Q: I have a silver tray marked “Benedict” and “Georgian.” Between these two names there’s a diamond-shape mark with “E.P.N.S.,” “B.M.M.,” “Period” and “Plate” written along the four sides. It is also stamped with the number “1758.” I’ve seen a similar tray online and the seller said that’s the year the tray was made. Can you tell me something about the maker and how old my tray is?
A: The number is definitely not the date the piece was made. It may be a shape or pattern number. “E.P.N.S.” indicates the tray is electroplated nickel silver. The initials “B.M.M.” indicate the tray has Britannia metal mounts or handles. The M.S. Benedict Manufacturing Co. was established in East Syracuse, N.Y., in 1894. It became T.M. Benedict Manufacturing Co. in 1906. Benedict started making flatware in 1897. The company went out of business in 1953. “Georgian” is the pattern name.