Reed & Barton Sterling Holloware Tea Set

lishdishAugust 23, 2009

Hi All!: Because of necessity I am cleaning out and selling my cool stuff from my Grandma and Aunt that loved their china, sterling, etc. I have a complete Sterling Holloware Tea Set with tray that is in excellent condition. it's the popular and gorgeous Francis I design. It has the tea and coffee pots, sugar, creamer w/lid and waste bowl..all are footed, even the tray. Wish i had a picture. I took it to an antique dealer that said it wasn't real sterling and offered $90.00 for it. I placed it on consignment at the local consignment store and she was pooh poohing it too. I went home dismayed and searched for the difference between Sterling and Sterling Holloware. What I did find was that I have an awesome tea set. It's commonly known as silverplate (has an EPNS with the world stamped on the back). So my question to the authorities out there is what should I price it at and should I take it off consignment and try to sell it myself?

I appreciate your feedback.

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Post a picture of the set and the mark....
You call it "sterling holloware"...but say it's EPNS plate....that means it's NOT sterling holloware. It's plated holloware.
I didn't know that Francis I ever made plated ware?
Is the mark the same on all pieces?
My advice is take it off of consignment until you find out what it really is....but if it says IS plate....but if it's in good condition ought to be worth more than $90!!
Linda C

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 2:11PM
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FYI - Holloware means bowls, pitchers, & other hollow objects as opposed to Flatware which means knives, forks, spoons, & serving pieces. Both Holloware & Flatware can be made of various materials, including sterling, silverplate, & stainless.

Sterling is 92.5% pure silver & priced accordingly. Silverplate (in this case EPNS-Electroplated Nickel Silver) is a base metal (Nickel) with a thin coating of pure silver & is considerably lower in value than sterling because, for all practical purposes, it has no precious metal content.

I hope this explanation helps.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 5:30PM
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Thank you for your posts. I have the original brochure from my Aunt's Reed and Barton pieces and it says on it, "Sterling Holloware" and lists every piece in this collection. FYI - my Aunt bought almost every piece and told us all along this is my Sterling and one day you'll get it...the flatware says Sterling on the back of each piece but I'm now wondering if this is silverplate also.
I'm learning. Don't have any pictures now, it's at the consignment store.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 6:21PM
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The flatware too???
Get it out of that store....
The flatware ought to be worth $20 per piece at a minimum, resale....that's a bare minimum! if you have 8 place settings, each with 5 pieces that's $100 per place setting at the very most bare minimum for Francis I.
From what I see, the hollow ware is plate....worth about $250, the flatware is sterling wotht lots and lots more.
Find out what you have before you sell it.
Linda C

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 6:35PM
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Linda is right - get it out of the consignment shop until you know what you have. If the piece is marked 'sterling' or has the symbol of Bird/R/Lion it is sterling & may be worth more than $20 each depending on the age & the piece. For instance, a gravy ladle is worth considerably more than a spoon. If it's marked 'EPNS' or is not marked 'Sterling', it is plate & you should probably price it in line with prices on ebay, although I think the following ebay tea set is overpriced.

Here is a link that might be useful: King Francis tea set

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 9:09PM
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Concerning the holloware: Francis I holloware was/is only made in sterling (at least all that I found). The plated version is King Francis & is less ornate judging by the photos at Replacements. Pieces made since the 40's (& maybe earlier) are usually stamped with the pattern name.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 2:44PM
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