I have 3 soft silver serving spoons 2 by Wm D. Briggs and 1 by L. Elliott What are they worth?
Item's Current Condition: Good
Hello, and welcome! My name is XXXXX. X would be happy to help you with your question. When you say 'soft silver', would that mean sterling? Are there any sterling marks anywhere, or would you say they are coin silver or silver plate?Also, can I get your first name?
And are these spoons monogrammed or unmonogrammed?
If that is even a word. ;-)
Photos would probably help me. I'd like to see if they are more plain or ornate. Thanks!Per the "Just Answer" Web site policy, I am not allowed to share my personal email address. (Anyone who does, makes the addresses read all "X's" on the Just Answer site.) So in order to upload pictures you need to upload them directly to this chat box.Instructions to send me photos: (This sounds more difficult than it actually is. Just take one simple click at a time. Copy and paste these directions into MS Word and print them out if need be.)1) At the top of this REPLY messages box (where you type your reply to me) is a "paperclip" icon. Click on this icon.2) You will see a small window will pop up.3) The first box will say “Image URL”.4) Next to this box there is another small box that has a blue top along with red lines in it. You will want to click this box.5) Another window will then pop up.6) In this window you can attach the pictures. You will want the click the “Browse” button and then navigate to where you have the pictures saved on your computer or camera or cell phone.7) Select “open” and it will attach to the image upload box.8) Next, click “OK”.9) Next, your photo’s URL should be shown in the “Image URL” box on the first pop up.10) Next, click "Insert" and your image is then attached for me to view!
My name is Marie.
My Mother-in-law refered to these spoons as coin silver
Hi Marie, thank you for this info! If you'd rather not send me a photo, can you describe the spoons just a wee bit more? Are they shiny or dull? Monogrammed? Fancy or plain? Huge or large or medium or average? Etc. That will give me a better idea of the values. Thanks again!
My mother-in-law always refered to them as coin silver.
All 3 spoons are monogramed
1 of the Briggs has 3 circles on back inside the circles are a P, a Star, a S
The other Briggs has 3 circles but a too worn to read
the elliott has no markins other than the name
I have no way to send a photo
The spoons are plain
OK, thank you. I thought I'd let you know though, that William D. Briggs was just a retailer/distributor of flatware - not a maker name. Let me do some research and get back with you later. You will receive an email whenever I have a reply or question, OK?
First, a short lesson on coin silver that I think you might appreciate: Coin silver is a uniquely American type of silverware created by the Colonists in an effort to avoid all things British. European coins were melted down and cast into flatware and serving ware. It is highly collectible, and the earlier, the better.Most coin silver was made prior to 1870, including Knives, Forks and Spoons. Silver Spoons were made in fairly large quantities and make up by far the greatest amount of surviving flatware of this period. In colonial America, silversmiths decided to forge their own silverware and goods to avoid patronizing British purveyors of sterling silver. They collected useless European coins, mainly Spanish reales and melted them down. Because coins were an alloy of metals, their silver content was lower than that of sterling, only 90 percent. America did not adopt the Sterling standard until 1870. Coin silver was made in the United States from the earliest colonial times until just after the Civil War. There were some coin silver manufacturers who continued to produce after the Civil War, but most silversmiths changed to the use of the much more popular sterling silver.The most famous firms for coin silver production were in Boston, New York and Philadelphia.Because of the expense involved, sterling flatware of the period was often thin. But, since coin silver was more readily available and much less expensive, the pieces often have great weight and are impressive in design. Then, in 1859, silver mines were discovered in Nevada and coin silver dropped out of favor. It was no longer cost prohibitive to acquire sterling silver.The maker's mark on coin silver usually included the first initial and last name of the silversmith, as well as the city and state of manufacture. There are also many different retail marks that might be included in the back stamp as well.It is really difficult to appraise your spoons without having more information. "Coin Silver spoons" can range in value from $25 to over $2,000 (yes, each!). This is why I'm asking you for the details of these spoons - and photos - IF you could maybe find someone with a camera phone to help you get those pics to me. I really feel it would be to your benefit, so that you won't get short-changed on the value.Unless of course, if you are wanting a value just for insurance purposes? In that case, if the spoons are in wonderful, clean condition, then I would suggest that you have them insured for $1,000 each, just to be on the safe side.Please let me know which option suits you - taking the insurance value or sending in some pics to get the fair market value for resale.If for resale, I will need the following info as well:1. Measurements of spoons, including total length, as well as the width of the spoon's "bowls".2. All marks, including on the backs and any and all monograms. (use a magnifying glass)3. Condition (shiny, dull, scratched, excellent, etc). (use a magnifying glass to see how scratched they are. A little or a lot?)4. Describe anything fancy on the spoons, or let me know if they are plain.5. It is always! helpful to know ANY history on them whatsoever. How long did your mother own them? Who did she get them from? What country was that person from? Etc. Again, this is important, because "Coin Silver spoons" can range in value from $25 to over $2,000 each! And I'd like to help you, unless of course, if you are wanting a value just for insurance purposes? In that case, if the spoons are in wonderful, clean condition, then I would suggest that you have them insured for $1,000 each, just to be on the safe side.Thank you.
Hi Diane sorry it took me so long to answer. The Elliott is 8 3/4 in long and 1 13/16 wide, the large Briggs is 8 1/2 in long and 1 3/4 in wide, the small Briggs is 7 in long and 1 1/2 in wide.
The Elliott has just the name on the back, The Large Briggs has the name and 3 circles with markes inside but too worn to make them out, The small Briggs has 3 circles with a P - a star - Sinside them.
They are shiny when polished the Elliott's monogram looks like GB could be Gertrude Bruen. The large Briggs has Bruen on it and the small Briggs has David could be David Bruen.
They are Plain and in good condition. I don't know how long my mother-in -law had them, but the Bruen's were her in-laws. They lived in Brooklyn N.Y.
My mother-in-law's ancesters came from England and arrived in 1650. The Bruen's als came from England and came over prior to 1795.
I am now going to attempt to send you a couple of pictures.
Hope you got the pictures.
Thanks, Marie. That's the kind of info I like to have to go on!
No, I didn't get any photos. Try this. email the photos to:firstname.lastname@example.org (experts at just answer dot com).when you do, be SURE to put the following in the subject line of your email:"Photos for Diane in PA"That should do it. It might take some time for them to arrive to me, but I'll let you know when they do arrive. Then I'll start my research, which could also take a while, so I thank you beforehand, for your patience.
Hi Marie,Heritage Auctions catalog: http://www.ha.com/common/auction/frontmatter/5012_catalogpdf.pdf Scroll down to page 108, (photo #71226). This fish server was made by Polhamus & Strong, c.1855-1863. It is Sterling silver. This Polhamus & Strong company produced silver pieces to L.C. Tiffany. Most all pieces with the (P star S) mark were sold by Tiffany & Co., but when they were, they were also marked with the Tiffany name, so in essence, you probably don't own a Tiffany spoon. And in order to be sterling, it had to be marked as such. But it was close! Here is another page to verify the mark: http://www.smpub.com/ubb/Forum13/HTML/000826.html And a butter knife that sold a while ago, but without me paying a $25/mo. Subscription, I can't tell you what it sold for. It too though, was marked "sterling" and Tiffany. http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/c1845-tiffany-co-sterling-knife-by-polhamus I've found only one current auction on eBay, with the (P star S) mark, yet the spoon they are asking $90 for, is marked "sterling", as well as the mark you have. There really not much to go on here, because for all we know, this seller could be asking too little or too much? for the spoon. What I do know is that it is popular today for dealers to buy old silver such as spoons, and melt it down as "scrap", to resell at today's silver prices, so a lot of them look only at the weight of the silver, and will only pay a fraction of what it is worth today, in order to turn a profit. So you probably do have a coin silver spoon, and I'm sorry if I got your hopes up, but I wanted to be safe rather than sorry, if you can understand that. In today's secondary market, your spoon would have a value in the range of $50 on the low end, to $125 on the high end. This would depend on whether it was for sale online or in an Antique Shop, and where in the country it was being sold. As for the other spoon, I have not even begun on that one. But I'm HAPPY for the both of us, to have even found the maker on yours. There was a lot to weed out!
Again, I'm sorry if I let you down on the value of these, but it was worth the effort, just to know. I had never heard of that Silversmith either, so I learned some myself.
Earlier I had said that I hadn't begun searching for the "L. Elliott" spoon, but I did. I had part of that answer previously typed up. All of my searches for "coin silver" or "silver" + "L. Elliott" turned up nothing. I even used various spellings of the name, and searched in my Silver Maker's book of marks (American and Global). Nothing. This leads me to believe that the name was a retailer or distributor, vs. a maker. If there were some other hallmarks to go by, I'd stand a chance. Thanks for sharing these, Maria. Do you have any other questions on these?If not, would you please click "Accept" if you appreciate my service. Please only rate my answer if you're 100% satisfied. (please do not give me a low rating for any site glitches you might have experienced, as those are beyond my control - thanks!)If you're not happy with my service, then please click the "REPLY" tab BEFORE rating me, to give me a chance to make things right.Thanks again for visiting us, and have an awesome weekend! - Diane in PA
P.S. I hope you didn't go through a lot of trouble with the photos.
Thanks for your help
Diane I keep trying to click on excellent service face but a box pops up saying expert hasn' answered my question and I don't see any submit button what do I do
Aw, thank you Maria. I'm going to try it again. I hope it works this time. Have a great weekend.
14 yrs. selling/researching antiques, art, books, jewelry +.
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