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Taunton’s last silversmith declares bankruptcy

February 20, 2015

TAUNTON, Mass. (AP) — There will soon be no more silversmiths in the Silver City.

Reed & Barton, the last and oldest silversmith company in Taunton will cease operations in the city later this year.

Chief Executive Officer Tim Riddle confirmed Thursday that the nearly 200-year-old business had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and will close by June at the latest.

Riddle tells The Taunton Daily Gazette (http://bit.ly/1w52uAE ) he blames the company’s pension liability, which he pegs as high as $18 million.

Riddle says the company has a $15 million sales agreement with former competitor Lifetime Brands, but the deal does not include real estate holdings.

Reed & Barton currently has about 80 employees.

Taunton earned the nickname Silver City because of the large number of high-quality silversmiths located there in the 19th century.

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Information from: Taunton (Mass.) Daily Gazette, http://www.tauntongazette.com

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