Identifying silver?

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Identifying silver?

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  • Identifying silver serving pieces
  • Marshall fields silver marks

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    12-21-2010, 06:43 PM
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Identifying silver?

I figured that this is probably as off-topic as an off-topic-topic could get!

I was wondering if anyone had any skill at id-ing old silver stuff and had any interest in helping me id an serving tray thingy that I found at Salvation Army this moorning...

I can get pictures later today, but basically, it's silver plated copper (I'm pretty sure the silver is sterling, it has that really black sterling silver-type patina in some areas), it's about 12in x 20in, it's a serving tray with handles, and on the back it has a very small maker's mark that says "Marshall Field & Co" and a few little numbers under that.

So, is anybody good at that sort of thing? :)

It's a Christmas present for my mother so I'd like to know stuff about it, if possible.
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    12-21-2010, 07:27 PM
Ok-I will try and help.....First, silver, particularly serving pieces is usually stterling or plate. Not a combination. Plate means the copper is coated with real silver, whereas Sterling has a higher silver content, and, will not wear off over the years, as plate will. Sterling is usually clearly marked as such, and some pieces may say "925".

If you look on ebay (I have always used them for great info, since they typically have good pics), and do a search for Marshall Fields Silver, it will show you some pieces that are available now, as well as some completed listing, if you choose that option. But, it should give you an idea of the marks you have on your piece, in comparison to others.

If you are ever really trying to ID something-silver, china, crystal, you can always contact They are really good at it. I bought pieces for them for several years.

Good luck!

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