SOME CHARACTERISTICS

The chafing dish many years ago became a much used kitchen and table requisite in the United States, and for use of the table some fine silver chafing dishes were produced. Braziers were said to have been the forerunners of the chafing dish. That may have been so in America, but the idea probably emanated from a recollection of what had been used at a much earlier time in England. Collectors of old pottery such as was made in Sussex and in other English counties know that many beautiful examples of pottery chafing dishes are to be seen in museums and good collections, and the same principle applied in their heating and use was carried out in the silver chafing dishes for which Americans have still such a liking. As already stated most American collections of silver, pewter and Sheffield plate consist chiefly of the products of English silversmiths, and the hall-marks are those familiar to collectors in Great Britain and in other parts of the world. The silversmiths who settled in America continued to ply their trade, and when fashioning articles for domestic use made them at first identical with the goods they had made in their younger days in the Old Country. As time went on, there were some fresh features, such as the chafing dish, which in time became distinctly American, and no doubt the modification of design to suit altered conditions was progressive, and the new nation, the trade of which rapidly increased, had its own devices, although the later export business of the States has always kept its manufacturers in touch with the older types which seldom changed, and for which there was the chief demand in other countries. The older makers in America seem to have made their names their chief recommendation, and seldom failed to identify them-selves with their work. No date letters have been used in America, so that the exact date of any piece is difficult to affix, but the maker's mark and his initials are always shown very prominently and recognisable by those who specialise upon American silver.