Silver Chafing Dish Warmer

antiquesilverOctober 7, 2008

The last few weeks I've been without a computer & it looks like I've missed some interesting silver discussions. They reminded me that I've never identified the country for this alcohol warmer/lamp that I've had for several years.

'916' is the only mark; it appears to be a silver alloy although I've never heard of a 916 standard. If it's plate, it's the best I've ever seen - I can't find a place anywhere that shows wear, although the handle has some gouges/deep scratches but there is no base metal showing. Even the gears & moving parts don't show anything different. It's made from thick gauge metal & is quite heavy (I forgot to weigh it). Sorry the pics aren't better, but this thing is horrible to photograph!

Anybody have any suggestions as to where this came from, what period of time, or where I can get a wick for it?

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Is that cute or what??!!
And you turn that little handle and the ratchets raise the lid for lighting it? Neat!
I'm sure it's all whatever it is and not plated. I know at some times some countries have used different standards for fine of both gold and silver....i.e. 15 K gold was done pre WWII in Germany.
As for a wick, they make round wicks for lamps, or couldn't you use what is used now for an alcohol burner... fiberglass?
Linda C

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 3:12PM
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Do you think it could be Russian? 88 zolotnik Russian silver has the equivalent millesimal fineness of 916[6]. The alloy contains 91.66 % pure silver and 8.34 per cent copper or other metals....that might account for the 916 mark. If so, I'd imagine it was made before the Russian Revolution, wouldn't you? .......sometime pre 1917 or '18.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 6:31PM
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Sandra, that's very interesting. I know little about Russian silver (except the '84' mark) & I never considered the actual fineness as an alternative stamp but it is something I'll definitely research. Honestly can't say if I know what Russian style looks like but it's certainly a strong possibility. Briefly, I scanned Tardy's & anything I came up with seemed to be the wrong era, but I'm going to look again under Russia. This is exciting!

Linda, the small knob flips back the wick cover & the larger knob raises & lowers the wick; I think the wick has to be round & fitted to work, but I'm not sure. It doesn't work the same as other warmers I have so I have little to compare it to - & the piece is a lot more substantial in size & weight. Definitely, it's made to fit in a ring because it tips over too easily on a flat surface. The pan it heated must have been large.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 7:43PM
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The 916 made me think Russian as well. Are there any other marks?

I am still looking for my notes on Russian silver marks.


    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 5:59PM
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No other marks; maybe the piece that it warmed had a full set of hallmarks & this being a relatively small piece was only marked with fineness. I glanced through Tardy's again but didn't find any Russian reference that used a fineness mark rather than the zolotnik count but I could've easily missed it. However, Finland also used the 88 zolotnik standard & there is a reference showing a 916H stamp in the same font as mine, except mine doesn't have the 'H'.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 11:41PM
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I still can not find the appropriate notes, but I just looked at some of my Russian silver. The forks and spoons are marked with "84" and the year. Two of my silver-gilt pieces are marked "916", one with a head (pre-revolution) and one with a sickle (Communist), each in the same impression as the 916.

I'll try looking for my notes this weekend and if I come up with anything I'll add it.


    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 4:33PM
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Did you ever find anything else about your warmer? Russian?

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 11:44AM
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The only other thing I found out is that Finland also used the 916 mark (same font as mine, too) & a few sellers on ebay showed Spain as the country of origin on pieces using that fineness although it was a different font. All of these had a full set of hallmarks where mine does not. With nothing but a fineness mark, I doubt if I'll ever i.d. it. No matter - it's a nice piece that I paid a small amount (at least, relative to the complexity, size, & weight) & I intend to put it to use if I find a wick that fits.

I tried googling a few Russian websites, but my antivirus/spyware kept blocking them due to possible problems.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 1:17PM
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Well, shucks.....I was hoping you were 'on to' something Russian...that period before the Revolution is pretty fascinating to read about.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 9:40AM
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I have an antique silver burner similar to this that I cannot get to light. There is a round wick wrapped around the center piece that is submerged. The center piece also has more wick like material in it. I have used denatured alcohol. Do you have any ideas what I could do? Are there replacement wicks or a site you know where I could ask?

My understanding is mine is German made. Hope you found an answer to your questions.

Thanks for your help.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 8:54AM
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I'm afraid I have not found a source for the type wick that will fit this burner. If the wick is saturated with alcohol, I know of no reason that it won't light. Sorry.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 4:00AM
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