The Schofield Company
 
 

At the bottom of this page are links to the 1960‘s

Flatware Pamphlet, the 1929 and 1930 Catalogs

(or “Silver Books” as Schofield called them)


A History of The Schofield Company


Frank M. Schofield was born in 1873 in Providence RI. He apprenticed and worked at the Gorham Mfg. Co. for 8 years.

Frank Schofield arrived in Baltimore in June 1899.


Frank M. Schofield’s great, great grandfather John Schofield had been an English Silversmith

in London  in the years 1740-1772.  In 1871, Frank’s parents Allen  and Ann (nee Bradley)

came to the United States from England, and settled in Providence RI.

(no known connection to a earlier , nineteenth century Baltimore Silversmith named Schofield)



Franks first job in Baltimore was with the Baltimore Sterling Silver Company. After working for BSSCo. for four years he started his own silversmithing company.


Baltimore Silversmiths Mfg. Co. was started in 1903 by on Pleasant Street in Baltimore.


It is interesting that for several years, the Polk Baltimore Directory does not list Schofield as management, even after striking out on his own.


The 1903 Polk Directory for Baltimore shows Schofield’s occupation as a Die Cutter


The Lexington address is a home address


1904, same address and profession.



1905, Die Cutter



1909, General Manager

Baltimore Silversmith’s Mnfg. Co.



I find it interesting that the Heer-Schofield name does not appear in the Polk Directory under silversmiths until 1912. In prior years it appeared in the directories as Balto. Silversmiths’ Mnfg. Co.




 


Here are some examples of Schofield Silver and some Stieff pieces for comparison.


Below, note that both patterns have a cluster of three flowers and leaves at the top.




Middle is Stieff Rose, Top and Bottom are Schofield’s Baltimore Rose


Below, Left is Stieff, Right is Schofield and an example of Balt. Sterling Silver Co. (Stieff) in the middle.


  

The Pepper on the left is from my personal collection and is dated 1928.


    


It is very common to find tables in the Mid-Atlantic region with Stieff, Schofield and Kirk silver mixed on the same table. As silver is passed down through the generations the  mixes occur and can create a wonderful setting.

 


Baltimore Sun April 28, 1977

Article provided by James Stieff



                 the cost”.

          

This photo was at the top right of the page.




Many thanks to Jim and Charlie Stieff for their help in

remembering the Schofield Company.

 

Schofield Silver Hallmarks





The Early 1903-1905 B S mark

for Baltimore Silversmith’s


1905, when Schofield joined with Herr

The B was changed to a H to stand for
HERR SCHOFIELD


Often the lion mark is very light in

the stamping as seen above



The Schofield name from around 1930, the hallmarks were also in use.


In most examples of flatware seen today, polishing has resulted in just a

Diamond, Circle, Diamond instead of the Schofield mark.

Machine polishing will quickly reduce the mark to a blur.


From the June 7, 1967 Baltimore Sun

(The last section of this article is missing)

 

Schofield knife blades.




A Schofield box lid from the 1950’s




**Schofield used 1871 in advertisements because the patterns they made, due to acquiring

       companies, dated back to  1871 with Jacoby & Company.  (Jacoby & Co. became Jacoby &  

       Jenkins, and later Jenkins & Jenkins)  Frank Schofield was born in 1873.

***Bertha Kline Tarbeau (b. 1885 in Providence RI, Married Frank Schofield on June 25, 1913).

(Dorothy Rainwater lists Bertha’s middle initial as M.)



In a newspaper article dated April 28, 1977, (and posted below)

Charles C. Stieff II talks about Frank Schofield. Schofield worked for the company before starting his own company in 1903. During the time with Stieff (at the time Baltimore Sterling Silver Co.), Frank Schofield cut a set dies for what was then called Maryland Rose.

(These were not the original dies, but a later replacement set.)


When Frank Schofield started his company he thought that since he had cut the dies, with subtle changes to the original, he could start using the pattern himself without change.

A lawsuit followed. As Charles Stieff II tells it, Schofield had a

better lawyer and Stieff did not win the case. Schofield did continue

to make a similar Rose pattern, but called it Baltimore Rose with

subtle changes to the pattern.


Baltimore Rose would be made until 1977.

In 1977, Stieff announced that all of the Schofield patterns were going to be retired, and that all orders for the pattern must be placed by

April 30th  1977.


In 2011, James Stieff introduced me to Rodney Stieff and his lovely wife Dottie. Rodney told me that day that the purchase of Schofield had been the best business decision that he had ever made. The reason was the many skilled silversmiths that came with the purchase.


Stieff of course profited from the silver that was sold in the next ten years... but it was the decades of experience that came with Schofield that you just could not get without buying a company and it’s people.

 


Let’s clear something up right away...

Despite statements by several well known silver authors... There is NO way that Frank Schofield could have cut the dies for the original Stieff Rose aka Maryland Rose.  The pattern debuted in 1892. At that time Frank Schofield was an apprentice with Gorham Silver in Providence RI.  Any one should be able to figure out that you do not use a first year apprentice in another city to cut dies for your new flagship pattern.  Frank Schofield would not arrive in Baltimore until June 1899. Frank Schofield did work for Charles Stieff 1899-1903.




The Stieff Company bought Schofield Co. from

Oscar Caplan Co. in 1967.  Oscar Caplan & Son are Baltimore area Jewelers. The Caplan’s had bought the company two years earlier in 1965 from Bertha Schofield.

 

To see the 1960’s

Schofield Pamphlet with FLATWARE PATTERNS

Click Below

Schofield Flatware Patterns Pamphlet



Schofield Price List 1928 ?



1929 Schofield Catalog

(from my personal collection)



1930's Schofield Catalog

(provided by the STIEFF family)


Schofield 1932 Flatware Price List


Click below for the 1927 flatware pattern

Schofield Martha Washington


1957 Schofield Flatware Price List


Schofield Castle Pattern

fantastic Hollow ware


Click below for

Other pieces from the Schofield History including Non Silver




A trio of Schofield peppers circa 1910  3 & 1/8th inches tall

 

1905 brought the purchase of C. Klank & Sons*

(who had been in financial difficulty for sometime)

and later in the year, a financial partnership with

William Heer and the company becomes Heer-Schofield.

  1. *The Klank & Sons name was retained until 1911 on some items. Most likely

  2. *because they did not want to cut new dies for these items.



Mr. William Herr, is shown in the 1909 Polk directory as Secretary and Treasurer of Herr-Schofield.The listing has K. Heer but his name was William H. Heer. His address oddly given as the corner of Ridgewood  and Garrison Ave., which was a large house located at 4400 Garrison Blvd.  His wife was Bertha (same name as Frank Schofield’s wife). William Heer died in 1926, working in his garden. He was 76. His obit lists him as President of the Heer-Schofield Co. He was a Lutheran, and was buried in Druid Hill Cemetery.


In 1915 Heer-Schofield bought the tools, dies and name of Baltimore Silversmiths... Jenkins & Jenkins.**

Oddly, The 1921 Polk Directory for Baltimore show silversmiths Jenkins and Jenkins in business at 12 Clay St.




Above from the 1922 Jewelers Circular index of Silversmiths shows a St. Paul St. Address



1928 the name was changed to

Frank M. Schofield Co.




In the June 1930 Power Pictorial, page 68 is this feature on the new Schofield Building at Pleasant & Charles St.


Click on the page to see full size.



1930 the name was again changed, to

The Schofield Company

Sometimes shown as simply “Schofield Company”

or Schofield Co.


Frank M. Schofield died June 27th, 1947

Frank was a member of Rotary, The Elks, St. Georges Society, the Masons and the

Scottish Rite Temple and was 73 years old when he died.


After Frank Schofield’s death, his wife Bertha*** ran the company until 1965. This was rare in a day when the silver business was a predominately male industry. Bertha herself was an accomplished silversmith, learning the trade after her marriage to Frank. She sold the Schofield Company to Oscar Caplan in 1965, but remained with the firm as a silversmith until 1967 when the Caplan’s sold Schofield to

The Stieff Company in 1967.


Bertha Schofield retired in 1967, and died on August 24th 1972 while attending a private luncheon at the Green Spring Valley Inn (Balt). She was 87 years old.

There were no survivors. She had called herself the world’s oldest female silversmith.


Bertha was the daughter of Circus performers with Ringling Brothers. A trapeze artist and bareback horse rider for 3 years in the circus, she met Frank Schofield while performing a Vaudeville show a the Maryland Theater in Baltimore.

If you know anyone that was associated with Schofield or a distant member of the family, please contact me.

 

Schofield’s most famous pattern was Baltimore Rose




Notice the great detail on both the front and back of this piece which has the early BS mark.




Sterling Plates from the  1903-1905 period

 

Schofield Chalice Artistry

Over the years most silversmiths receive commissions to make pieces of ecclesiastical silver. Schofield was also called upon to make these works.


Click on the Chalice below to view some of these works

 

An early pattern of Schofield’s was Corinthian. The hallmarks shown are from the 1903-1905 period. The pattern does not appear in later 1920s catalogs. I do not know what the production dates of the pattern are.


Corinthian is a hand engraved pattern so each fork is slightly different in patterning.

Notice the shape of the bows and it they vary.



These oyster forks were sold by Baltimore Jeweler John W. Mealy & Sons Co.

The forks are 5.75 inches long. The B(lion)S mark is early...1903-05