I was looking at my Etsy listing for two Persian pattern silver plated nut picks recently and I was reminded that while the patterns of these two nut picks were similar…they were not exactly the same.
The pick on the bottom of the photo above has a background of fine little lines in the round section whereas the pick on the top does not, it has a dark patina but no textured lines. The swirling detail toward the tip of the handle is more finely detailed on the bottom pick than the top pick. The bottom pick has no maker’s mark; the top pick is marked “Rogers & Bro.” within the circle.
As you can see in the photo above, the unmarked pick has the same lined circle area on the back as it does on the front.
When I had originally listed these picks, I had researched the pattern and noted at that time that there was also another pattern, called “Jewell” that was very similar to “Persian”. They appeared to be almost identical on some sites. Perhaps one of these picks was really “Jewell”? It was time to do more research.
The patent drawing above is for the 1870 patent #4348 obtained by C.D. Hall and assigned to Bristol Brass; this is the patent for “Persian”. The back of the round area has the lines.
I have not been able to find a patent for “Jewell”; the date attributed to this pattern is 1882…as I have not found a patent, I have not been able to confirm that either. Simpson, Hall, Miller & Co. was one of the manufactureres of the “Jewell” pattern.
Tere Hagen has a drawing of “Jewell” in her book “Silverplated Flatware” and I’ve positioned that drawing next to the drawing of “Persian” from the patent.
When you see the two patterns side by side, you can easily notice the differences. I definitely had two “Persian” pattern nut picks; there were slight variations but that sometimes happens in the manufacturing process. But there are definitely similarities between the two patterns. I was reminded of the court case between Gorham and LeRoy White, designer.
Gorham sued LeRoy White, designer, for patent infringement. Gorham’s patent # 1440 for what was known as the “Cottage” pattern is above.
The first of LeRoy White’s patents (1867) for the pattern known as “Gothic” is shown above.
The following year, Mr. White applied for another patent, modifying his earlier design.
For ease of comparison, I’ve placed all three designs next to each other. This case introduced the “Ordinary Observer” test. According to the “Ordinary Observer” test, there is infringement “if in the eye of an ordinary observer, giving such attention as a purchaser usually gives, two designs are substantially the same, the resemblance is such as to deceive such an observer, inducing him to purchase one supposing it to be the other.” Gorham prevailed in this suit.
So, if someone were using a “Jewell” pattern nut pick at one end of the table and another person were using a “Persian” pattern nut pick at the other end of the table, would the “ordinary observer” notice the difference? I think not. As far as I know, a lawsuit was not filed in this case.
My “Persian” nut picks are available at my Etsy shop here:
Nut picks work wonderfully for olive picks as well!
Add a touch of Victoriana to your cocktail and see my post on “The Victorian Bar”.