Sterling silver flatware well worth collectingby Larry Cox on Oct. 17, 2008, under Weekend Plus
TREASURES & TRENDS
Question: Several years ago, I found a partial set of sterling flatware in a local shop. It was the Calvert pattern which was introduced by the Kirk silver company. Since then, I have managed to track down several other pieces at estate and garage sales but wonder if it is worth the money and time that I have invested. Incidentally, I rarely pay more than a dollar or two for each piece that I buy.
Answer: Your pattern was introduced in 1927 by the Kirk silver company, which began in Baltimore in 1815 as Kirk & Smith. For more than a century, the company was controlled by members of the Kirk family. The Stieff company, also of Baltimore, acquired Kirk in 1979, and a new company was formed, the Kirk Stieff Corp. Some of the more popular patterns introduced by this somewhat legendary company include Carrollton (1961), Forget-Me-Not (1910), Homewood (1938), Mayflower (1846), and Primrose (1933).
If you are purchasing pieces of sterling flatware in the Calvert pattern – or any other pattern – for “a dollar or two,” you are making a wise investment. I consulted one of my favorite references in this field of collecting, “Warman’s Sterling Silver Flatware: Value & Identification Guide,” by Mark F. Moran (Krause, $24.99). This user-friendly guide features more than 18,000 listings, all with detailed descriptions of the various patterns and accurate prices that reflect the current marketplace. According to Moran, typical prices for pieces in your pattern include fork or salad fork, $50; fruit spoon, $30; teaspoon, $22; hollow-handled knife, $40; soup spoon, $38; and carving knife with stainless blade, $64. As you can see, you are purchasing sterling silver flatware at bargain basement prices.
Although plated flatware isn’t as valuable as sterling, prices are fairly low in Tucson and sets to accommodate eight can often be found locally for well under $100.
In addition to his work for the Tucson Citizen, Larry Cox writes book reviews and a weekly collectibles column that are syndicated by King Features and distributed throughout the United States and Canada. E-mail: email@example.com.
I have a Navajo rug that I suspect is from the 1940s. It has started unraveling on one of its corners. Where can I have it repaired?
Barbara, Oro Valley
Penelope Starr does Navajo rug repair and restoration. Her contact information is firstname.lastname@example.org or 319-2464.
I have three old clocks that have been in my family for at least a century. Two of them work, one doesn’t. Can you recommend a good repair person in Tucson?
A . Viki Watson, owner of Ye Olde Clock Shoppe, can help you. Her shop provides competent work at reasonable prices. She is at 6342 N. Oracle Road, or call 544-4014. You might also want to check out her Web site at www.yeoldeclockshop.com.