History of the George K. Webster Silver Company

As its name suggests, the George K. Webster Silver Company was founded by George K. Webster in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, in 1869. The company created lines of sterling silver items, from small and intricate thimbles to large and exquisite candlesticks. The company's distinctive hallmark can be seen on some of the sterling silver items that have come up for sale online and in antique stores. These items illustrate the styles and tastes of the time periods they represent and provide some historical perspective for George K. Webster silverware.

Product Lines

The George K. Webster Silver Company manufactured over 20 patterns of products such as dresser sets, picture frames, cigarette holders, bowls, baby items, napkin rings and candlesticks, primarily in sterling silver, although some items were silver plated. Apparently, George K. Webster personally oversaw and supervised every aspect of the production process, which explains the uniformly high standard of design and craftsmanship of items that bear the Webster signature.

Hallmark

The company's sterling silver products are identifiable through its unusual hallmark, the letter "W" with a feathered arrow flying through its center, from left to right. The Webster hallmark is prominent on an array of sterling silver items that are available for sale. Some of these items might be described as "luxurious" because of their craftsmanship, but also because they were everyday items made for customers of means or the "well-to-do."

Late 1800s

One of the elegant array of household items manufactured by George K. Webster was an Art Nouveau style, Victorian sterling silver cut glass coaster set, circa late 1800s. The Art Nouveau period (1890 to 1910) was part of the Victorian era, distinguished by elaborate and intricate lines and stylised design images such as of women with flowing locks, cherubs and fairies, and the dragonfly.

1900

Perhaps an indication of the company's clientele is the Victorian sterling silver calling card case made by George K. Webster in the 1900s. It was curved so as to fit against the body, with a sophistication of design that represented their standard of excellence.

Pre-1910

An elaborate sterling silver compact, cigarette case and sovereign holder exemplified the style and quality of pre-1910 products designed and manufactured at George K. Webster. Other items manufactured around that time provide further insights into the lifestyle of the company's clients. For example, a button and shoe buckle hook were among the sterling silver accessories made by the company. So was a sterling silver baby bib holder which held the bib in place with two fasteners, one on each end of a silver chain. Sterling silver bonbon tongs were a popular item around 1910.

1930s to 1940s

The silver jewelry styling of the 1930s to 1940s is represented by the company's sterling silver sweater clips embedded with Guilloche enamel open roses and leaves. During this general period, George K. Webster also made sets of sterling silver ice cream goblets, the ultimate in gracious living.

Ownership Change

In 1958, the company bought the Frank W. Smith Silver Company of Gardner, Massachusetts. Subsequently, George K. Webster Silver Company became a subsidiary of Reed & Barton, silversmiths whose own founding dates back to 1824. Reed & Barton is known for its tableware and giftware.