Reed & Barton was founded in 1824 in Taunton, Massachusetts, making it one of the oldest privately owned silversmiths in the United States. The company is well-known for its silverplate flatware and giftware. Like most silver products, Reed & Barton silverplate pieces feature hallmarks that help you to identify it. From 1928 to 1957, pictorial marks representing the year were added to the hallmark, which can further help to date a piece.
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Things you need
- Magnifying glass
Examine your silver piece to find any writing or marks. Use a magnifying glass if necessary. If you do not see the word "sterling" or ".925," your piece is probably silverplate.
Search for the words “Reed & Barton.” Another hallmark often used by Reed & Barton is a series of three marks. The centre mark is the letter "R" within a shield. This is flanked by an eagle mark on the left and a lion passant (walking lion) mark on the right.
Look for another pictorial mark on your piece. If your piece was made from 1928 to 1957, it will have one of these date codes.
Compare the pictorial mark to a chart of Reed & Barton date code marks. One can be found at the Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks and Maker’s Marks (see Resources). Match the date code mark with one on the chart to learn what year your piece was made.
Research the pattern name of your piece using various silver information or replacement websites (see Resources for two options). If the website allows it, search by Reed & Barton and year.
Tips and warnings
- When researching patterns on replacement websites, you may have to scroll through an extensive list of thumbnails of Reed & Barton patterns. If your silverplate piece has a distinctive feature in the design, such as a particular flower or fruit, you can search by that keyword. This may help narrow down your search.
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