Silver Goblet With Cherubs

This example belongs to a group of reproduction pieces made by a company who specializes in silver objects. Often their ware is found mistakenly described as 19th century, Victorian and/or sterling silver. The goblet is 5 inches tall and 3 inches wide at the top.

The mark illustrated includes a castle and archaic looking letters, which frequently encourages misinterpretation. Pieces bearing this particular mark are sometimes judged to be of Scottish origin (Edinburgh town mark).

Consider the goblet before looking at its mark. It has a decidedly 'machine-made' appearance. Look especially at the foot rim for evidence of this. The decorative design is made in imitation of repousse, which literally means, 'pushed out.' In repousse, raised designs are fashioned on the smooth skin of an object by placing the metal on a cushioned surface and hammering it to shape it from the back. The patterns thus are raised in relief on its exterior skin, while the indentations that produced them can be seen or felt from the interior. Although no image can be provided in this listing to show the interior of the goblet, it is perfectly smooth. The indentations one might expect to see on the inside, if this were an antique piece, are absent. You can get a sense of this characteristic by comparing the inside view of the base with the outside view.

Examine the areas of tarnish, too, as they are an indication that this item is not made of sterling silver. Because silverplate is usually only a thin layer of silver over base metal, like copper, silverplated items have a tendency to tarnish a sort of gunmetal color. Tarnish may look black or have an iridescent sheen. Sterling silver will almost always tarnish a brown or gray color, although its possible certain patination processes used at time of manufacture may have an effect that produces a different hue.

Now, look at the mark. Ask yourself:

1. If the castle were indeed a Scottish or English town mark, then where is the standard mark?

2. Why is everything, the letters and the 'town mark,' all stamped together within the same device? Shouldn't they have been stamped individually on the piece?

3. Is this piece really old?

The biggest clue in the mark comes from looking at it objectively. A loupe may be helpful in deciphering the individual letters. They are C & Co [castle] E P. And those last two letters should reveal this isn't sterling silver, but electro plate.

The letters in the mark may look archaic, but it doesn't follow that this means either the goblet, or the mark on it, are old. A later manufacturer can make a gothic letter just as easily as they can mimic real repousse work.

This item is not of the 19th century, nor is it sterling. It was made by a company that produces heavy, silverplated reproductions of antique pieces, usually manufactured overseas.

Corbell & Company was established in London, England, in 1946 and in 1951 moved to the United States. Corbell & Company is still in business today in Los Angeles and advertises, "...an extensive line of fine reproductions of antique silver."

Item ID: 2007RP00013

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