(c1896-1923) (International Silver Company)
Brief Historical Sketch
The merger of a number of silver companies formed the International Silver Company late in the nineteenth century. One such company, the Wilcox Silver Plate Company, and its subsidiary, the Meriden Cut Glass Company (established about 1896), were included in this combine in 1898. The cut-glass company provided items for silver mountings as well as cut glass that was sold “plain”. All of the cut-glass patents taken out by workers at the Meriden company were assigned by them to the International Silver Company. Only two of these designs — the Alhambra Cutting (usually called simply Alhambra) and the Hellenic Cutting — are included in the catalog listed below. Many other “rich cut glass” patterns are illustrated in the catalog, but, unfortunately, only these two patterns are identified.
In spite of its name most of the silver mounts used on Meriden cut glass are made of solid silver and, therefore, carry the Wilcox sterling silver hallmark. It is reasonable to assume that any cut glass so mounted was cut by the Meriden Cut Glass Company. Although a trademark exists for this company it has not been found acid-etched on glass. It was probably used only in advertising copy, although a paper label can not be ruled out.
Patent No. / Catalog or “Coined” Name / Patentee / Application Filed / Date Granted
32,210 / “Byzantine” / William R. Eliot / 15 Jan 1900 / 13 Feb 1900
32,211 / “Theodora” / William R. Eliot / 15 Jan 1900 / 13 Feb 1900
41,091 / Alhambra / Thomas A. Shanley / 14 Nov 1910 / 17 Jan 1911
41,833 / Helenic Cutting / Albert Turner / 26 Jul 1911 / 10 Oct 1911
44,114 / Shirley / Thomas A. Shanley / 7 Mar 1913 / 27 May 1913
45,276 / “Turner” / Albert Turner / 24 Nov 1913 / 17 Feb 1914
50,959 / Beverly / Thomas A. Shanley / 5 Apr 1917 / 19 Jun 1917
51,938 / Patrician / Thomas A. Shanley / 12 Jan 1918 / 2 Apr 1918
A pitcher cut in William R. Eliot’s “Theodora” pattern whose patent was assigned to the International Silver Company. 32-pt hobstar on base. H = 8″ (20.3 cm), base D = 6.5″ (16.5 cm), wt = 5 lb (2.3 kg). Auctioned during 2007 on eBay where it failed to sell at $905.
International Silver Company’s Alhambra pattern, cut by Meriden, is an example of high-quality cut glass that was produced quite late in the brilliant period (1911). Here are close-ups of Thomas A. Shanley’s design cut on a bowl: D = 10.0″ (25.4 cm), rim D = 4.3″ (10.9 cm), wt = 5.9 lb (2.7 kg). The bowl was “bought in” at an eBay auction in 2002 when the bidding reached “only” $1,180 which was less than the seller’s reserve price (Image: Internet).
[Compilation catalog, c1898-c1923] WILCOX SILVER PLATE CO., FACTORY N, INTERNATIONAL SILVER COMPANY. American Cut Glass Association in co-operation with the Meriden Historical Society, n.d. (211 pp.).