Searching for Silver (38)
The 7-inch sterling silver figural cat rattle with bells is also a whistle. Other similar figurals exist, all are made in Mexico. New sterling silver ball-shaped rattles are marked JEM, both about 3 1/2 inches.
A business in New York is currently selling reproductions of figural napkin rings bearing trademarks and model numbers of original manufacturers. The companys 1997 brochure showed nine different figural rings available. Price is 55 each or four for 200. Originals of the reproductions sell for 200500. The new rings are being marketed by the manufacturer as limited edition collectibles with original markings.
New silver-plated objects in the Art Deco or Art Moderne style are now in the market. The new items are made in India and sold in the United States by a west coast importer.
Another group of figural sterling matchsafes has begun to show up at shows, malls and Internet auction sites. Unlike previously reported sterling figural reproductions, this group does not have the DAB touchmark or correct English hallmarks to identify and date them as new. All of the new safes are copies of well known and relatively expensive originals.
The majority of reproductions are usually made to fill a demand for a hugely popular or hot product. Some recent examples being cobalt blue royal lace depression glass, Roseville pottery, Gall cameo glass and Pairpoint Puffy lamps. Originals in all those lines bring high prices and you can at least understand why they would be reproduced, copied or forged.
This new matchsafe features a falconlike bird in the lower right and two small birds flying across a full moon in the upper right. It is marked Sterling around the rim. No old safe like this is known. This fantasy piece first appeared in 1992. It is still in production. Shown slightly larger than actual size.
This Victorian look-alike silver-plated toothpick holder is being offered by several mail order catalogs. Although generally similar to original turn-of-century pieces, ACRN could not find an exact old counterpart. There are no marks on the new piece. Silver plate is good quality but the finishing on the base is poor. Note how the marks on the base are parallel and perfectly aligned. This is a sign of power tools, not normal wear.
Under U.S. law, articles marked "sterling" or "sterling silver" must test a minimum of .925 parts (92 percent) pure silver with no more than 004 variation.
New sterling matchsafes continue to appear in English fairs and markets. The pattern has been for the safes to first appear in England, then gradually spread into the American market. Many new safes are brought back to the US either knowingly or through honest mistakes as dealers stock. Other new safes are purchased by American collectors from English dealers offering new pieces through internet auctions.
This sterling whistle arrived too late to be included in the February issue on Victorian silver novelties. It is 2 long.