History of: Wallace
The Company History
The founder of Wallace Silversmiths, Robert Wallace was born in Prospect, Connecticut on November 13, 1815. He was the son of Scottish
immigrant and silversmith James Wallace and his wife Irene (Williams), who had immigrated in the late 18th century. The boy had only a limited education,
such as sons of the farmers of that period received.
At the age of 16, Robert Wallace became
an apprentice to Captain William Mix, a renowned spoon maker for the Meriden Britannia Co. A Meriden Britannia
apprenticeship was highly sought after because the firm was the most successful cutlery and hollowware-producing firm in the Northeast.
Having mastered the art of silver
craft, Robert Wallace left his apprenticeship, purchased a dilapidated
gristmill, and began to produce his own cutlery. By 1833, Wallace’s silver shop was up and running. As Wallace was skilled in the art of spoon making,
Wallace’s only product was spoons.
Robert Wallace died on June 1, 1892, and the sons and son-in-law continued the business. It grew to be the
largest manufacturer of flat tableware in the world. At the start of the 20th century, about 3 tons of steel and 1.5 tons of nickel silver were used daily.
The company opened selling houses in New York and Chicago. The company’s success brought prosperity to Wallingford.
The 1930s were spent perfecting R. Wallace Mfg. Co.’s
mass production techniques.
the company’s aggressive expansion, it released a series of cutlery
patterns, created by designer William S. Warren - called the Third
Dimension Beauty collection - that would prove to be its most popular. Rose Point (1934), Sir Christopher (1936), Stradivari (1937), Grande Baroque (1941), Grand Colonial (1942), and Romance of the Sea (1950) combine timeless elegance with the quality craft for which Wallace is known.
These patterns are called "Three Dimension" because the design
of these patterns, are apparent from the front, back, or profile. Each of these patterns remains popular.
In 1947, the designer wrote a book - and it was published by Wallace
Silversmiths - called "Wallace Beauty Moods in Silver" to discuss five of the six "Three Dimension" designs.
It was with the introduction of the now famous Grande Baroque pattern in 1941, that Wallace truly established itself as a prominent name in the silver industry. Sales of this magnificent
three-dimensional pattern exceeded even the most ambitious projections and Wallace was soon growing through acquisition at
a remarkable clip.
R. Wallace and Sons Mfg. Co. purchased the Watson Company and relocated to the “The Watson Co.’s” Wallingford,
Massachusetts factory. After the company’s relocation, its name became Wallace Silversmiths.
Shortly thereafter, in 1958, they purchased both the Tuttle Silver Company
and Smith & Smith Company.
As a result of this impressive growth, the renowned Hamilton Watch Company of Lancaster, Penn. acquired Wallace Silversmiths in 1959. Over the next three decades, the ownership of Wallace Silversmiths would change three more times.
Wallace Silversmiths remained a subsidiary of the Hamilton
Watch Company until 1983 when the then 150 year-old company was sold to Katy
Industries of Elgin, Illinois.
In 1986, Syratech Corporation, which
also owned Towle Silversmiths, acquired Wallace Silversmiths from
Katy Industries. On April 1, 1987, Wallace Silversmiths' corporate headquarters were moved from Connecticut to East Boston, MA
In 2006, Lifetime Brands acquired Syratech's assets. The company continues to design sterling,
silverplate, and stainless steel flatware
Popular Patterns: By Wallace
"Grande Baroque" (http://RareSterling.com/id199.html),
"Sir Christopher" (http://RareSterling.com/id273.html),
"Romance Of The Sea" (http://RareSterling.com/id263.html) ,
"Waltz Of Spring" (http://RareSterling.com/id307.html).
The most popular pattern in
sterling silver flatware and holloware made by Wallace is none other than "Grande Baroque" . This pattern was produced in sterling silver and in silver plate with slight changes in design
for the silver plate line. Sterling silver bowls, goblets, trays, tea sets, pitchers, plates, trays, napkin rings and other
items were produced in sterling silver. The Grande Baroque holloware pieces still show a slight demand and can carry a premium
in todays market place when compared to other patterns made by wallace. Wallace did produce other holloware in various
different patterns but do not command as high of value these days however they do remain somewhat popular popular. For additional
information please visit our section on the History of Wallace, Pattern Identification or Popular Patterns. If you are unable to identify your piece you can always email me Email: Mike@RareSterling.com