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Annie Clarkson’s Tea Service

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A tea set, or tea service, is a matching set of articles used to serve beverages, usually at more formal social occasions. One example is afternoon tea, which might include small sandwiches and pastries. A higher quality tea set would be made of sterling silver. Sterling silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% by weight of silver and 7.5% by weight of other metals, usually copper. Silver is usually alloyed with copper to increase its hardness and strength. Sterling silver is prone to tarnishing.

The items pictured on this page are a matched set with the initials “AC” engraved on each piece. Each piece has a production mark on the bottom. The markings indicate that the set was made by Tiffany & Co. ca. 1902. Based on the engraved initials and the period of manufacture, the set is attributed to Annie’s ownership. It may have been used and displayed in Potsdam.

This collection includes a serving tray, water pot, coffee pot, tea pot, creamer, sugar bowl and grape shears. The ornamentation is in a late Victorian style with bone or ivory on many of the handles.

The collection is on display at the Potsdam Public Museum through summer 2018.

With thanks to Mimi VanDeusen, director and curator at the Museum, for her research and help.

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