Watneys - collectibles and antiques

Home › Collectables › Silver Items, Toast Racks, Spoons and Cutlery in Sterling Silver or Old Sheffield Plate or EPNS or EPBM, other › Spoons › Silver Plate


I love spoons and especially silver plate spoons, because they can be collected very cheaply and sets can be made up over the years.
If purchasing new spoons, then plated spoons of good quality are one third or one quarter of the price of the same spoon in Sterling Silver. 
For instance, a 6 inch teaspoon in E.P.N.S. is about 12 GBP (approx 28 AUD) against 35 GBP (approx 82 AUD) in Sterling Silver.

Here are two photos of one of six beautiful coffee spoons I bought not long ago for $1 (AUD) each from an Opportunity Shop.  I don't think they had ever been used.  They were nicely black, which gave me hope they would polish up and show no lack of plate.
These coffee spoons  are 4.5 inches long.
They are magnificent and marked - PARAMOUNT A1  DE-LUXE and 6 DWTS DOZ
I believe these would date from the 1930's and are far better quality than modern E.P.N.S, which is only 35 microns thick.
These would cost 5.50 GBP (approx $13 AUD) each today.


Silver Plated Coffee Spoon - MarkSilver Plated Coffee Spoon






Here are a couple of pictures of some quite fancy Victorian teaspoons with bright cut decoration.  I bought these in about 1969 in Malta.
They are made in England and as you can see have markings, including a crown, which was disallowed from 1896. 
If these were made in 1896 they are now 110 years old and are still in very good condition, with only a little silver plate missing on the back of some bowls.


Victorian Teaspoon - bright cut decorationVictorian Teaspoon - showing mark





These teaspoons are 5 inches long and they are marked - K & P Crown G EP.
This mark could easily be mistaken for a Sterling Silver hallmark, although there is an EP stamp, but this is cunningly stamped sideways, so as to make it confusing.
These were a boxed set of 12 plus a matching pair of sugar nips, for which I paid 5 GBP (approx $12 AUD).
Over the years about half of our teaspoons have found their way to our compost heaps in various parts of the world !



Photo 1 - Silver Plated Spoon - King Pattern





I believe this dessertspoon belonged to my Great-Grandfather, (James Watney of Haling Park, Croydon,  born in 1800).
Made in 1859 by Elkington & Mason & Co, Sheffield.
The markings include a crown, which proves this item was made before 1896, when crowns were prohibited for silver plate.
The crown was used for over 100 years to signify quality.
These spoons and other matching cutlery have been used daily for nearly 150 years and they show no signs of plate wear.  They are heavy and anyone would believe they were Sterling Silver.

Photo 2 - Silver Plated Spoon, King Pattern  - Mark





It was the custom in the 1850's onwards to have one's flatware made from good quality plated ware, rather than have Sterling Silver. No-one was the wiser.  Should a guest turn the spoon over to study the markings, they would be confused, because the markings were purposely made to look like Sterling Silver marks.
Royalty used this ploy, as did many a high profile company.


Photo 3 - Watney Crest - Silver Plated Spoon

Photo 1 shows the spoon with the popular King pattern.
It is 7.5 inches long.
This is by far the best silver plated spoon in my collection.
Photo 2 shows the marks, which at first glance could easily be mistaken for Sterling Silver hallmarks.
Photo 3 shows the Watney family crest, which is a greyhound or whippet in front of a stook or sheaf of barley, with ermine on the base.

Dessert Spoon in the JESMOND Pattern

This spoon is 7 inches long.  It has a Registration number for 1925 - 708938.  See Photo B.
I inherited this spoon, together with many other dozens of pieces of matching cutlery, when I purchased the Prince of Wales Hotel, Greve de Lecq, Jersey, Channel Islands in the early 1960's.
I had all the cutlery replated, because it was good quality and I thought a nice pattern.  However, like nearly everything I had done in Jersey, it was done badly,  and the new plating only lasted 1-2 years !
I mentioned that this spoon has a Registration number for 1925.  This does not mean the spoon was made in 1925, but that the particular DESIGN was REGISTERED in 1925.
I would say it was made between 1925 and 1935.
For some reason the JESMOND PATTERN does not appear to be popular today.


Silv Plated Dessert Spoon - Jesmond PatternSilv Plated Dessert Spoon -  EPNS A 1-  Made in England




                                             Silv Plated Dessert Spoon -  Registration Number for 1925




 Soup Spoons in JESMOND Pattern

Silv Plated Soup Spoon - Jesmond Pattern




 Here are three photos of some JESMOND pattern
 soup spoons with 1925 Registration Number. 


I bought 6 of these for 30 cents (Australian) each from a
CharityShop a couple of years ago.
The pattern matched my JESMOND dessertspoons and
These spoons are 6.75 inches long


Silv Plated Soup Spoon - Jesmond Pattern.  Registration Number



Silv Plated Soup Spoon - Jesmond Pattern. HACKER Superior Plate EPNS 1








DIXON Soup Spoon

This is a very heavy soup spoon 7.75 inches long made by DIXON. It is marked A1 - but not EPNS.
I have seen identical spoons offered on eBay as STERLING SILVER.  Buyers Beware !!!
DIXON had a huge output of these heavy hotel/catering quality wares between the wars.
The silver plate was always extra thick on DIXON made cutlery, it could be used for years before any signs of base metal were evident.

I bought 6 of these soup spoons for a few cents, but found them rather heavy and cumbersome to use.


          Dixon A1 Plated Soup Spoon - Mark with Trumpet Dixon A1 Plated Soup Spoon







 MOSLEYS Serving Spoon

Here is a serving spoon 8.25 inches long.
It is the best EPNS spoon I have ever owned.
It is marked MOSLEYS  A  EPNS.
It also has a mark - 10 DWTS (now obsolete) which refers to the weight of silver that was deposited, during the process of electro-plating, on to the base metal.
If you are new to collecting silver and silver plated items, it is wise to read some good books on the subject, and do some research on the Web.
Be careful, however, because some of the information listed is incorrect.
As an example, I found a site which stated - 'EP means electroplate'.   This is quite correct.
It then states that EPNS means the item was electroplated with NICKEL OR SILVER.  This is utter rubbish.

EPNS means the base metal (usually referred to as nickel but is in fact an alloy of nickel, zinc and copper) has been electroplated with SILVER. 
All EPNS items are plated in pure silver, and nothing else.
There is no recognised mark for goods that have been plated with nickel.

Mosleys Serving Spoon -  EPNS - 10 DWTSMosleys Serving Spoon EPNS - 10 DWTS








Example of poorly plated SERVING SPOONS

Here are 2 photos of the worst plated serving spoons I have ever owned.
They are 8.25 inches long.  Probably plated with NICKEL on the base metal.
I bought a whole set about 30 years ago from a well known Department Store here in Australia.  It wasn't cheap in price - but very cheap in quality.
I sent 3 of the table forks back for replating after less than 6 months use.

Poor Quality Serving SpoonMark on poor quality Serving Spoon




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