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Question
I found a small silver handbell at a second hand shop. It has a simple black painted (or laquered?) wooden handle about 2 7/8" long, and a silver bell marked with what looks like a capital reversed C and the word STERLING, then the number 55, all in a row, on the inside rim. The "hitter" (I know not proper term), also looks silver. The word sterling looks like it was stamped twice, since the "s" didn't seem to come out the first time. The letters "terl" seem to be on there twice, slightly offset from each other. Anyway, I can't find anything on the internet about what the "55" means. Does it mean it is plate? The bell part is about 2" high and about 2 1/4" diameter. Just wondering what you can tell me about it and what the marking means.

Answer
Hello.

The "55" may refer to a model number or to a size. The number had to formal industry meaning with regard to silver content. The "C" may refer to the manufacturer but I don't recognize the mark. You might review the manufacturer marks at www.925-1000.com to se if you can find a match. You can also find a list at http://sterlingflatwarefashions.com/index.html.

Since the word, "Sterling", has been stamped on your piece, it's probably made of sterling even though the stamp isn't "clean".

Sorry I could not help any more.

Best wishes,

Jim

Silver and Flatware

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Jim Stringer

Expertise

I answer questions about sterling flatware and other sterling pieces........... I answer value questions at http://whatisitworth.lovetoknow.com/questions/categories/silver. I also author a blog at http://www.SilverChatter.com and write articles about silver at http://www.examiner.com/sterling-silver-in-national/jim-stringer ........... Thanks to nominations from questioners, I'm listed in the Top 50 Experts for 2014 and 2015.......... NOTE: Please do not give me a verbal description of a pattern and ask me to identify it. Attach a picture if you need such help..........

Experience

Buyer and seller of sterling pieces for over ten years. Author of the blog, www.SilverChatter.com. Sterling silver writer for www.Examiner.com.

Publications
Examiner.com; SilverChatter.com; "Selling_Your_Silver: A Guide to Finding a Buyer and Getting a Good Price (www.lulu.com/spotlight/georgiasilver)

Education/Credentials
BS, University of Alabama; MS, University of Maryland

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