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Reed Barton Flatware - Reed Barton Flatware: Carrying on a Long Tradition of Quality

silver plate steel items

Reed Barton flatware is the product of a long tradition of quality craftsmanship reaching back 186 years. For all of that time, it has been an American, family-owned business that takes pride in its product and its history. Through the years, Reed Barton has earned international recognition for its elegant and serviceable sterling silver and silver-plated flatware as well as a wide selection of pewter and silver products.

The story of the Reed Barton company started in 1824, when Isaac Babbitt, owner of a pewter shop in Taunton, Massachusetts, invented a new, high-quality pewter alloy which he called Britannia metal. To help him make products from this new material, he hired two craftsmen, Henry Reed and Charles Barton. Two years later, Reed and Barton offered to buy out Babbitt’s company, and the resulting firm was called Reed and Barton.

Reed Barton products have found their way into some prestigious places. The company designed and produced the medals for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, and their flatware is still used today on the table of the White House. However, you don’t have to be an athlete or a President to use Reed Barton flatware, and their items have appeared on millions of table worldwide.

Manufacturers make a distinction between everyday and formal flatware. Everyday items are usually made of stainless steel, and are intended to be durable and functional. At the other end of the scale is formal flatware, the kind of elegant table items reserved for holiday dinner parties and family gatherings. This kind of flatware is usually made of sterling silver or pewter, and the pieces are miniature works of art with intricate, hand-crafted designs.

While stainless steel flatware is intended for everyday use, this does not mean that it lacks in elegance and attractiveness. Reed Barton stainless steel flatware comes in designs for every table, from Pomfret with its clean, smooth lines to Arbor with its natural, leaf-like pattern. Some designs are inspired by Roman columns or the French fleur-de-lis, while others have patterns taken from seashells or flowers. At Reed Barton flatware, “everyday” does not mean ordinary.

In the area of silver-plate, Reed Barton’s products are of the highest quality. Buyers should be advised that all silver-plate is not the same. There is some of variation in this category, depending on the thickness of the plating and the metal underneath it. Silver-plate is made by taking an item made of some other metal, often zinc steel, and coating it with silver. The durability of the coating depends on the number of layers of silver that have been applied. If the silver-plate is thin, it will wear through in a relatively short time, revealing the stainless steel underneath.

Items with thicker layers of silver-plate will be more expensive, but will more than pay for themselves in their greater durability and longer life. Silverware that is less than triple-coat is considered inferior, and will begin showing steel after only a few years of use. When buying from Reed Barton, the customer can be assured that all items have a thick coating composed of several layers of silver. This will give many years of use without showing any of the steel underneath.

We have all seen silverware that seems to be losing its color, turning from silver to a duller, brassier shade. Rest assured, those items were not made by Reed and Barton. Reed and Barton silver-plate flatware will retain its silver sheen through many years of use.

Reed Barton flatware has silver-plate products in two designs, Dresden Rose and French chippendale. As the name implies, Dresden Rose has a design that uses delicate, curving lines inspired by flowers. French Chippendale uses elegant, ornate detailing reminiscent of twisted ribbons.

Reed Barton flatware has sterling silver flatware in a variety of designs that will look beautiful on any table. Designs range from American Federal with its austere lines to Francis I which is elaborate and intricate. Whether the customer’s taste is plain or fancy, Reed and Barton offer something for everyone.

Reed Barton flatware has been gracing tables all over the world for almost 200 years, and still represents the highest standard of manufacturing quality and design elegance.

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over 1 year ago

I'm looking to add forks to my Reed & Barton flatware. On the back it has the name Rebacraft, stanless, Japan.
It's a bamboo pattern...HELP