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I recently acquired this rare powder flask. The collector I got it from believed it to be sterling silver. However, it is a rare example of "Sheffield Plate." Made by Dixon and Sons in Sheffield and hallmarked the same, it dates around 1840-50. For a period of time, in an attempt to save money, Sheffield silver smiths employed a process where two sheets of silver were fused to a center copper sheet. In the end, the process saved on the amount of silver used, but proved to be very costly because it was labor intensive. Only the wealthy could afford Sheffield Plate. The process came to an abrupt end when the Sheffield silver smiths adopted the process of electric plating in 1840. The flask is in very good condition. It is fairly heavy and equipped with an adjustable spout.
 

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