Stamping became popular on silverware as a way to indicate the origin and the level of quality of the pieces. If you ever look closely at silverware, whether at home, in restaurants, or in antique markets, you can usually gain clues about the composition and manufacturing based on their engraved indications.
With the holidays just wrapped up, you have a pretty good idea of the condition of your best cookware, flatware, silverware, china, and serveware. As long as those needs are fresh in your mind, it is a good time to consider what items in your kitchen and dining room need to be replaced this year.
For nearly two centuries, the name Reed & Barton has been synonymous with superior craftsmanship and timeless elegance. The company is family-owned and is one of the oldest silversmiths in the U.S. It is largely known for its popular flatware patterns, but it manufactures hundreds of other items that delight collectors or become cherished family heirlooms.
A History in Silver
Reed & Barton was founded under another name in Massachusetts in 1824. Its earliest products were made of Britannia metal, a pewter alloy appreciated for its smooth, silvery finish. Many are surprised to learn that the Oscar statuette is made of Britannia dipped in gold. In subsequent years, Reed & Barton designers expanded their skills with pewter, silverplate and sterling silver.
In 1858, when silver was discovered in Nevada, Reed & Barton capitalized on the increased demand for solid pieces. Not only was silver durable and pleasing to the eye, but it was easy to melt down and convert to currency during hard times.