Tuesday, January 3, 2012

F B Rogers Silver Company

The F B Rogers Silver Company came to my attention one Friday night in December. Amongst many other treasures of an estate being offered that night were a set of four antique silver plate salt cellars with cobalt blue inserts. They were resting in a box labled F B Rogers Silver Company. Very quickly the bidding went past the wholesale price, ending closer to forty than to thirty dollars. I usually avoid silver items but this set piqued my interest. If for no other reason, they were extraordinary. Items of beauty, well crafted and a date on the bottom.

Thanks to saddlelite63 for permission to use the picture.

There had been quite a bit of discusion about the salt cellars before the bidding started. Were they silver or plate? Were the numbers "1883" a date of manufacture or something else? Some of us with smart phones tried to pull info from the web. No luck at the time. But later, after the fray, I started research and turned up a few facts.

  • F B Rogers specializes in silverplate holloware.
  • The brand has been owned by National Silver Company since 1955.
  • The "1883" is NOT a date of manufacture.
  • The "1883" incorporated in their mark is the date the original company was founded.
  • There are other similar brand names.

F B Rogers' specialty has been holloware which are tableware items other than the flatware. Sugar bowls, tea sets, covers and other rounded service items for the table. Rogers holloware is usually silverplate over copper. The salt cellars with cobalt blue inserts which attracted my attention are typical of items classified this way.

The brand has been bought and sold many times since the company started in 1883 and is currently part of National Silver Company. I am not sure as to what markings the company is using today. The older silverplate at the auction I attended had 1883 worked into the mark. The date has nothing to do with when the piece was manufactured. It is the founding date of the original company and the brand F B Rogers.

There are similar brands such as Wm Rogers Silver or William Rogers Silverplate, Rogers Brothers and a Chinese brand that uses "F B Rogers China" as its mark. All of which add to the confusion.

F. B. Rogers silversmiths have made and continue to make some very nice pieces of silverplate holloware. The "1883" date in their mark is a proclamation of the many years this brand has been produced. As with any vintage or antique purchase be dubious about claims of age until you can verify. Numbers on the bottom of many silverplate or ceramic pieces more often represent something other than manufacture dates.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    I was recently at a local "thrift store" in my hometown and something caught my eye. It looked, to me, like huge coffee percolator. But, it was not electric. It had all the nice tarnish of an antique piece. I carefully studied it and noticed that on the bottom was written F B Rogers. Above that written, it looks like its either to word "To" or "10" or "70". It's hard to make out because there is some tarnish covering that mark. This piece is well used. The inside is a nice dark brown from where you can see when the water was warming. I also noticed, what seems to appear like a gold color on the legs. I purchased this item for next to nothing, but after doing some research on this item, they are very collectible and a good price to boot. Hoping to take it to an antique dealer to get more information but I'm crossing my fingers it says "To F B Rogers" and that this might be a rare piece that might be Sterling silver, not just plated. I'll keep you all informed.


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