Hiram Hayden, of Holmes, Booth & Haydens, designed some gorgeous flatware patterns….”Corinth” and “India” are two that I have in my personal collection. But the 1879″Japanese” has been another that I’ve long admired.
The patent design drawing above shows bamboo and a butterfly on the front and a corner cartouche with a bird on a branch on the reverse.
I have been keeping my eyes open for just the right piece to purchase of this “Japanese” design. And I found a very unusual one recently. It wasn’t stamped with the “Holmes, Booth & Haydens” mark, it was marked “Argonid” with an arrow symbol.
Argonid, what was Argonid? It was completely unfamiliar to me. After some research, I found the following on the internet: “The arrow was one of the logos of the German metalware and silverplate factory Gebruder Noelle (Noelle Brothers) of Luedenscheid. The company was founded in 1814, and the arrow was trademarked in 1889. Argonid was one of the many fanciful names they gave their various base metal alloys, and the name was trademarked in 1893. The company was still in business up into the 1930s.”
After a little more research, I found the following ad in the 1896 “Guide through Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy, Switzerland, France, Belgium”:
Did this German manufacturer actually produce flatware in this design there, in Germany? Or did Holmes, Booth and Haydens produce it here in Connecticut for export with the Argonid backstamp? Research has indicated that several of the U.S. silverplate manufacturers were exporting their goods worldwide back in the late 1800s. Why not Holmes, Booth & Haydens.
But the Gebrueder Noelle arrow trademark was trademarked in 1889 and “Argonid” was trademarked in 1893. At that point, Holmes, Booth & Haydens was no longer in business. Rogers & Hamilton succeeded them in 1886, and they, too, manufactured this pattern as did Meriden Silver Co. Meriden Silver Co. did have an office in London and perhaps they had a relationship with Gebrueder Noelle. I believe this flatware in the “Japanese” design with the “Argonid” backstamp most likely was made right here in Connecticut, but by whom I am not certain.
But I do have a lingering doubt. I’ve seen photos of what appear to be hollow handle knives in this Argonid “Japanese” design. But I’m not aware of Holmes, Booth & Haydens, Rogers & Hamilton or Meriden Silver Co. manufacturing hollow handle knives in this pattern. I do know that Holmes, Booth & Haydens did make flat handled knives, as I have one in the “Roman” pattern for sale at my Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/listing/155648944/holmes-booth-haydens-silver-plated-knife
Maybe “Japanese” was made in Germany? Does anyone out there have any info?
To read more about Holmes, Booth & Haydens, see a related post here: