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So what or who is “1847 Rogers Bros”? revised 7/20/23

Posted by White Water Antiques on 15th Jul 2023

So what or who is “1847 Rogers Brothers”?

You are at a dinner party and somewhat bored. You turn over a piece of silverware and it reads “1847 Rogers Bros” So does that mean it was made in 1847 or that some brother name “Rogers” made all this stuff? Is it sterling or some other metal? You sit there wondering what the value, if any, of all this flatware is and how old it may really be.

“1847 Rogers Bros” was actually a trademark used starting in 1862. There were many Rogers names used during the time period in silver making as well. Some were relatives but many were just anxious to get their brand recognized. In 1862 Meriden Britannia Company bought the hollowware division, tools, and dies from Rogers Brothers Mfg. Co. Many independent silversmiths joined together with that shop to form International Silver Co that became the world's largest manufacturer of silverware. Rogers 1847 became the trademark of that new firm.

While the firm was a manufacturer, its real genius in my opinion was its marketing. They designed and developed silverware patterns on a yearly basis that people wanted on their tables and wanted to give as gifts at weddings and many other occasions. The firm also used the top advertising medium of the time, magazines with great new colors, to push these products.

Silverware patterns such as First Love, Marquise, Adoration, Eternally Yours, Daffodil, Heritage, and Flair became well-known names in households of the mid-twentieth century. They are still collectible, in demand, and used in decorating today.

So the “1847 Rogers Bros” trademark includes lots of popular patterns. What is the flatware made of, sterling? Sterling silver in the United States will have a back stamp of either sterling or .925 percent of sterling or higher. The silverware we are talking about is silverplate. Silverplate has an extremely thin layer of silver covering a base metal such as copper, brass, or nickel.

The melt value of silverplate as a metal is very low, especially compared to sterling silver. Some people like to say silverplate has no value. I disagree. The value of silverplate flatware is linked to the demand for a particular pattern and the condition. Thousands of patterns were developed, especially in the twentieth century, but only a handful are in demand for resale. While silverplated flatware can be polished, the silver surface is very thin so the condition is important. These patterns represent the history, marketing, artistic style, and designs of each period which makes them fun to own.

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