Mustard Pot: A small receptacle for holding mustard usually with a slot in which to place a
mustard spoon or ladle. Originally, mustard was used at the table in its dry, powdered form.
In the middle of the 18th century, mustard changed to a wet type when it became the practice
to mix powdered mustard seed with wine or water.
Maker’s Mark: A registered mark on a piece of silver indicating the silversmith or individual who made it. The
term is often incorrectly used to mean the mark of a manufacturer (see House Mark).
Magnetic Plate: A form of electroplating developed in 1844 using a magnetic machine.
Malleable: Able to be extended or beaten into a desired shape.
Matting: A series of punch marks applied evenly and close together to form a matte textured pattern.
Mexican Silver: Nickel silver. Has no silver content.
Mazarine: An oval pierced plate which is placed atop a larger serving dish on the sideboard
to drain foods placed upon it.
Mirror Finish: A term applied to highly polished stainless steel blades.
Monogram: Ornamentation added to silver articles commonly representing the
owner’s initials and usually done by engraving.
Monograms are normally done in the following manner:
One initial - The owner's surname.
Two initials - The owner's first and last names.
Three initials - The owner's first, middle and last names. The initial of the last name is
usually in the center of the three initials and is slightly larger than the other two.
Mokume-Gane: A process where different metals are sandwiched and fused
together then worked so distinctive patterns appear from the layers. First
developed in Japan in the 17th century.
Motif: The dominant feature of a design.
Monteith: A large bowl with a notched or scalloped rim, which is usually removable, used
to cool stemmed drinking glasses. The basin would be filled with iced water and the bowls
of the glasses would be immersed in the ice water, the foot of the glass being held in place
along the notches in the rim. Most popular from the 1680s to the 1720s, with later
examples having removable rims so the bowl could be used both as a cooler and as
Moustache Cup: In the days when large moustaches were primped and preened by their
owners, large amounts of wax were used to keep them properly coiffed. Drinking a
steaming cup of coffee or tea tended to cause problems for men in that the steam would
cause the wax to melt, oftentimes ending up with it melting right into the tea cup. The
moustache cup, with a guard with a semi-circular opening across one side of the cup, was
invented in England in 1830 by Harvey Adams, and they remained popular until large
moustaches went out of vogue in the 1920s.
Mount: A small piece of ornamental silver such as wire, a cast, or a stamped piece added onto an article as
Muffineer: A type of small plain caster.
Moustache Spoon: Introduced in 1875 and on the heels of the popularity of the
moustache cup, a moustache spoon has a guard on one side of the bowl to prevent
a gentleman from soiling his moustache. These spoons were made in both right and
left handed versions.
Mug: A flat bottomed cup with a handle.
Mother-of-pearl: The iridescent interior shell lining of certain mollusks, often
used as flatware handles in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The iridescence
fades with prolonged exposure to sunlight.
Moustache Mount: A small guard that could be clipped onto a regular cup, turning it temporarily into a
Martelé: A line of silver made by the Gorham Manufacturing Co. from 1896 to the 1920's which
was entirely handwrought and hand chased, some pieces taking many hundreds of man hours to
produce. After 1897, Martelé pieces were made with a higher silver content than sterling. From
1898 to 1904 pieces were .950 fine, and from 1905 to 1912 they were .9584 fine. The higher
silver content made the silver more malleable and easier to work by hand.
Match Striker: A holder for friction matches that incorporates into the design an area for
striking and lighting the matches.