The Rochelle Tray: Each Piece Has a History

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I discovered this tray, deeply tarnished and scratched in a local Chicago thrift store. The tray was made by the International Silver Company, a popular manufacturer of silver and silver plated objects from the 1930’s to the 1960’s. The company worked with well known designers and used movie stars such as Judy Garland, Joan Crawford and Carol Lombard to promote its’ products. The company ceased operations in 1983.

The size of the tray and the rim with the flowing scroll intrigued me. Once cleaned, I thought there was a possibility that the tray could frame and be part of a unique stained glass mosaic. 

After the tray was cleaned, the change in appearance was dramatic, a nice surprise. An ugly duckling transforming into a graceful and beautiful swan. The wide floral engraving that emerged after cleaning adds another dimension to the mosaic.

The next steps, after the cleaning of the tray, was the design and selection of the glass for the mosaic.

The Rochelle name for the mosaic comes from the marking on the back of the tray.

Manufacturer’s Mark: Each Piece Has A History.

Some of my stained glass mosaics are set in vintage, silver plated trays. The heyday for silver plated trays in the United States was from 1850 to 1940. Now, many of these trays, once popular, sit discarded in thrift shops. They  served a purpose in an earlier time. Although the trays show age and usage, they have character and a history.

A distinguishing part of that history is the manufacturer’s mark, etched on the back of the tray. Today, many of the manufacturers who designed and made the silver plated trays are no longer in business. But their mark still exists

The mark on the back of this silver plated, serving tray identifies the  maker of the tray as the Glastonbury Silver Company, Chicago. The company, no longer in business, was active from 1920 to 1950. Mark is shown below.

 

The mark on the back of this tray identifies the Gorham Manufacturing, a well-known name in silver and silver plating, was responsible for making the tray. The Gorham company was founded in 1831 in Rhode Island and later in the 1960’s was sold to Textron.

Old and New: Each Piece Has a History.

I completed this stained glass mosaic several months ago. It is an example of how a rim of a bowel or plate can compliment the art. The mosaic is set in an elegant, 42 year-old, serving bowel, made by Fitz and Floyd. The sand colored rim with the fine blue trim frames the mosaic and becomes part of the art. The rim is in good condition, but has some marks owing to age and usage. The age and use over the years adds to the patina, making the mosaic more unique.

Selection of the Glass, Deciding on a Palette.

Below are several views of the F & F Serving Bowel, although old, showing some use, the bowel has an elegant rim, framing and enhancing the mosaic.