Reed and Barton Silver

One of the oldest silversmiths in the United States, Reed & Barton is a silver company with a long, enduring history of creating beautiful, classic, award winning pieces from sterling silver, silver-plate, and stainless steel.

The Reed and Barton Corporation roots started with a man named Isaac Babbitt. Isaac Babbitt worked with pewter, an alloy created with lead and tin, in a shop in Taunton, Massachusetts. Babbitt discovered a way to create a white metal alloy using tin, antimony, and copper. This alloy, called Britannia metal, was used by the British to create flatware and holloware for sale in the United States. Over the next few years, Babbitt gained additional associates and the company experienced steady growth until 1834 when it unfortunately failed. Working for the company at the time, Henry G. Reed and Charles E. Barton bought the company. In 1840, the company adopted the name Reed and Barton which remains to this day.

REED BARTON STERLING SALAD FORKS BURGUNDY NO MONO
REED  BARTON STERLING SALAD FORKS BURGUNDY NO MONO $64.95

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Reed Barton FRANCIS I STERLING Nut Dish 3647378
Reed  Barton FRANCIS I STERLING Nut Dish 3647378 $84.95

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Sterling Silver REED BARTON FRANCIS 1st Medium Footed Bon Bon dish X569F
Sterling Silver REED  BARTON FRANCIS 1st Medium Footed Bon Bon dish  X569F $359.00

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Sterling Silver Reed Barton Forget Me Not II Coffee Spoon 1960
Sterling Silver Reed  Barton Forget Me Not II Coffee Spoon 1960 $66.50

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45 PIECE REED BARTON MARLBOROUGH STERLING SILVER FLATWARE SET 2064 grams BOX
45 PIECE REED  BARTON MARLBOROUGH STERLING SILVER FLATWARE SET 2064 grams BOX $2,595.00

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REED BARTON STERLING SOLID SALAD SERVING SPOON BURGUNDY MONO B
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When Britannia metal lost popularity, Reed and Barton seized the opportunity to work with silver for the first time and dove into the electroplating process. Another way of bringing silver items to the masses, electroplating is a process through which silver is fused to a base metal such as copper or nickel. More cost effective than sterling silver, electroplated silver became a popular choice for consumers. In 1889, Reed and Barton began producing sterling silver pieces due to the low cost and prevalence of silver in the consumer marketplace. Since there was little difference between the price of sterling versus the price of silver-plated products, Reed and Barton was able to commit an entire factory to the creation of sterling silver pieces by the end of the 19th century.

Over several decades, Reed and Barton developed a reputation for excellent craftsmanship and high quality. The first patented flatware pattern was titled, "Roman Medallion," which was introduced to the public consumer in 1868. In 1876, the company's fine design work was recognized at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition by receiving a medal of excellence for their entry, "Progress Vase." The piece was three by four feet and depicted scenes from the 15th and 19th centuries. In 1908, Reed and Barton created one of their most enduring and loved flatware designs, "Francis I," which can still be bought today.

The majority of silver and silverplated products in the marketplace feature hallmarks and stamps for identification purposes. Sterling silver is denoted with the stamp, "sterling" or the number, .925. When these marks are absent, the piece is usually silverplate. The words "Reed & Barton" are used as an identifier as well as a series of three marks. The center hallmark is an "R" within a shield. The mark on the left is an eagle and on the right is a walking lion. From 1928 to 1957, Reed and Barton added pictorial markings to the hallmarks to help with additional identification. These pictorial marks represent the year each piece was made.

Reed and Barton is a company that has survived many changes in the marketplace to bring consumers durable silver items with high craftsmanship. The same quality found in Reed and Barton's antique pieces can still be found in contemporary silver items.