- Pattern: English King
- Made in USA for Hotel Imperial
- Antique: 1895 – 1898
- Details: A beautiful, teaspoon, originally made for the Hotel Imperial in New York City. It is a very rare spoon, we personally have not seen it anywhere else. It was common for large, luxurious hotels to have their silverware branded with the hotel name. This spoon served many guest at the “Hotel Imperial” which opened its doors in 1895, located on Broadway on 31st and 32nd Streets. The name of the hotel is engraved on the spoon handle. This is a very old pattern called “English King” by Holmes & Edwards. Although it is very worn, the stamp on back reads as follows: “Holmes & Edwards, HE”. There’s a lot of history behind this little spoon, see below for a brief story. Would make a great gift for a collector or for someone who appreciates vintage flatware. Maybe even a history buff, a New York historian or Librarian might also enjoy this gift.
- Material: Silver plate
- Dimension: 6.0 inches Long.
- Condition: Antique – Used. Excellent Condition. This spoon is in surprisingly excellent condition given the years and excessive use it must have had in a hotel. There are several surface scratches as expected with all silver pieces which have been used. The black spot you see in the picture, is not on the spoon. Please remember these are VINTAGE and ANTIQUE items, they are NOT new. Every effort has been made to show scratches, wear and tear and imperfections. Refunds will not be given unless there’s gross misrepresentation of condition.
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Hotel Imperial was completed in 1895 on Broadway and 31st and 32nd streets, in an area then known as Greeley Square. An annex was added in 1899 making the hotel one of the largest at the time, it occupied two square blocks and had a central building added in 1903 with 16 stories. It was managed by Copeland Townsend. We found an add that read “Hotel Imperial (Rotary), Broadway and 32nd St.,New York…The Pioneer Pure Food Hotel…1910” another add said “Reserve your room at once, minimum rate is $2.00 per day” for the Cement Users Convention. Looks like Jay G. Wilbraham purchased the hotel lease from Mrs. Jenny Stafford Murphy for $200,000 dollars on December 10, 1916. Interestingly, on June 6th, 1929, Jay G. Wilbraham, formerly well known as a hotel proprietor, committed suicide by shooting himself in the right temple at the Hotel Biltmore. Business troubles, the police said, prompted the suicide. On a brighter note, we believe the original building is still right there on Broadway and 31st/32nd St, the area is now called Koreatown. There are shops on the bottom floor and apartments and offices on the top floors.
The Holmes & Edwards Silver Co started in 1882, in Bridgeport, CT. At first making only low priced plated flatware. However, there was a turning point when William A. Warner of Syracuse, New York joined the company. Warner had invented, and patented, a technique of inlaying blocks of sterling silver at the wear points on the back of spoons and forks prior to plating them. Because of that process they were able to offer a 25 year guarantee of no worn spots at those points. That process brought them fame and prominence among the silver plate industry . The Holmes & Edwards plant was taken over in 1898 by the International Silver Company, continuing to operate in Bridgeport until 1931 when it moved to Meriden. Silver inlaid production was discontinued in 1972 and later marketed by Wallace International Silversmiths Inc. Since this spoon does not carry the initials IS (International Silver), after the Holmes & Edwards name, we can confirm it was manufactured prior to 1898.
English King aka Kings flatware pattern was made by many different manufacturers including: Harrison Brothers & Howson, Smith Seymour Ltd, George Adams, Cooper Bros. & Sons, Tolbert Co, Reed & Barton, Mappin & Webb, Birks Sterling just to name a few. We spent a great deal of time and did a lot of research to ensure we had the correct manufacturer, the correct hotel and the correct years. Hope you love this spoon as much as we do!