Stieff Silver patterns

1890’s - 1940’s

 
 


The Early Years

The flatware patterns shown here are

STIEFF STERLING PATTERNS

1892-1919

Additional photos show the subject or person the pattern is named after



As noted elsewhere in this site, patterns changed over the years to allow for current tastes and subtle changes in the dies as older ones wore out.



Dates marked with an X or * are questioned and are footnoted with comment at the bottom of the section.


Patterns with open dates were continued after 1979 by Kirk-Stieff


Most of the photo below were taken from ebay.

I use these photos as educational tools to help people make better decisions when identifying Stieff patterns.. Many sellers on ebay use this site to identify the subtle differences in patterns and the years they were made.

This helps all of us who shop on ebay and elsewhere.


Stieff Rose 1892

Stieff’s most famous pattern

Known as Maryland Rose until the 1920s, then Rose and later STIEFF ROSE.  They used the name STIEFF ROSE to make sure there was no confusion with the public, as several other makers used the name Rose.

A lot more photos of Stieff Rose pattern through the years on the dates page.



The Rose pattern has morphed over the years, more so than any of the other Stieff patterns. The central characteristic has been the large center rose.

The dates pages have a lot more about the changes.



This example has a “Name Plate” as Stieff called it  suitable for engraving.

(others call this engraving panel a Shield or Cartouche)

Available with or without the shield, most are without

1892-2010*

*(Now only available as Special Order by Lifestyle Brands under the Kirk-Stieff name)

First made by the Baltimore Sterling Silver Company later to be known as The Stieff Company


(Please note, that in the 1980s Kirk-Stieff produced this same pattern in

SILVER PLATE with the confusing name of  “Maryland Rose” so check

carefully on any pieces that you buy for the word STERLING)

The silver plate pieces will have modern blades. To learn about blade styles, see the section titled “The point about knives”

RAREST STIEFF ROSE

Click the photo below for 14K GOLD Stieff ROSE

 

By 1915 Stieff had become a major maker of silver in Baltimore.

A heavy, fancy pattern like Princess showed the public that Stieff was capable of very high quality work. A pattern like this was more of an image maker for Stieff and not a volume pattern.


Pieces placed in the display window could draw in prospective clients... who might love the pattern, but might order the very similar Rose pattern at a more “reasonable” price.

Princess  1915

Also known as Hand Chased Rose

Marked “Hand Chased”  in most cases.

There are fairly rare examples out there that are not marked “hand chased”.

See the comparison with Stieff Rose farther down the page




 





(photo of set of Princess pattern from John Lilly)

Princess Pattern

1915-1972

The 1967 and 1971 price lists shows Princess “by special order only” The 1973 price list has dropped any mention of the Princess pattern. Of course Stieff always was able to make anything by special order up into the late 1980s... but it was very expensive.


Princess is often confused with Stieff Rose/Maryland Rose.

Please note the differences below.

Princess has much higher relief and is a hand cut pattern.

Rose is stamped and more rounded.

Retail price for Princess was twice that of Rose or more.


Princess has deep cuts into the silver, evidence of the hand chasing.

No two pieces are exactly alike due to the personal hand worked design.



Stieff Rose, aka Maryland Rose, Rose was stamped using dies and does not

have the rough, deep cuts found in Princess.


The end of a piece of PRINCESS flatware lays FLAT on

the table. A piece of Rose has a slight lift at the end.

Also Princess is much thicker than Rose.

 

Victoria

Start and end dates Unknown

I place this pattern in line next as it again makes sense that as a progression of patterns is produced... After plain would come a fairly fancy pattern.

A hand written receipt signed by Charles C. Stieff, dated 1897 for pieces of the Victoria pattern is posted in the price list section, so we know the pattern dates to at least 1897.


The Victoria pattern looks very much like Gorham’s 1897 Lancaster Rose pattern

The Lancaster Rose pattern has 5 roses


Victoria pattern (above)

Most Lancaster has 5 roses on the handle while Victoria has 3. (some Lancaster had 3 roses, as shown below)

Victoria also has a small flourish at the base of the bowl of the spoon... and Lancaster does not. Lancaster has two small “leaves” on either side of the top rose. Otherwise a very close match.



This is Gorhams Lancaster Rose of 1897. Note how much they look alike.

Was this a Balt. Sterling Silver Co. “copy” of a popular Gorham pattern?


I know absolutely nothing about this pattern.

These photos are from the 1910 Stieff Catalog. which shows pieces of the Victoria Pattern.

Baltimore silver dealers tell me that they have not seen an example in many years.

Appears to have been discontinued by the late teens.

Take a look at the 1910 Catalog on this site to see more of this pattern.


Queen Victoria 1820-1901

 

Forget-Me-Not

The 1920 Stieff catalog is Forget-Me-Not’s first appearance. However, it does not appear with the new patterns presented for 1920, but with older patterns. It does not appear in any of the earlier than 1920 price lists.  I would place the pattern as...1919 as the replacement for Chrysanthemum.


No company is going to make a product and not price it or advertise it

for a decade. Forget Me Not is certainly not a 1910 pattern.




Above photo from John Lilly, The Silver Matching Company




Note that Forget Me Not has a bit of an under curve at the end of the handle


As a dinner knife handle above and a carving knife below



Forget-Me-Not as a child’s cup


Forget-Me-Not

1919-February 1974

First appearance is the 1920 Catalog

 

Plain & Plain Engraved

Start date unknown, Gone by 1920

This pattern is shown in the 1910 Stieff Catalog

The PLAIN pattern did not make it into the 1920 catalog.  In 1919, The CLINTON pattern was introduced. As this was another “plain” Colonial style, this earlier PLAIN pattern was dropped. The Clinton style has a bit more pointed handle.



Backs are stamped STERLING STIEFF




Tongs in the PLAIN pattern


Inside hallmark on the tongs.

Tongs are from my personal collection


To see more of this pattern, please see the 1910 Catalog.

 

Chrysanthemum 1904

1904 is generally accepted as the date for Chrysanthemum. However this pattern may have been introduced a few years earlier as examples do exist with the BSSCo. mark on them. These of course could have been made in early 1904 before the name change.







1904- late teens* (does not appear in the 1920 catalog)

Handles in Chrysanthemum are corset shaped.

This was a pattern of BSSCo. and Stieff.

The pattern is on both sides.

There are examples of this pattern with no hallmark at all


The hollow handles on Chrysanthemum knives look very much like the

Rose handles, but with a center open Chrysanthemum and not  the center rose.



Chrysanthemum knife handles can also appear in this form

as seen on this beautiful carving set.


 

Knife is 15.5 inches long

Fork is 11.75 inches long

Sharpener is 14.25 inches

(note:  these are much larger than those in the 1910 Catalog)


These Chrysanthemum pieces are from the pre-Stieff days of

The Baltimore Sterling Silver Co.


For MORE Chrysanthemum Images click on the image below


 

VESTALIA


Introduction unknown. Gone by 1910

Click on the photo above to learn what little we know about this rare pattern



BALTIMORE

aka Channel Back

Click the photo to learn more.


Presumed to be 1892 as a left over pattern from

Klank Manufacturing Co. Gone by 1910.

 

A certain well known silver author, in error, published a date of 1910 for Forget Me Not many years ago. I believe that her notes said 1919 and someone transcribed the date as 1910. Since then the date has been republished in error and taken as fact.

1910 is NOT the introduction date for Forget Me Not.


Forget-Me-Not in 18K Gold

The Stieff Company also employed goldsmiths to make wonderful pieces in 14 and 18 Karat gold. These salad forks are marked STIEFF 18K and were owned by Claire Stieff, wife of Gideon Stieff, President of The Stieff Company.



Mrs. Stieff’s monogram is on the back of the handle.   Photos courtesy of the Stieff family

In addition to the salad forks, there were 18K Teaspoons and luncheon forks.


The Stieff Company Goldsmiths also made the pattern STIEFF ROSE in 14K Gold. See the photos of those

Pieces in the Stieff Rose section of this site.

 

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