I recently received an email from a gentleman asking for assistance in identifying the maker of a punch ladle.
The photo above is a close up of the handle detail. I was taken with the beautiful design incorporating grapes, corn and wheat. The “KB” monogram was an artistic inclusion.
The maker’s mark, however, was one with which I was unfamiliar. It was a triangle .with a fleur de lis within. These were the only three photos I had been given.
I searched the usual suspects on the web for this hallmark, with no luck. I searched through my reference books with no success.
Then I searched “triangle fleur de lis” on eBay under antiques, silver, including description. I found a few souvenir spoons with a similar mark but those sellers did not know the manufacturer. Then I found a listing that contained the information shown above. The triangle and fleur de lis mark had been used by Joseph Mayer & Bros. Eureka!
The man who had asked for help in identifying this mark, Horseshoe Bill, from Washington state, said he had suspected this might be a Joseph Mayer piece but the only mark of theirs that he was familiar with was a crossed pick and shovel. We thought perhaps that this was a custom design. Mystery solved.
But in my own little inquisitive mind I’m wondering who or what does “KB” stand for? It had to be a prominent, wealthy, individual or entity. I was just about to start poking around to see if I could find any likely candidates when I received the following photos from Horseshoe Bill:
Another mystery solved, for me at least, Kreielsheim Bros….KB.
..where the handle meets the bowl, grape leaves and corn.
Bill said “As KB were in the liquor wholesale business, the custom design reflects plant based items used in the distellery business, grapes, wheat and corn. Whiskey and Wine, they even produced some pretty hand made embossed bottles. I used to dig and still collect them, their amber and clear whiskeys are nice looking whiskeys, all tooled top, hand made.”
I found the following article and photo of the Kreielshaimer Bros. establishment at 209 First Avenue South, in Seattle,:
A very satisfying conclusion for me. So often I search and search, sometimes for days or months (I kid you not) and come up empty. But not this time.
Horseshoe Bill is really
Horseshoe Coins & Antiques
Blaine, Wash. 98230
He advises he is in the process of setting up an eBay shop under the user name ” old-west-artifacts ”
Check him out. I know I will.
Update: Thought I’d add the following photo of the page from Noel Turner’s “American Silver Flatware” showing Joseph Mayer patterns.
This pattern is not one, and as we suspected it must have been a custom design.