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Antique Silver Spoons
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Irish Provincial Limerick Hook End Soup Ladle - Joseph Johns
Joseph Johns, Limerick C 1760
$ 4 900.00

An extremely rare Irish Provincial silver soup ladle from Limerick, made by Joseph Johns, Limericks "most accomplished, prolific and arguably most successful silversmith" (A Celebration of Limerick Silver, John Bowen & Conor O'Brien, pages 140 & 198 - a book we highly recommend). The ladle is in the Rococo style, with a fluted bowl and asymmetrical chased floral decoration on the handle and back of bowl, and has a hooked terminal (or end, described as a "crooked end" by Bennett - Irish Silver, pg 115). The ladle also has an engraved family crest, an armoured arm embowed holding an arrow. The bowl, which is fluted on both sides, is huge, over 10 cms in diameter, this is a substantial ladle with a good gauge. The fluted bowl was described by Douglas Bennett as "an alluring feature feature for the collector" (Collecting Irish Silver, pg 115). The join of bowl to handle has character, the drop has worn engraving, and also a semi circular strengthening plate, which unfortunately was not strong enough to prevent da...

Rare Straight Tudor Pattern Silver Flatware Set (48 Pieces, 12 Tablespoons, 12 Table Forks, 12 Dessert Spoons, 12 Dessert Forks)   
Chawner & Co, London 1852-1853

A very rare Victorian silver Straight Tudor pattern flatware set, made by Chawner & Co, the leading flatware maker of Victorian England. The spoons and forks are fabulous quality, and are in excellent condition. The Straight Tudor pattern is a Gothic Revival pattern, it omits 2 small scroll circular projections on each side of the stem, this differentiates it from the "Tudor" pattern. All 48 pieces are clearly hallmarked, they also carry the British Registry design number and date chart diamond, which rarely occurs on silver flatware - class I for metal, date letter v for 1850, and R 14 indicating 14 August. The presence of the design mark indicates that Chawner registered the design to protect it from being copied. Straight Tudor is described by Pickford (Silver Flatware page 149) as "a rare 19th century Chawner & Co design which appears in their pattern book (page 219), registered August 14th 1850, along with Tudor. Services and pieces are rare, building a service would be extremely difficult". The Tudor ...

17th Century Provincial Silver Apostle Spoon - Thomas Dare II, Taunton
Thomas Dare II, Taunton C 1660-1680
$ 3 600.00

A very interesting West Country Provincial Apostle spoon, made by Thomas Dare II of Taunton. The Apostle has a circular nimbus with flying dove, the modelling is slightly crude (for example facial features not very distinct), his right hand is higher than his left, he appears to be holding something stretching between both hands, possibly the bat of St James, but this could also be a fold in his robe. He stands on the usual pedestal, and retains a pleasing amount of the original gilding. The join is flat (as opposed to London made V joint spoons), as is usual for provincial spoons, the stem is flat front and back but has rounded edges. It joins to the bowl with a small crude rat-tail, the bowl is the traditional fig shape, with deep bowl and strong curve from stem. This Apostle could also be St Matthew or St John, but safest to describe it as a generic Apostle spoon with no coherant emblem. The spoon is struck 4 times with makers mark TD in shaped shield over Fleur De Lys (M 38 in Tim Kent's book "West Count...

Rare Old English Military Thread & Shell Flatware Set (18 pieces, 6 tablespoons, 6 tableforks, 6 dessertspoons)
Chawner & Co, London 1869, 1870
$ 3 350.00

A rare set of Old English Military Thread and Shell pattern (also called Military Shell) tablespoons, tableforks and dessertspoons (6 of each). These are good quality and weight, the forks around 89 grammes each, tablespoons 94 grammes and the dessertspoons 63. All 18 have an engraved family crest, a raised lion facing right between 2 horns. The pattern has the regular Thread and Shell pattern, double struck (on both sides), but with scrolls instead of shoulders, as with all Military variants (Pickford, Silver Flatware, page 117). Pickford describes this pattern as "a rare pattern illustrated in the Chawner & Co Pattern book, Appendix page 218", where the Chawner book shows this pattern, termed as "Military Shell". Pickford did not illustrate a photographic example of this pattern , a further indication of its rarity. The hallmarks on all 18 items are very clear, makers mark GA for George Adams of Chawner & Co, and London date letter P for 1870, the tablespoons are 1869. In addition, some pieces carry addit...

Charles I Seal Top Silver Communion Spoon - Daniel Cary, First Fifteen London Spoonmaker   
Daniel Cary, London 1639

A Charles I silver seal top communion spoon, which has holes in the bowl for straining communion wine. The seal top has the original initials "C over A=L", which is quite crudely engraved. The baluster seal top has traces of gilding, and is attached with a V-shaped joint, as is usual with London spoons. The hexagonal stem is tapered, joined to the bowl with a small rat tail. The fig shaped bowl is quite deep, and has been punched with holes in 3 concentric circles. The bowl is struck with the crowned leopard's head, the crown is clear, but the face is worn. The 3 hallmarks on the stem are clear, and include sterling lion, date letter B for 1639 and maker's mark D enclosing C for Daniel Cary. Cary was a prolific spoon maker. He worked between 1604 and 1639, he died in 1641. Cary is one of the "First Fifteen London spoon makers 1580 - 1697" As identified by Tim Kent in his book "London Silver Spoonmakers", which we highly recommend. Steven Venables, another notes spoon maker, was one of Cary's appren...

17th Century Provincial Seal Top Spoon - Taunton
Unknown, West Country, probably Taunton C 1640
$ 1 950.00

A provincial silver Seal Top spoon, with an acanthus baluster seal top, which is probably a Taunton casting. The seal top is well made, and has remnants of gilding throughout, especially in the recessed areas. The stem is flattened hexagonal, and the bowl is the traditional fig shape, and it has a small rat-tail . The seal top has remnants of prick engraving, some pricks clearly visible, but not enough to read what was engraved. The spoon bowl itself is the traditional shape, with deep bowl, curving down from the stem. The spoon is struck 3 times by the same makers mark, once in the bowl and twice on the stem. The marks are not very clear, either they are worn or more probably struck with a worn punch. The punch has a rough shield shape with irregular edge, with a trifid top edge (Poole, Identifying British Silver, punch shapes, pg 15). The figure in the punch has a smaller roughly circular shape on top of a larger circular shape, our imagination runs to a crown over rose, piece of fruit or even a bird (with ...

Rare Rattail Brittania Silver Hanoverian Serving Ladle - George I   
Gabriel Sleath, London 1719

An extremely rare, Brittania silver, rattail soup ladle in the Hanoverian pattern, of good gauge. The patination on the ladle is lovely, and the bowl, rattail and handle are in proportion, with no sign of alteration. The ladle has the initials E*G scratch engraved on the back of the handle. The stem rises at a sharp angle (almost 90 degrees) to the bowl, the characteristics of a ladle as opposed to a spoon. Snodin (English silver spoons, 1974, pg 46) describes the earliest ladles as dating from the 1730's, this is a rare early example. The hallmarks are worn but visible, the makers mark is very worn, with only the outline of the shield and a ghosting of the makers initials visible. The date letter is poorly struck, but visible enought to determine D from 1719 fairly confidently. Given the wear on the makers mark, an interesting debate has ensued as to the maker. The first letter is definitely S, the second is unclear, the distinctively shaped shield surrounding the makers mark is clearly visible. We had origi...

Commonwealth Silver Child's Puritan Spoon - Steven Venables   
Steven Venables, London C 1650

An extremely rare child's puritan spoon, dating back to the Commonwealth period, when Oliver Cromwell was Lord Protector of England. The spoon has a flat stem with straight sides, and a curved spade shaped bowl. The spoon also has a small V shaped drop. The puritan spoon replaced the slip-top spoon (with hexagonal stem and fig shaped bowl) during the early Commonwealth period, and gained it's name from Cromwell's Puritan soldiers opposed to King Charles I, who considered the more elaborate Apostle spoons "irreverant" (Gask, Old Silver Spoons of England, pg 92). Given that so much silver was melted down during and after the English civil war, Puritan spoons are rare, and the smaller children's puritan spoons are extremely rare. A very similar spoon to this, described as "Rare Charles I child's puritan spoon, 1646, exhibited in Cardiff Museum" was sold as lot 35 of the famous "Alexander James Collection of Early English Silver Spoons", Phillips 1979, with an estimate of GBP 500-600. Steven Venables worked in L...

Rare Charles I Slip Top Spoon - Daniel Cary   
Daniel Cary, London 1631

A very rare and well preserved slip top spoon, of good gauge, by one of the "First Fifteen" London spoonmakers as identified by Tim Kent (London Silver Spoonmakers, 1500-1697). The slip top is engraved "BB, Feb 13, 1632", in a very attractive fashion, so probably was a Christening present. The spoon has a curved fig shaped bowl, and tapered hexagonal stem, ending in the slipped end. The bowl is hallmarked with crowned leopards head, the base of the stem with makers mark "D enclosing C" for Daniel Cary, alongside a well struck lion passant, and date letter O for 1631, struck at the end of the stem, as is usual during this period. The stem is attached to the bowl with a very stubby and rough rat tail, also usual for the period. This is a lovely spoon, and has a very good feel about it, I am tempted to use it (but have resisted!). A very similar spoon to this by Daniel Cary was sold in the Alexander James Collection of Early English Spoons, by Phillips in 1979. Lot 36 (pg 55), shows a slip top spoon made by Dani...

Scottish Provincial Aberdeen Sterling Silver Tablespoons (Set of 12) - Rettie & Son
Rettie & Son, Aberdeen with Edinburgh Hallmarks 1837
$ 1 700.00

A fabulous set of 12 Scottish Provincial tablespoons in the Fiddle pattern, made by Rettie & Son in Aberdeen in 1837, and hallmarked in Edinburgh. The spoons are good quality, and in remarkable condition, they have not been used much, 10 are perfect, 2 have a very small dent to the bowl. The spoons are engraved with original owners initial W. All 12 spoons are clearly hallmarked "R&S A B D" for Rettie and Son, Aberdeen, alongside full Edinburgh hallmarks for 1837, with William IV duty mark. Middleton Rettie and his son William started the business in 1824, supplying quality goods from 151 Union Street to wealthy Aberdeen citizens. They were joined by other brother James in 1847, and traded until 1892. They are known for extremely high quality items (Michael Wilson, Aberdeen Silver, page 56), these spoons are no exception. Note - We have a matching set of dessert spoons S 11346.

Elizabethan Seal Top Silver Spoon   
Orb and Cross, London 1575

Early sealtop spoon with squat fluted baluster terminal, engraved with original owners initials VV (or W). These initials are repeated on the bowl above the hallmark. The stem is hexagonal and tapered, and the V joint attaching the finial is clearly visible. The bowl has deep concave sides, and curves steeply from the base of the stem. The stem has 3 hallmarks at the base, a clearly visible "orb and cross" makers mark, and worn marks indicating lion passant and date mark S. The bowl has the usual towmmark, but this is worn, with only the outline visible. This spoon comes complete with an original receipt from H Perovetz Ltd of London, who sold it to Mr McCay of South Africa in 1979 for 700 pounds. The receipt and original Perovetz tag confirms the maker and date, and refers to Jackson pg 105 and How pg 228, plate 8. (Note: In our previous description we had mentioned some doubt about the London attribution, suggesting the makers mark could possibly be the Cobbold's of Norwich, given the shape of the shield ...

Rare Chinese Export Silver Long Handled Pickle Fork and Spoon - Khecheong
Khecheong, Canton, China 1840-1870
$ 1 500.00

A rare and possibly unique Chinese Export Silver Pickle Fork and matching spoon, with extremely long handles. The pair are in the Fiddle, Thread and Shell pattern, and have no engraving or monograms. Both items are just over 27 cm long, the spoon has a teaspoon sized bowl, and the fork has 4 long tines. Both are double struck (pattern on both sides), and interesting to note the spoon end turns down, while the fork turns up. The fork has the "Chevron seam found in Fiddle, Thread and Shell pattern flatware" (Forbes, Chinese Export Silver page 65), this is not visible on the spoon. The hallmarks on both items are clear, and include pseudo duty mark, makers mark KHC, pseudo crowned leopards head town mark, and pseudo lion passant. Khecheong was one of the most prolific Chinese Export silversmiths, he worked from Club Street, Honam Island, Canton between 1840 and 1870. He has been described as a "good silversmith" Forbes, Chinese Export Silver 1785-1885, page 255 - a book we highly recommend. A very similar long ...

Tiffany Sterling Silver Indian Chrysanthemum Tablespoons (Set of 6)
Tiffany & Co, New York 1880-1934
$ 1 450.00

A fabulous set of 6 Tiffany Sterling silver Indian Chrysanthemum tablespoons, in immaculate condition, they could not be better. The pattern is truly beautiful, it extends right down the back of the spoon bowls as well. All 6 spoons are clearly hallmarked "TIFFANY & Co STERLING PAT.1880.M, the M indicates these are early pieces (the pattern was produced from 1880-1934). This must be one of the most beautiful example of hallmarks, with the design wrapping over and through the hallmarks. Each individual spoon weighs 120 grams, certainly the heaviest tablespoons we have encountered (the very best quality English tablespoons can reach 100 grammes). Indian Chrysanthemum has been described as "one of the most magnificent and celebrated sterling silver designs of the 19th century. Chrysanthemum represents one of the last great designs of the Victorian period" -(www.replacements.com), it was designed by Charles Grosjean. "Master silversmith Charles T. Grosjean joined the Tiffany firm as the Superintendent of Silverwa...

Rare Set of Liberty & Co. Japanese Sterling Silver Octopus Teaspoons (Set of 6) - Sadajiro of Musashiya.   
Liberty and Co., London 1893-1894

A Rare Set of 6 Liberty & Co. Japanese Sterling Silver Gilded Octopus Teaspoons, made by Sadajiro of Musashiya (Yokohama), these were amongst the first silver items imported by Arthur Lasenby Liberty for his Liberty Arts & Crafts Department store. The spoons have octopi finials, bamboo cane handles, and ormer (abalone) shell bowls, what is remarkable is that each octopus is different. The octopi have been described as "comical, scratching their heads or frowning, adding a wonderful touch of humour" - Simon Moore, Artists Spoons, page 50. The spoons are beautifully gilded, and retain much of the original gilding, their is slight wear on the handles from use. This gilding of the entire spoon is unusual, we have seen other sets without gilding and one set with gilded bowls only. The spoons are well preserved in their original wooden Liberty & Co. box, with green plush velvet interior and green leather exterior with the Liberty logo stamped in gilt lettering, it reads "Liberty & Co. Ltd. Jewellers 218a Regent St....

Tiffany Sterling Silver Indian Chrysanthemum Soup Ladle
Tiffany & Co, New York 1880-1934
$ 1 300.00

A fabulous Tiffany Sterling silver Indian Chrysanthemum soup ladle, in excellent condition, it does not appear to have seen much use. The pattern is truly beautiful, double struck on both sides, with a vacant cartouche for initials or a family crest (this has never been engraved). The bowl is also fluted and has a scalloped edge. The soup ladle is clearly hallmarked "TIFFANY & Co STERLING PAT.1880.M, the M indicates this is an early piece (the pattern was produced from 1880-1934). This must be one of the most beautiful example of hallmarks, with the design wrapping over and through the hallmarks. The soup ladle weighs over 350 grams, so quite hefty to hold, needless to say the quality is excellent. Indian Chrysanthemum has been described as "one of the most magnificent and celebrated sterling silver designs of the 19th century. Chrysanthemum represents one of the last great designs of the Victorian period" -(www.replacements.com), it was designed by Charles Grosjean. "Master silversmith Charles T. Grosjean jo...

Scottish Georgian Silver Tablespoons (Set of 12, each individually numbered) - Francis Howden
Francis Howden, Edinburgh 1807
$ 1 200.00

A lovely set of 12 Scottish Georgian silver tablespoons in the Old English pattern, made in Edinburgh by Francis Howden in 1807. All 12 spoons have original owners engraved initial B, and each spoon is also engraved with numbers 1 - 12, all the engraving is clearly visible. These are great quality spoons, with strong tips, and a generous size and weight, and their condition is excellent. All 12 spoons have clear hallmarks. Francis Howden was freed in 1781, he was Deacon between 1811 and 1813, he was a highly respected member of the Goldsmiths Incorporation, he established the Widow's fund in 1817 (Source: Silver Made in Scotland, Dalgleish & Fothringham, page 222). He died in 1848 aged 90.

Pair of George III Irish Silver Hook-End Basting Spoons   
Dublin 1788

A lovely pair of Georgian Irish silver hook-end basting spoons, made in Dublin in 1788, the spoons are a pleasing weight and quality. The spoons have the traditional hook end only found on some 18th Century Irish silver spoons, and are Old English in pattern. The spoon bowls are generous, very suitable for use as serving spoons. Both spoons are engraved with a peacock family crest, this has some wear but is still visible. Both spoons also have original owners initials P/IG on the back of the drops. The spoons are bottom marked with 4 hallmarks, the Hibernia, crowned harp and date letter Q for 1788 are clear on both spoons. The makers mark on both spoons has been lightly struck and unfortunately not readable (although first letter appears to be C in rectangular punch, so possibly Christopher Haines). Ian Pickford, in his book "Silver Flatware", describes hook-end or turned-over flatware as peculiar to Ireland, principally with 18th century serving pieces, for hanging the piece up (page 56).

Silver Jubilee 16th Century Knop End Spoons (Set of 10) - Seal Tops, Lion Sejant, Maidenhead, Wrythen, Pudsey
C J Vander, Garrard & Co, London (8), Sheffield (2) 1977
$ 1 150.00

A very interesting collection of 10 silver replica spoons, all in 16th century style, made to commemorate the silver jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in 1977. These are lovely spoons, all very good quality, with very clear hallmarks, and are faithful replicas of the originals, mostly in museums. The spoons include: 1. Leicester spoon, Seal Top, circa 1600 2. Wrythen Knob spoon, London 1500 3. Maidenhead spoon, London 1521 (Blessed Virgin Mary) 4. Owl Knopped spoon, London 1506, original set of 6 at Corpus Christi College, Oxford 5. Lion Sejant, London 1570 6. Cone spoon, London 1538 - "Fruitlet Knop" 7. Pudsey spoon, London 1525, Tudor rose on seal (Mayer Museum, Liverpool) 8. Seal Top spoon, London 1544 9. Leicester spoon, seal top circa 1600, Brittania silver 10. Lion Sejant, London 1570, Brittania silver The first 8 spoons (sterling) were made by CJ Vander in London (one dated 1976 without jubilee mark), the last 2 were made by Garrards in Sheffield, in the higher grade Brittania silver (950). Seve...

Rare Provincial Seal Top Spoon, Taunton - Salisbury Group A Finial   
John Smith II, Taunton 1661

A rare west country seal top silver spoon, with a Salisbury Group A finial. The seal top is prick engraved "E.B over T.B, 1661", indicating the celebration of a marriage. The bowl is fig shaped, and the stem is tapered and faceted. A small rat-tail connects the bowl to the stem. The seal top join is clearly visible at the back of the spoon, a horizontal join, as opposed to V joint seen on London spoons. The seal top is a decorative baluster casting, of substantial size, decorated with scrolls and gadrooning. This has been described by Tim Kent as a "Salisbury Group A" (Salisbury Silver and its Makers, 1550-1700, Silver Society Journal 3), where similar examples are illustrated on page 16. Kent has recognised that many West Country seal tops of the period were made by one silversmith who specialised in seal top castings, and who distributed them to the silversmiths of the area. Kent also identifies John Smith II as one of the silversmiths who used these (he cites an example of a Salisbury type B found on a sea...

Georgian Silver Flatware Set (17 pieces)   
William Chawner, London 1828, 1829, 1895

A matching set of crested Georgian silver flatware, including 12 tablespoons, 2 sauce ladles, 2 saltspoons and butterknife, all of very good gauge and quality. The pattern is Fiddle and Thread, and all pieces have an interesting double crest, indicating a marriage between 2 noble families. The first crest is of a head and shoulders of a bearded man with unruly hair, the second a raised fist holding a halbeard. The saltspoons have gilded bowls to prevent corrosion. The butterknife is a later addition to the set (made in 1895), and only has the bearded man crest. The makers mark on the butterknife has been removed, possibly to allow the retailer to overstamp. Chawner was a prolific spoonmaker, he ran a large workshop of journeymen, whose individual marks can be seen on the spoons (devices include stars, bars, circles and triangles).

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