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German Silver Auricular Scroll Spoon - Hamburg, J.F. Nicolassen
Reference: S1766
Period: George III
Year: Circa 1816-1843
Silversmith: Johann Friedrich Nicolassen
Place: Hamburg, Germany
Price: $ 560.00
Weight: 43 grams
Dimensions: 17.7 cm
Condition: Excellent

Description: A very interesting and beautiful German silver spoon made by J. F. Nicolassen in Hamburg, Germany, circa 1820. The spoon is well made and has lovely decoration, it has a deep fig shaped bowl, connected to the stem with a rat-tail. The handle is most unusual, with irregular scrolls finely engraved with a leaf pattern, with a tight scroll at both ends. This has been termed the auricular style (resembling ear lobe or conch shell) or lobate style, it originated from German Mannerism in the early 17th century, later adopted by the famous van Vianen Dutch silversmiths (Newman, Illustrated Dictionary of Silverware, pg 28, a book we highly recommend). This style was adopted by a few 17th century German and Dutch silver spoonmakers, but these spoons are rare today (see S 1181, Dutch silver Memorial spoon and fork set, for a similar example). This spoon is a 19th century replica of this earlier style, but still we believe a rare item, we cannot recall seeing similar examples. The hallmarks are very clear, and include the Hamburg town mark (3 towers over arch containing letter E, which identifies the assay master - possibly Johann HJ Wienicke, who used letter E 1857-1865, although this date is too late for this spoon - suggestions welcome). The second mark is script "Nicolassen" makers mark, the third mark (which was added later) is the Dutch dolphin mark used between 1859 and 1893, as an import mark for silver below 833 grade - so we know the spoon travelled from Germany to the Netherlands before ending up in South Africa. Note - This decription is dedicated to the late Mike Mitchley of Waenhuis Antiques, Bloemfontein, in memory of happy discussions about obscure hallmarks - Mike sourced this spoon and described it on his tag as "beautiful" - we agree.
German Silver Auricular Scroll Spoon - Hamburg, J.F. Nicolassen
German silver auricular scroll spoon, Hamburg, Nicolassen

German Silver Auricular Scroll Spoon - Hamburg, J.F. Nicolassen
Hamburg hallmarks, Nicolassen, Dutch dolphin import mark

German Silver Auricular Scroll Spoon - Hamburg, J.F. Nicolassen
Rattail and scroll between handle and bowl

German Silver Auricular Scroll Spoon - Hamburg, J.F. Nicolassen
German silver auricular spoon - back showing handle shape

German Silver Auricular Scroll Spoon - Hamburg, J.F. Nicolassen
German auricular antique silver spoon - deep bowl

German Silver Auricular Scroll Spoon - Hamburg, J.F. Nicolassen
German spoon finial

German Silver Auricular Scroll Spoon - Hamburg, J.F. Nicolassen
Antique silver spoon handle

German Silver Auricular Scroll Spoon - Hamburg, J.F. Nicolassen
JF Nicolassen Hamburg E - German hallmarks

German Silver Auricular Scroll Spoon - Hamburg, J.F. Nicolassen
Dutch dolphin hallmark - import mark

German Silver Auricular Scroll Spoon - Hamburg, J.F. Nicolassen
German silver auricular scroll spoon - scale

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