themes is available. The new safes first appeared in antiques markets and fairs in England. They have now been seen in American shows, malls, shops and many online auctions.
An increasing number of silver reproduction match safes are being marked sterling. For the average buyer, this recent change will make the detection of new matchsafes as well as other new silver more difficult.
Victorians love of ornament for its own sake is quite obvious in their personal accessories. Look through any period catalog and youll find hundreds of fanciful goodies designed to pluck a mustache, pounce some ink, and pick out bags and bicycles. One of the favorite materials for those daily essentials was sterling silver.
One of the best-made sterling reproductions we've seen is an Art Nouveau matchsafe that has just been released. It is a copy of an original made by R. Wallace and Sons, made from about 1880 to 1910. Originals are very rare and are valued at $500-$750. The reproductions, first released in December, 2000, are wholesaling for $38 each.
Several figural match safe reproductions have been causing confusion in shows and online auctions. All three known as Ally Sloper, banded Havana cigars, and Japanese dragon began appearing about the middle of 2004. All three new safes are copies of vintage originals.
A mail order catalog specializing in "historic gifts of Great Britain" offers this new Royal Air Force in sterling silver. It is the so-called "sweetheart brooch" originally worn by wives and girlfriends of wartime airmen.