Tilting Teapot - How Old?

sweebyJune 4, 2010

I just scored this very cute little teapot on eBay for next to nothing. It's made by Reed & Barton, nicely crafted and good weight. It was represented by the seller as pewter (and looks like it), but isn't stamped as to metal content. (I was surprised to learn R&B did make pewter items.)

Anyway -- I'm wondering how old you think it might be. It doesn't have any of the usual R&B date stamps to identify by, so I'm guessing we'll have to go by style alone.

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lindac

Let's see the mark....I am thinking it's likely Britannia, a sort of "pewter-like" alloy with a bit more sheen...or it could be a pot with the silver removed and the nickle silver exposed.
But it does appear you are missing the whole bottom stand with alcohol lamp.
But it's really cute!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 8:50PM
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sweeby

There's no way I could capture the markings in a readable way with my camera... But they say MFD. & PLATED BY REED & BARTON and have a number 70 stamped, which I'm guessing is the pattern or catalog number. I've seen similar marks online on pieces claimed to be dating from the 1880's to 1910's, which seems to correspond to the time period claimed for similar tilting teapots. It's like this mark, except without the round bit at the top:

Linda - You're right about the warmer being missing, but I have one from a chafing dish that will fit. And I suspect you're also right about it being either Britania or worn-off silver plate rather than pewter. But it's still a cute little piece and will work nicely for my party.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 10:41PM
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lindac

Does it say "plated by"? If so that tells you it was something and now is something else??

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 11:08PM
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antiquesilver

In the Encyclopedia of Silver Mfgrs, the globe mark on holloware indicates the base metal was White Metal, but no indication of date.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 3:08PM
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sweeby

Yes, AntiqueSilver -- But that's not a photo of my mark. My camera (or is it my skills?) won't let me get a good picture on my mark, so I posted one like mine. Except - mine doesn't have the globe thing...

Linda - The more I think about it, the more I think this one probably was plated and that the plating's worn clean off. Though it's gone *everywhere*, which I wouldn't think would happen with normal wear and age. And the 'MFD. & PLATED BY REED & BARTON' stamp is one of their common ones...

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 4:50PM
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lindac

When silver plate got very badly worn, people "un plated" it using an electrolytic process, acids etc.
during the mid 60's there were a lot of people buying lovely plated pots and stripping them to copper and "pewter"....lots of tea and coffee pots were copper with a "pewter" spout and/or handle.
Likely it's Britannia.....and will polish to a nice shine.....and as we have said....it's cute as hell!!
My gut says pre Civil War....but I haven't researched the mark.
Linda C

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 6:48PM
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antiquesilver

Duhhh, I need to read more carefully before posting, LOL! If it's dark gray, it probably is Britannia, & like LindaC says, has been stripped; otherwise, there would be traces of s/p in the crevices.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 9:11PM
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sweeby

I think the 'stripped plate off Britania' theory makes sense -- I've polished it somewhat, but didn't know how much 'patina' to polish off in the crevasses. As it is, the piece has so much depth...

Do you really think it's that old? What about you AntiqueSilver -- Do you agree?

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 9:54PM
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antiquesilver

Sweeby, I'm the world's worst at dating holloware unless I have a mark to back it up. I'd guess 1910-20 but I don't have a shred of evidence to support it. Something about those 'pleats' (can't see the details well enough to tell what the decoration is) says early 20th C. to me but I could easily be wrong.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 2:39AM
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lindac

R and B got their start in the early years making Britannia ware....it wasn't until later that they got into the silver plate business and later still when they got into sterling.
I based by opinion on the date from the fact that Britannia was popular at that time and Reed and Barton invented it...

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 9:16AM
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