Dating reed barton marks
R&B has an immense photo archive of their 19th century hollowware patterns which has aided me greatly though they have no plans, i.e. Unfortunately too, the paper records that would accompany these were lost in the great Taunton flood of 1886.The numbering system of these sets appears sequential and a patent date of January, 1858 for pattern 1919 would place the 1950, etc. I don’t have any records so far to indicate how long these sets were in production but from the number of them available I’d have to say that they enjoyed a widespread popularity.So, although these R&B plated sets appear well designed and executed the question emerges: What makes them especially worthy of notice?The answer for me lies in how around 1860 unknown designer(s) for R&B developed a basic design for a tea set then explored a full repertoire of silver design and smithing techniques to create not just one but a full range of tea set patterns of which the following illustrations may not exhaust the possibilities.I have 2 pieces from a Reed and Barton tea set marked 1794 on the bottom (a bowl and a sugar bowl). It appears to be the Winthrop line based on comparisons with other items on e Bay labeled with 1795. You may need to use the macro function (flower icon)to get a good clear photo. Reed & Barton Year Mark Symbols: I will need to match style of marks with style of your pieces to give a general dating. After about 1890 and certainly by 1903, Reed & Barton focused on sterling holloware.
Until an actual style name surfaces in a period catalog or some other source I shall simply think of these sets as “Grecian.”By themselves, plated sets of about 1860 using classical forms prevalent in American solid silver hollowware for the previous 25-35 years hardly rate much mention.
His share of the company was later purchased by Charles Barton and Henry Reed.
Throughout the 1840’s, the “Leonard, Reed, and Barton” backstamp was faded out of production. Today, Reed and Barton remains a privately held company.
The new backstamps simply read, “Reed and Barton.” Throughout the next century, Reed and Barton steadily grew. The manufacturing of britanniaware was discontinued and the production of sterling took its place. In 1928, Reed and Barton purchased the Dominick and Haff Co. Reed and Barton’s many patterns are immensely collectible.
[26-1386]As part of a broader interest in classical form and tradition in American hollowware 1825-1900 I am avidly collecting and researching Reed & Barton’s circa 1860 plated grape pattern tea sets, numbers 1950, etc.
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Due to divergent business interests, Babbitt, Crossman, and West dissolved their partnership in 1829. The determination of the owners and the employees kept the business open and growing. Henry Reed and Charles Barton hired Benjamin Pratt as the company’s sales agent.