Help w/Large oval silver tray

cathyscacheSeptember 21, 2009

HI, I usually am on the mosaics & stained glass as I am a mosaic artist. recently aquired a very large 26" x 20' "Sheffield" oval silver plate ( I believe over copper) tray. It has very ornante feet and has some slight wear. It is the largest tray I've ever seen. It has marks on the back ,2 on either side of the Sheffield stamp and the # 2831 stamped on it. Can anyone here tell me anything about this tray. I kinda planned to mosaic it but have been I should not. HELP please!!! Thanks much, Cathy

Here is a link that might be useful: Large oval tray

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I think it's too nice to cover up with stone chips and grout.....find a tray that has no decorative value as it is.
I don't see the mark nor the wear....but it looks very nice to me....and very big and heavy....I can't imagine what it would weigh covered with stones and grout!
About the tray? From what I can see, it's likely electro plated over copper, meant to hold a silver coffee service. Depending on the amount of ware, easily EASILY could sell for $100.
Linda C

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 8:47PM
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Even if I zoom in I can't make out the details of the marks well. Do they look like any of the ones on this Sheffield marks + date chart? (scroll down a bit)

I also agree it's far too pretty and substantial to do mosaic on. (I've always wanted to try that, btw!) If it's the shape that appeals to you, there are plenty of inexpensive vintage aluminum trays kicking around antique malls. There are some pretty large ones in various shapes. I have one that is huge that holds my pewter tea set with room to spare.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 9:55PM
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LINDAC: Thanks for the info. I'm sorry I forgto to add the stamp they are

Here is a link that might be useful: #'s and stamp marks

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 9:55PM
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Uh....I changed my mind....that's a lot nicer than I thought!
Moonshadow, the marks you posted are for sterling made in Sheffield. Sheffield plate was the first attempt at silverplating and NOT electroplate. It was made from rollins sheets of solid ( not sterling but solid silver!) over copper and shaping the piece out of that. Sometimes both sides of the copper were covered, sometimes just one side.
Some times there were no marks, sometimes there were marked similar to the ones on your tray ( but I can't really see them!)
Old Sheffield plate dated from late 18th century until about 1840 when electroplate came into wide use.
The confusion comes because Sheffield England also made Sterling which was marked differently and in later years ( post 1900) some makers called anything plated over copper "Sheffield " when in truth it was just electro plate over copper.
You need to find someone knowlegable....because if this what I think it might be....the value is $750 to $1000 perhaps more.
If you polish it, be very gentle as the plating wears rather easily when that old.
Linda C

Here is a link that might be useful: A little about old sheffield

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 10:28PM
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Ok I'm going to try to explain the marks. 2 marks on left Sheffield and 2 on right. The 1st one on left looks like a flower I think a 4 leaf clover, the next one looks like an animal maybe a Lion?? the site u sent has the same animal allover the top between the 1867 and 1868 is the last one like it...the one that shows between 1872 to 73 is different...the inside one on the right looks like the letters ec and p is directly under ec and they are all sideways, the last one looks like crossed keys or swords...the # 2831 is stamped on the bottom of the other side ...Also as I am looking over it I think the feet may be sterling as they have a lot of tarnish like silver does, the tray does not. hope this helps...thanks again for any help..I'm already thinking I may not mosaic it.....UUUMMMMMM.....

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 10:46PM
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Please do not mosaic it!!
Sliver plate tarnishes as well as sterling...sterling is solid silver of an alloy that 925 parts of 1000 pure silver, plate is a thin coating of silver over over something like copper or nickel silver.
Because it tarnishes tells you nothing of the quality. It could be a piece of 1940's electroplate silver, or it might be a piece of Old Sheffield hand made silverplate made in England before 1850.
I am sorry but I just don't know what those marks mean...I have a book that may offer some hints, but i don't know for sure.
But I do know that it's a very good piece. Way too good to cover up with mosaic.
Can you take a better picture of the marks? And perhaps a picture of the bottom and a close up of the edge of the top....that band around the edge.
Perhaps antiquesilver will stop in and see!
Linda c

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 11:44PM
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Here's somemore pics. I am the worst photographer alive and the reflection off the silver makes it even worse. I truly tried my best!!!!! Hope these, bottom and hoepfully better of the marks....Cathy

Here is a link that might be useful: Tray

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 1:54AM
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Cathy -
One way to get a better "photo" of the marks on the tray is to scan it, and post the scan. Or make a "rubbing" by putting a piece of thin paper over it and rubbing across with a soft pencil lead.

There is a slim, but exciting, possibility that this is sterling, or the popular "old sheffield" copper/silver laminate from the early 1800s.

It's also possible that the pattern was called "Sheffield" or that it was made by the American silver maker "Sheffield Silver Company" "

Whichever, it's probably worth more without the stones and grout, and worth the time to research the marks. Get us a good image of the marks and we can probably find it for you.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 1:17PM
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Ok I hope this is better. I cleaned it and went outside so no flash.

Here is a link that might be useful: Better mark pic

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 2:52PM
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Old Sheffield Plate was never marked as "Sheffield" the other marks that are on the back are spurious hallmarks. Alot of companies marked their silver plated items with such marks to make people think they were something they weren't.

What you have is a nice silver plated tray.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 2:29AM
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Thanks for all your help everyone. I have decided I will not mosaic it but actually use it for the holiday turkeys. Give the grandkids something to remember!!!!! Our turkey will always look SMALL on this tray though!!! LOL

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 3:07AM
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Thanks frog...I think I do remember hearing that.
And Cathy...put lots of garnishes around your turkey....and be careful not to cut on that tray...
Frankly I would for cookies at Christmas...or put lots of candles and christmas balls on it.
Or stand it up and let it reflect the candles.
Linda C

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 10:00AM
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I've been out of town & just saw this post. What a lovely tray! If you ever decide you don't want it, please email me - I need another tray for serving drinks & I would love to add this to my collection.

It is most definitely NOT fused plate or sterling. I don't know who the maker is but judging by the number of stamps, my guess is that it's 20th century. (A Sheffield book of Victorian electroplate marks shows that almost all of the English marks are initials, or whatever, inside of 1 stamp, whereas yours has 3 stamps, plus EPC, plus SHEFFIELD.) The EPC indicates ElectroPlate on a Copper base. Incidentally, the feet are probably plated white metal & not sterling. If they don't polish up, it means the plating has worn off, but with a tray that beautiful, no one will notice. What a find!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 3:14PM
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Hello, I recently purchased a silver plate with very similar markings that are on the back of your tray. Would you be able to post your pictures again? The current link does not show the tray, however, the pictures I saw of your mosaic work are beautiful! I have been researching on the internet for more info but didn't come up with much. Any info you have would be helpful. Thank you!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 11:57PM
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