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So many questions - part I - Silver Tray

Posted by dlm2000 (My Page) on
Fri, Feb 26, 10 at 15:17

It's probably not a good idea to put all the photos in one post so I'll break them up by item.

Starting with this silver tray. There are no marks on it, I'm assuming that means it's plate. I know it was purchased at Marshall Fields Antiques as a gift for my parent's anniversary in 1969. It had an identifying card from Field's and there was more information about the tray but I can't locate the card - still looking - should be here. Any ideas? I mean about the tray, not where the card is ;-)

It's beautiful but very difficult to use due to the size and far more ornate than my taste. I've managed a couple of table displays with it at holiday time but that's about it.

Measures 24" (30" handle to handle) x 19"

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The engraving is lovely but it's the pierced gallery (hope I'm using the right term) that appeals most to me.

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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: So many questions - part I - Silver Tray

It's a lovely gallery tray....probably replated and that explains the absence of marks.
Would be dynomite on a side board or a dresser holding "stuff.
Originally meant to hold a coffee or tea service.
Would be beyond handy to carry say drinks and snacks into the living room...or dessert and coffee pups.
Linda c


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RE: So many questions - part I - Silver Tray

Linda if that tray was loaded with drinks I'd never be able to carry it - weighs a ton empty!! Replated - that makes sense about not having marks - thanks.


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RE: So many questions - part I - Silver Tray

That is one gorgeous tray! If you're not using it, just ship it to me - I'll even pay the postage, LOL!

If it's super heavy, the base metal may very well be copper &, to my eye, it looks English. It looks to have very fine detail for something that was replated & I'm suprised that no hint of a mark shows through but I'm no expert on replating. Maybe you'll find the card & give us some juicy details. Meanwhile, look in all the inconspicious place for a mark.

I don't try to serve filled wine glasses on a tray - I'm clumsy - so I set the tray next to the bubbly, or whatever, & have the stemware on the tray awaiting guests. Crystal & silver make a nice table decoration all by themselves but throw in a flower or ribbon or sprig of greenery & you have an elegant arrangement.


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RE: So many questions - part I - Silver Tray

"I set the tray next to the bubbly, or whatever, & have the stemware on the tray awaiting guests."

That's what I do when I entertain -- but my gallery tray isn't nearly that nice! That's one lovely piece...


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RE: So many questions - part I - Silver Tray

Obviously I need lessons in how to entertain :-\

I'll get it under a bright light and look with a magnifying glass. There's nothing on the flat underside for sure so it would have to be small and stamped under a handle or in the outside of the gallery if there is a mark.


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RE: So many questions - part I - Silver Tray

Whaa Hooo. A realy big cookie tray!! (Just kidding.) It is beautiful.


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RE: So many questions - part I - Silver Tray

FOUND IT! The ID card, I mean. It reads:

Marshall Field & Company
Antique Silver Collection

(then hand written) A fine old English Plate waiter. Oval body with pierced flange, rich hand engraving
84-7/367-51
England - circa 1865

So... a couple of questions. Not that I think this isn't plated, but does the word 'Plate' refer to the use or the finish? The capitalization is what makes me question. I'm assuming the numbers are some kind of coding for their inventory, or..... is it?

Now the card will be tucked inside the silvercloth bag the tray lives in so I won't lose it again.


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RE: So many questions - part I - Silver Tray

English Plate means silverplated. Waiter means it's a tray with a gallery.


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RE: So many questions - part I - Silver Tray

If the numbers aren't engraved on the tray, chances are they are M-F's; I don't know of any other explanation. Sometimes the mfgr puts marks that are scratched on referencing weight or the initials of a particular silversmith who decorated it, or an owner put his i.d. on it in case of theft - but none of those situations seem to apply.


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RE: So many questions - part I - Silver Tray

Thanks - I keep getting smart and smarter here LOL!


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RE: So many questions - part I - Silver Tray

And often if a piece is repaired or resilvered, the person who does the work puts their mark on there too.
It can get complicated!!
Linda C


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RE: So many questions - part I - Silver Tray

Gorgeous tray! I collect silver trays whenever I find one at the right price altho none of mine are as old or valuable as yours. IKWYM about it being heavy as a couple of mine are too heavy for me to use as trays. I guess those butlers were pretty strong! I use mine to hold decorative items/vignettes on sideboards or coffee tables.

Hope you will find a way to display or use this lovely tray. Too nice to be hidden away.


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