Here is a sterling silver julep strainer marked “Sanborns” in a rectangular mark. The Sanborns three owls trademark is also within the rectangle. ” Mexico ” is below “Sanborns” but you can only make out the top portion of some of the letters. “Sterling” is below that but it is so faint you really can’t see it. Also included is the Mexican Eagle 22 assay mark which guarantees the piece is a minimum of 925 silver. Sanborns’ silver was known to range between 930 and 940. This type assay mark was used between 1946 and 1979. The strainer measures 5 and 3/16 inches long; the bowl is 2 and 5/8 inches wide. It weighs 62 grams.
This strainer has a scalloped shell shaped bowl and a monogrammed handle with “OMW”.
Sanborns was founded in Mexico City in 1903 by two American brothers, Walter and Frank Sanborn. They started out in the pharmacy business, added a soda fountain and restaurant. Their store developed into a department store and more store locations were added. In 1919, Frank couldn’t find a silversmith to copy an antique piece of silver, and he started his own silver shop and became the largest Mexican silver manufacturer at one time.
This strainer doesn’t have the bend in the handle that is common to julep strainers. (You can put in your own custom bend!) It also has some miniscule file marks on the edge of the handle near the top… I couldn’t see them with my naked eye and initially felt a little roughness. I could see them with a loupe and took a photo which is next to last above. I’m thinking that perhaps this strainer was never really finished by Sanborns. Perhaps the monogram was wrong or on the wrong side of the handle. This is just me speculating. This strainer really doesn’t show signs of use. There are some very light scratch marks and some tarnish in the ribs on the back of the bowl, but otherwise, nothing else. It is nice and heavy. This is the first Mexican sterling julep strainer I have seen. I have been looking to find another example, but so far nothing.
This strainer is available here at my Etsy shop: