The Stieff Silver Company is a Sterling Silver Company based in Baltimore. Charles Stieff and he partners created the company, which is known as Florence Silver Company in 1892. The original name only last-est for a short time. They renamed it The Baltimore Sterling Silver Manufacturing Company. The name was then shortened to Baltimore Sterling Silver Company.
In 1904, there was a buy out of the partners and then a name change to Stieff Company. The company manufactured their own silver and retailed it for a while by mail order and in their own stores. Doing this let them sale a high quality product for a great value.
In 1914, Charles Stieff handed the company over to his son Gideon. Almost 10 years after, Charles died. His son Gideon stayed as the head of the company until he died in 1970. Gideon’s three sons entered the family business and kept it going until 1990, when they sold it to Lenox.
The company was known for its value and quality of its silver products. the work was beautiful. The most famous piece or pattern made by Stieff and introduced in 1892 was the Maryland Rose, later known as the Stieff Rose. Other famous pieces or patterns were Forget Me Not, Corsage, Lady Claire, and Homewood. After World War II came Royal Dynasty, Rose Motif, and Diamond Star. The two most rare ones are Plain and Victoria. Both of these discontined before 1920. The craftsmen in the company created flatware, Sterling Hollow ware, and other items such as awards and trophies. Later on in the business they moved into jewelry, pewter, and plated ware.
In 1967 the Schofield Company was bought by Stieff. This company was the makers of the Woodlawn Vase replica and sterling silver flatware. When Schofield was bough, the employees working there were transferred to the Stieff factory. The building that the Schofield Company was in was not purchased with the company. In 1977, the patterns that were done by Schofield were discontinued.
The factory became bigger again and doubled in size in 1971. It was doubled in size because the pewter business was booming. Pewter became a major business for the company’s sales and Sterling Silver waned in sales. Stieff was the maker of Pewter and Sterling for The Smithsonian Institution, Old Newport, and more.
As for consolidation in the baltimore silver business, the Stieff Company bought S. Kirk & Son in 1979. As part of the aggreement, they agreed that the Kirk name would go first on the created company. They would continue to own it for 10 more years. The family then sold Kirk-Stieff in 1990 to the company called Lenox. Today the name is still around as a brand of Lifetime Brands Inc.
In conclusion, Stieff Silver was a company that sold many quality patterns of silver. The name brand is still around today.