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Kalfred

“Duchess Silver” & “B&Co” Bird & Co? Sheffield

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Hello, I have very recently bought from on line a trio of fiddle pattern electroplated teaspoons. These are my current first choice for putting coffee into mugs.

847132278_3DuchessSilverteaspoons002.thumb.jpg.2c667e925c37df456a02ff3cc0196798.jpg

Just bigger than a so called coffee spoon and not a monster teaspoon. I didn’t buy them to make beverages though as I am hoping they possibly have information give, especially with the help of the Forum. Below is the better preserved set of finial marks.

2103782919_BCoDuchesssilveramark..jpg.4e5e2f7df728366e3210ed472e6e93bd.jpg

There is a trademark “Duchess Silver”, a four digit number, 3895, that is registered, plus the “S” to suggest manufacture by a Sheffield concern.  There is also a maker’s mark and another “S” as seen expanded below.

832425866_BCoDuchesssilvermark_Copy.jpg.22b8832407d0a4624b4c08fe7b890ed5.jpg

The manufacturing concern looks like “B&Co” but who were they?

Looking at the number, we get a bit of dating. The number is a British pattern registration number. Number “1” came in 1884 and by 1885 the numbers had reached “19754”. The Company that made my spoons was likely in business by that time or if they “took over” the pattern possible a little bit later. On line there is a reference indicating that the word “Duchess” was a trademark was associated with a Sheffield maker of “Goods of non-ferrous metals, except jewellery and safety pins” called “Bird & Blake”. Unfortunately, the same reference site indicates there was another company “Bird & Co Sheffield” makers of “Cutlery of all Kinds” at Brunswick Works, Sheffield. Obviously nothing appears clear here though it is possible that “Bird & Blake” became “Bird & Co Sheffield” but help is needed. I found the below references in the Sheffield Indexers but they are not giving me the clues I need to confirm the identification of these spoons.

Bird, Edward (, electro-plate manufacturer (B.& Co)).
     Address: H 29 Milton Road, in 1905.


Blake, Thomas Henry (, electro-plated spoon & fork manufacturer).
     Address: Crown Silver Works 19&21 Carver Street h.36 Victoria Street, in 1905.

BLAKE, Thomas Henry (~, Spoon & Fork Manufacturer (Thomas Hy Blake Ltd)). Address: h. 75 Leavygreave Road, ~ in 1925.

I believe that “Thomas Henry Blake” of Crown Silver Works, Carver Street is not the maker of my spoons. His company is referenced to have started 1887 but he was formally partner in a “Bradley & Blake” concern. Below are some cutlery marks more obviously associated with “T.H.Blake”.

1689407880_ThomHBlakespn.jpg.eb12222bf1021e1dcc4dcb41945a89c1.jpg

So the company of an “Edward Bird” is a better candidate to have made my “Duchess Silver” spoons but a bit more supporting information is definitely needed. Unfortunately this “Bird’s” referenced trademark is apparently a pictorial “set of bagpipes”! On top of this, if you look for a possible “B&Co” on the usual electroplate reference sites the company you find is “Edwin James Buxton & Co” of Sheffield but they are given dates of just 1861-1863 (should be late 1860 as from the London Gazette it seems a partnership between Samuel Russell and E.J.Buxton, makers of “Britannia Metal and Electro Plate” was dissolved to leave Buxton to continue 2nd Oct.1860 onwards). Two and half years is not a long production period and no where near the 1880’s for my spoons. As always, looking back 100 years plus, the dates could of course be incorrect.

Has the “Forum” noted any other concern associated with the trademark “Duchess Silver”? Has there been a "Duchess Works" in Sheffield in the time period we are looking at? Does anyone have anything extra to add please?

Kalfred    

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John Harold Ironside Blake (born 1874) was the son of Thomas Henry Blake (one time partner in Bradley & Blake). John H I Blake was a 16 year old odd work silversmith in 1899, but by 1901 he was an electro-plate manager, in partnership with Edward Bird in Bird & Blake, based at 85 Edward Street (Imperial Silver Works, Spoons, Forks, Electroplate and Cutlery). The partnership was dissolved in December 1903, and the works burnt down  in January 1906.

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Thank you Edmund for another snippit of information, or should that be another piece in the puzzle? Could it have been "B&Co" morphing into "Bird&Blake" and then reverting to "B&Co" again? I wonder when Edward Bird was born? Maybe I will need to be back to the Library and try "Ancestry" again.

Kalfred

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Edward Bird and William John Hardy were in partnership from 1872 as "Hardy and Bird" and "The Practical Cutlery Company", initially at the Porter Island Works, Arundel street, then from 1876 at 4 Union Lane.  In September 1895 when the partnership was dissolved, they were operating from Eyre Lane.

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Thank you again Edmund for bringing another 19th century Sheffield cutlery concern into the light again, for us all to reference. That partnership date will give me a better start with “Ancestry”.                                                             

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“Edward Bird and William John Hardy were in partnership from 1872 as "Hardy and Bird" and "The Practical Cutlery Company"

I had not previously heard of the said concern, but a little extra research, including on our forum that indicated that the 4 Union Lane address of the Practical Cutlery Co. was called "Zebra Works". Another reference site brought another name in to muddy the waters and that was "Walter Birch". 

I have found an image for "P.C.Co" products. Sorry it is not putting meat to the bone of the story of the "The Practical Cutlery Company", in fact it seems like quite the reverse.

489118089_PRACTICLECUTLERYCOSHEFF.HARDYBIRD.jpg.c3b11180c187c8dfdf7a600c1153143a.jpg 

Kalfred

 

Edited by Kalfred
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