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Quadruple Silver Plate Crumber Tray- Homan Silver Plate Co.-Circa 1903 - $8 (Olathe)

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condition: good
make / manufacturer: Homan Silver Plate Co.
size / dimensions: 9” x 7¼” L/W

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Quadruple Silver Plate Crumber Tray by Homan Silver Plate Co. - Circa 1903

Pickup in Olathe.

This crumber tray belonged to my step dad. He collected unusual items but this is by far the most unique. The tray was made for someone by the name of Estella in 1903; quite possibly a gift, hence the engraved name. It was made by the Homan Silver Plate Co. and is quadruple plated silver with wear that is typical for a piece that is 116 years old. It weighs 9 oz.; measures 9” x 7¼” L/W; maker stamp is on the bottom (see photo). The design consists of a hand etched floral and foliate pattern in the center, a seashell motif round handle with hand stamped beaded bars on each side and a beautifully hand stamped beaded border (see photos).

A crumber is a tool designed to remove crumbs from a tablecloth, used especially in fine dining situations. On plated silver, the term quadruple indicates the number of coatings received by the base metal in the electroplating process. Naturally the more metal used in the plating the longer the piece should last. Polishing and wear do take their toll on the plated ware, however.

Homan Silver Plate Company was founded in Cincinnati in 1847 by Henry Homan and Asa F. Flagg as manufacturers of Britannia ware under the name Flagg & Homan. The Homan family managed the business as Homan and Co. until 1887, gradually changing from the manufacture of pewter, Britannia metal and German silver to electroplated silverware. Around 1896 the name of the firm was changed to Homan Silver Plate Company, and in 1898, the company was sold to International Silverware Co. (news story source: The Cincinnati Enquirer, September 14 and 16, 1898, p. 7).

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