Pricing Guides & Dictionary of Makers Marks for Antiques & Collectibles

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Q&A ON RESEARCHING MARKS ON
DORSONS JEWELRY – SILVER BRANDY WARMERS – GERMAN ALPACCA SPOONS – FOLDING BISCUIT WARMER

... a selection of answers to our members through our HELP GUARANTEED feature...

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DORSONS JEWELRY MARKS

Yes, this is indeed a ca late 1940s to 1950s beautiful piece of Jewelry and it was made by D. ORNSTEIN & SONS Corp, located in New York, NY, USA. The mark reads DORSONS, which was their trademark during that period.


SILVER BRANDY WARMERS

The two middle symbols (Crescent + Crown) are the Country of Origin Hallmarks for Germany. Please see our "Recognizing Country of Origin Hallmarks" page through our EXTRA HELP section to see actual examples from many countries, including Germany. These particular Hallmarks have been in use since 1886. The number 800 is the Purity or Silver content in Thousands, in this case 80% Pure Silver, which is the most prevalent standard used in Germany since the late 19thC. Please see our "Units" page through our EXTRA HELP section for more on this topic.

MANNHEIM is the name of a town in Germany, whereas the HB initials are those of the maker. Please use our INITIALS SEARCH for HB to see several matches. We are pretty certain that yours is No. 3 on the results list for HERMANN BEHRND and dates ca 1890s.

NETTER is for NETTER, HERZ & HEIMERDINGER, a Fine Retailers located in Mannheim, Germany, ca late 19th to early 20thC - so your Set dates ca 1890s - 1910s.


CLOISONNE VASE

This mark is not a maker's mark, but rather a Trading company's notation and probably there was a sticker with the country of origin, which is now lost or removed.

Based on its style, we believe this to be of Chinese origin and probably dates quite recently, most likely ca 1980s - 1990s. You will find many examples in our Antiques Price Guides.


GERMAN ALPACCA SPOONS

Although AUGUST WELLNER used many of their marks practically throughout their operations so it is difficult to pinpoint the exact period these were made, the term ALPACCA has been observed on mostly ca 1870s - 1940s pieces, which I believe dates your Set, at least broadly. Based on their style, we believe that you Spoons date ca 1890s - 1920s (slightly pre Third Reich). As I'm sure you already know, ALPACCA ( or ALPACA) refers to Nickel-Silver (see our "Glossary" page through our EXTRA HELP section).


UNUSUAL SILVER ITEM

The proper name for this item is "Folding Biscuit Warmer". Other names include "Folding Biscuit Box" or simply "Biscuit Warmer" or "Muffin Warmer" and at times wrongly called "Muffineer" (it is NOT a Muffineer).

The biscuits are placed underneath the pierced internal flaps while still fresh out of the oven and this device keeps them warm when closed until served, but allows some of the steam to escape so they do not get soggy.

Most examples are in Silverplate, but several exist made of Sterling Silver. They are considered Victorian in both period (ca 1870s - 1910s) and also in style. Many are ornate like yours, some much simpler and more utilitarian. Many companies made them, including Mappin & Webb or others in Sheffield, UK, and a few companies in America.

The mark you mentioned (Number 28) is not unique to any particular company so we cannot confirm the maker without seeing any other characteristic Hallmarks or Trademarks. If you find any specific marks on the piece that you can send us, we will be happy to continue our research on this for you.


ECCLESIASTICAL or CEREMONIAL HAMMERED SILVER

Yes, this is indeed an "ecclesiastical" piece, made in Tokyo, Japan, as noted. The "Aloha" inscription is not documented as a a maker but our opinion is that it was either the Retailer/Distributor or the name of the Church or Congregation this was made for, most likely in Hawaii.

The "Aloha" impressed stamp seems like a later addition and would corroborate this attribution. The number 970 refers to the Silver Content of this piece (97% Pure Silver), which is much higher than most so-called "Sterling Silver" (92%+) and is almost considered to be "Fine" (Fine is for 99%+, but this is very close).

As you probably know, the overall decorative treatment of most of its surfaces is referred to as "hammered". Although not certain, in my opinion this is fairly recent, probably ca 1960s - 1980s.


MASONIC SILVER PICTURE FRAME or FOB

This is the most prevalent and universal symbol for Freemasonry. It is called "Square & Compass".  Your item is actually a Sterling Silver picture frame case, one end of the chain would be attached to a man's vest and the case would be placed in his vest pocket (like an old Watch Fob).

Unfortunately, we cannot see any makers' marks or Hallmarks in your photos.  Please let us know if there are any other marks on this piece so that we can help you identify and date them.


SILVER TRAY INITIALS MARKS

The initials AWS, in which case they indicate that it was made by AUGUST WELLNER SOHNE (please use our INITIALS SEARCH for AWS).  For this to be Sterling Silver, it should have the Half moon + Crown Hallmark, so we believe this to be Silverplate.  Let me know if you find any other marks or hallmarks and we will be happy to continue our research on your lovely Tray.



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