Chicago Antiques Guide

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A True Silverplated Whatzit?

Posted Wednesday, January 31 by Brian

Last October, I sent you a picture of an item and you were able to tell me what I had. I have come across this latest thing. I thought it was pretty cool. I think it’s a toothpick holder. There is no stamp on the bottom, but on the underside of the handle, there is a stamp. I’ll try to describe it.

There is a little, what looks like it could be maybe a 3 leaf shamrock, or possibly a plus sign, I’m not sure. Then there is a name that says Wm. Rogers, then a 5 point star. Then it says “sectional”, not in quotations. After that, there are two numbers, maybe a letter and a number. The first one is either 1 or I, then stamped in separately looks like either a 5 or an S. The base is obviously made from a flattened spoon, I don’t know what the holder part is from.

If you have any information, I would be interested to know. Thanks, Becky
Whatzit.jpg

I am certain this is a "home made" piece, made from (as you said) a silverplated spoon (the base), and a handle from a dinner knife. Old silver knives had hollow handles filled with plaster. If left to soak, the plaster can become soft and the blade can be removed. Both pieces were silverplated.

The mark you gave is from the spoon. It is [an eagle], Wm. Rogers, [then a 5 point star]. I don't know what sectional means. The rest is IS for International Silver, which bought the company. I don't know the pattern of the spoon, since I can't see the handle, but much of it appears to be cut off anyway.

The knife handle is the "Heraldic" pattern by 1847 Rogers Bros. That is the name of the company, not when it was made. The pattern was introduced in 1916 and continued in production for some time, probably through the 20's and maybe early thirties, when styles started to change.

What the maker intended for it's use is a mystery. The opening is small for a toothpick holder. The handle gives it the form of an old candle holder, but again it is pretty small for that.

The value I think would be just as a curiosity, probably less than $25.

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