02 03 The Recycle-ista...Adventures in Vintage: Flippin' Flatware ~ Part 2 ~ Identification 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Flippin' Flatware ~ Part 2 ~ Identification


Thank you everyone for your feedback to Part One of Flippin' Flatware
I really didn't mean to wait a week to get to part two, but it was a busy week! I did some thrifting and found a nice set of flatware that I was pretty excited about.
Here's one listing of it:

Do you see why I'm excited? No, not all flatware commands such prices, but this one in particular is pretty popular.
It's by Oneida and it's called Will O Wisp. This is from the Heirloom line and you'll know Heirloom pieces by the 'cube' mark on the back. Always worth picking up and sometimes a major score!
Here's a picture of the cube mark:

So in this case, I already knew the pattern when I spotted it in the thrift store bins, but what do you do if you find flatware and don't know the pattern?
I'll give you my process and see if it helps for you.
First of all, I have to share a purchase I made that was a game changer for me and selling stainless flatware. I bought the Stainless Flatware Guide that is put out by Replacements.com. Not sure why I waited so long since it saves me so much time.

Stainless Flatware Guide 

 It's arranged by maker and broken down even further by backstamp. It's so easy to do a quick scan through the book! Probably about 75% of the time I find the pattern quickly. Maybe even a higher percentage.
The book was printed in the 1990s so sometimes there are patterns that are too new to be included. So here's the process I used to use, before I got the book:

Most of the time I start my search on Ebay itself.
I check out the mark on the back. Sometimes there's something a bit different on the back that might help me narrow it down. For example, if the back says Oneida Community Stainless, there are going to be 1000s of listings on Ebay and I don't really want to scroll through them all. But, if the back says Oneida Premier Stainless...that just may be a word that other sellers will have put in their title. I do a quick search and sometimes find it pretty quickly. Love it when that happens!
If not, next step is to go to the Replacements.com website.

My first step there is the Search box in the top right corner. I enter anything that might make the pattern stand out. "Oneida Premier", "Oneida roses" "Reed & Barton China". So it could be a word on the backstamp, the country it was made in, or some distinguishing feature on the flatware itself. Again, sometimes you hit it quickly.
If not, then next, there's nothing left to do but scan through all the patterns by that maker. But there are still tricks. When you click on the "Silver" tab at the top of the main page, you'll get a big list of makers, starting with the A's. Use the alphabet at the top to get to the right page quickly. Then scroll down to find your maker and click on it.
Now you'll be on a page that looks like this:

Now, you're not going to have to click through to each pattern. No way! See that vertical blue bar down the left hand side? Click on that and you'll get thumbnail pictures.

Okay, this part can get a bit tedious. Because there might be PAGES to scroll through and look at. Your eyes may cross. :) Hopefully your pattern will start with an A and not a Y!!
My method on this is to check the shape of the end the handle. Pointy? Square? Oval? Then I just let my eyes scan and only focus on patterns with that same shape!
UPDATE: Replacements.com has updated their look and their search!! Much better...much clearer pictures. Don't be afraid...but really...buy the Stainless book first!!

So honestly, I know flatware is not for everyone. No worries! If this doesn't appeal to you at all...don't fret! I personally love the research! The flatware book has made it easy so sometimes I miss the search. But I'm weird like that!
The part I really struggle with is organization. So that will be Part 3! Stay Tuned!

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