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Antique York Silver Tableforks (set of 12) - Hampston & Prince     Order Form     Request more information
Reference: S1705
Period: George III
Year: 1789-1794
Silversmith: Hampston & Prince
Place: York
Price: $ 1 450.00
Weight: 782 grams
Dimensions: 20.5 cm
Condition: 11 York forks very good, knife scratches to back of tines from use. 1 London fork old repair to one tine, wear to tines.

Description: An interesting and rare set of 11 York Georgian silver Old English pattern tableforks, by the York makers Hampston & Prince, with a matching London tablefork. All 12 forks have the same engraved monogram HWT which is original. The forks consist of 4 dated 1789 (date letter C), 4 dated 1793 (date letter g), 3 dated 1794 (date letter h), and the London example dated 1809 by Robert Rutland, a spoonmaker. The forks have lovely balance and shape, very elegant, with long tines and a strong turn-ups at the end of the forks. The London fork matches well but has shorter tines, possibly from wear, what is interesting is that the 11 York forks are noticeably better quality (and weight) than the London example, which has an old repair on one tine (this goes against conventional wisdom that London made flatware is better quality than provincial - we feel this proves the opposite). The hallmarks are excellent, and demonstrate that many different punches were in operation at the York office at the same time, and that standards for striking hallmarks were lax, as different orientations are used. These hallmarks include 2 different Hampston and Prince makers marks (mark 7 and 9, Baggott, Illustrated Guide to York hallmarks), cruciform punch with pointed lobes, and rectangular with cut corners. Two different sized oval duty marks are present, as well as 2 different standard marks (type III and IV in Baggott, pg 94), but the same York Leopards head has been used (mark 3 Baggott, pg 93). The duty mark and leopards head have different orientations, parallel or at right angles to the stems. The hallmarks on the 4 1789 forks are as good as they get, with excellent detail, so we assume punches were still new at this time. John Hampston and John Prince were journeyman and apprentice to Ambrose Beckwith, they purchased his business on his death in 1770 and ran it together until 1796 when they were joined by the Cattle's. Hampston and Prince also were partners in a glass manufactory in Fishergate in 1797 (Murray, Directory of York Silversmiths, pg 67, 105). Prince refused the office of Sherriff in 1793 and paid the usual fine, he died in 1835. Very similar forks and hallmarks are depicted in Baggott, pg 41, items 197, 199 and 200, figure 51.
Antique York Silver Tableforks (set of 12) - Hampston & Prince
York Silver tableforks - Hampston & Prince

Antique York Silver Tableforks (set of 12) - Hampston & Prince
York silver tableforks - back

Antique York Silver Tableforks (set of 12) - Hampston & Prince
Original initials HWT engraved on York silver forks

Antique York Silver Tableforks (set of 12) - Hampston & Prince
Curve to end of York silver forks

Antique York Silver Tableforks (set of 12) - Hampston & Prince
York silver hallmarks, date letter h, Hampston & Prince

Antique York Silver Tableforks (set of 12) - Hampston & Prince
Hampston & Prince York hallmarks, date letter C

Antique York Silver Tableforks (set of 12) - Hampston & Prince
Single London fork, Robert Rutland. 1809

Antique York Silver Tableforks (set of 12) - Hampston & Prince
York tableforks - hallmarks

Antique York Silver Tableforks (set of 12) - Hampston & Prince
York silver forks - scale, Hampston & Prince

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