A pair of Gorham sterling Medallion serving implements, the first a pastry fork and the second a pickle knife. Both have the medallion motif of a classical femaile looking left, with hair braids, the face is strong. Both are pierced with the "tulip cut", the knife also has bright cut engraving. Both have the original owners initials MMC in Gothic script engraved on the back. Gorham medallion pattern was designed by George Wilkinson in 1864, it is a multi-motif pattern, with 4 different medallion options. Medallion pattern proved popular, it was copied by numerous other firms, but the original Gorham items are most collectable today. The hallmarks are clear on both pieces, and include Gorham makers mark, PAT 1864 and STERLING. Gorham Corporation, which still exists today, was founded in 1831, they dominated the solid silver flatware market in the USA for 125 years (Gorham Silver, page 50). The medallion pattern was even retailed by Tiffany.
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...
An interesting silver tablefork in the Fiddle pattern, with four pseudo hallmarks, clearly struck, but a bit of a mystery. The fork is clearly Fiddle pattern, but with a very flat handle, so uncomfortable to hold, and probably Colonial in origin. The hallmarks are well struck, and include pseudo lion passant looking left, pseudo crowned leopards head town mark (could be floral device?), pseudo date letter and pseudo Georgian duty mark. We have tentatively identified it as Chinese Export, given the style of the pseudo marks, but cannot find this combination of marks (or the q) in the referrence books. This fork needs further research, all comments and feedback welcome.
A rare early Cape Silver three pronged fork, in the Hanoverian pattern. The fork is a lovely shape, long and elegant, with long tines. The fork has makers mark DHS, with some wear but clearly visible, along with a bunch of grapes with vine leaves in a circular punch (mark 109 in Cape Silver by Welz). The fork also has a small owners cross hatch scratch mark next to the makers mark. Three pronged forks were common in the early 18th century, they were gradually replaced by 4 prongs after 1760, perhaps a little later in the colonies, but we believe this dates to the early part of Schmidt's career. Schmidt arrived in the Cape from Strelitz, Germany, as a soldier in 1768. He worked as a sword cutler for the Dutch East India Company, and became a burgher and silversmith in 1779. He died in 1811 (Cape Silver by Welz, pg 139). He is described by David Heller (in his book History of Cape Silver) as the "greatest Cape silversmith". Heller goes so far to describe Schmidt as a "master craftsman, whose work can be compare...
A very rare of 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 the Chawner design to protect their innovative design. 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 and Straight Tudor pattern...
A pair of Georgian Silver Hanoverian Tableforks, dated 1806, with the Douglas family crest, and motto "Jamais Arriere", translated "Never Behind". The crest is beautifully engraved, on the back of the forks in 18th century style, and is described as "on a chapeau, a green salamander surrounded by fire", with the motto above the crest (which is only done in Scotland). The crest is under an Earl's coronet, so these forks probably belonged to the 9th or 10th Earl Hamilton. The hallmarks on both forks are clear, the makers mark is worn but visible.
A pair of Georg Jensen Parallel or Relief pattern salad or vegetable servers, in the Parallel pattern, also called Relief # 25 pattern. They are a lovely classic Art Deco shape, with rectangular handles with serrated edge design, and the rare additional of 2 circular "wings" midway up the handle. Both have clear hallmarks, the GJ in rectangle makers mark (used between 1933 and 1944) above "Sterling Denmark". The fork also has additional London import marks for 1936, and the G.J Ld makers mark used by the London Jensen shop. The parallel pattern is interesting most of the smaller items have no "wings", a few of the larger serving items have scroll "wings" , the circular "wings" present here appear to be the rarest addition to the pattern. The pattern was designed in 1931 by Oscar Gundlach-Pedersen, a famous Danish architect who designed a number of important buildings. He was born in 1886, he served as Georg Jensen's last apprentice in 1911, he later returned to the Georg Jensen firm as Manager and Artistic D...
A rare surviving set of 6 Georgian silver table knives, in the Fiddle Thread and Shell pattern, with silver as opposed to steel blades. The knives are in remarkable condition and are suitable for use. The knives have an engraved family crest, an eagle sable preying on a partridge, under an Earl's crown, with 5 pearls. This is the family crest of the Earls of Onslow, the first Earl George Onslow died in 1814 so we assume these knives were made for Thomas Onslow, when he became the 2nd Earl Onslow. Thomas Onslow was born in 1754, he was Member of Parliament for Rye and Guildford. He was an associate of the Prince of Wales (later King George IV), and guarded the door when the Prince secretly married Mrs Fitzherbert (source Wikipedia). The hallmarks are clear on all 6 knives, both on the silver blades and on the handles, including makers mark MB for Moses Brent. Moses Brent was freed in 1770 as a haft-maker, he worked until 1817. Grimwade, in his book London Goldsmiths 1697-1837, states "Brent had a virtual monop...
An interesting set of 6 Fiddle pattern tableforks, made in 1815, the year of the battle of Waterloo. The forks are a pleasing weight, and very good quality, they have a lovely feel. The forks are engraved with an interesting family crest, a leopards head with an arrow in its mouth, this is unusually engraved on the back of the forks. The hallmarks are excellent, including date letter U for 1815 and makers mark WE/WF for William Eley & William Fearn, who were leading makers of flatware. We welcome any assistance with identification of the family crest.
A rare Victorian silver Armorial butter spade, where the whole blade displays an engraved family armorial. The butter spade has a bone handle, the blade is shield shaped (as opposed to usual triangular shape,) The armorial (centre cross with 4 crosses) is topped with an engraved lion rampant where the blade joins the handle. The bone handle is connected with a silver ferrule. The hallmarks are well struck and clear. Martin Hall & Co was established by Richard Martin and Ebernezer Hall in 1863 in Sheffield, they produced good quality silver until 1911. Butter spades are described by Ian Pickford as "quite rare" (Silver Flatware pg 180), we have not seen another armorial example.
A Pair of lovely French silver 2 pronged forks, with beautiful ornate baluster handles in 800 grade silver. The forks are finely decorated with flowers, scrolls and acanthus leaves, on a matted hand engraved textured surface, the central portion have a diamond engraved pattern with grooves, to improve grip. The steel prongs are long and elegant, sharp and slightly splayed. Both forks have 2 small hallmarks, the French silver Boars Head used for 800 standard (2eme titre) on small items, this mark was in use between 1838 and 1961, and an additional 800 standard mark. We date these forks to mid 19th century, copies of an earlier style.
A delightful Cape silver konfyt fork, one of the most charming we have seen. The fork is in the Hanoverian pattern, with turn up end, it has a form of feather edge engraving at the top of the handle, a long elegant stem (much longer than usual), and 3 tines. It has a v shaped drop, so overall quite different from many Cape silver konfyt forks. The fork is struck with makers mark IVC, this has no dots, the mark is clearly visible but the punch appears a little worn (hence the G being seen as a C). We believe this to be one of the marks used by Johann Voight, it is depicted in David Heller's book "History of Cape Silver", page 163. We have now confirmed 3 different IVG marks on Cape silver, which clearly come from 3 different punches, but probably come from 1 silversmith, or family of silversmiths as sons often took over the business of the father, and used the same punches. The other two IVG marks have different configurations of dots present, see Welz mark 171 with 2 dots, Welz described this maker as "unknow...
A pair of Cape silver table forks, quite Colonial in character, with excellent Cape silver hallmarks. The forks are similar to Old English pattern with 4 tines, but have a wide flattened end and semi rounded stem, more continental in character than English. The forks have original engraved initials JR, this too is Colonial in style with bright cut flecks around the initials. The hallmarks on both forks are clear, crude anchor, makers mark IC, anchor, mark 22 in Cape Silver by Welz. One fork has 2 very old (and quite crude)repairs to both external tines, it looks like they were re-attached, now very secure. Despite the repair to one fork, we really like this pair, loads of character. We have dated these forks to early in Combrink's career, prior to the arrival of the English silversmiths in 1820.
A rare and possibly unique variant of the Fiddle pattern, with a "fish tail" insertion in the handle of a Georgian silver butter knife, made by Thomas James. The blade of the butter knife is nicely shaped and has attractive engraving, but it is the handle that stands out. The knife also has original owners engraved initials IH, in a floral font. The hallmarks including makers mark T.J are well struck and very clear, note the lack of a town mark. Ian Pickford, in his book Silver Flatware, shows a picture of a different but similar Fiddle Pattern variant (Fig 139 page 109), which he describes as "odd and quite possibly unique", made in 1826. Thomas James was freed in 1789, he worked until 1827, he was a small worker. He was a noted maker of caddy spoons, many of which also included this "fish tail" design, but found near the spoon bowl, not up the handle as per this example.
An interesting Swiss Silver preserve set, consisting of a matching fork and slotted spoon in their original box. They are 800 grade silver, and both the spoon bowl and fork (excluding handle) are gilded, to protect the silver from corrosive salt. The matching handles are a beaded pattern, with the pattern on the back different from the pattern on the front. The spoon has seven slots in an attractive pattern, the fork has 4 tines. Both items are clearly hallmarked with the Jezler makers mark and 800 standard mark. The original box has a retailers label, which reads "Otto Leuenberger, Uhren & Bijoutier, Langnau (Bern) - Brugg (Aargau)".
A Cape silver konfyt fork in the Old English pattern, with 3 tines. The fork has engraved original owners initials MMR, quite quaintly engraved, possibly by an amateur. The makers mark is very well struck and very clear, makers initials ICL between 2 floral devices with 7 petals (Welz mark 78, page 150). Lotter worked at the Cape between 1811 and his death in 1823, he shared a name with his father Johannes Casparus Lotter, who was also a silversmith (12 members of the Lotter family practised as silversmiths).
A pair of Arts & Crafts Danish silver tablespoons, in a modernist Georg Jensen style Martele pattern, with matching cheese knife. The pattern is planished, or hand hammered, (Martele is French for hammer, Gorham uses the Martele brand for its hand hammered range), this creates an uneven surface which reflects the light, so a very pleasing pattern. The pattern also has balls and scrolls. The spoons are hand hammered on the front side of the handle only, but the bowls are planished on both sides. The spoons have original owners initials CC engraved on the back, the knife has no engraving. All 3 items have 2 clear hallmarks, the Danish 3 tower silver guarantee mark for 826/1000 grade, with date letters (the spoons are 1925 and the knife is 1927). They also have assay masters mark CFH for Christian F. Heise, who worked between 1904 and 1932.
A set of 5 Fiddle pattern Cape silver tableforks, made by Willem Lotter. The forks are quite long and elegant, with bevelled edges, quite attractive and pleasing quality. All 5 forks are struck with makers mark WGL in irregular punch between 2 oval devices (Welz mark 88). Welz depicts this mark as a face, we are not convinced, this requires further research. Willem Gotfried Lotter worked between 1810 and 1835, his father (also Willem Gotfried) was also a silversmith, they shared the same punches. Lotter died in Richmond, which was established as a spa town for sufferers of tuberculosis.
A pair of Victorian silver grape scissors, with attractive handle design of symmetrical scrolls and loops. The set is very finely engraved (on the front side only) with a foliage pattern, very intricate, in typical Victorian fashion. The blades are the traditional grape scissor design, with one blade thicker with right angle to accommodate the other blade. The hinge has a silver cover, also engraved, the pin is silver as well. The hallmarks are clear but hidden by the engraving, both arms are hallmarked, including makers mark A&S for Aston and Son of Regent place, Birmingham, Thomas and William Aston ran the business between 1856 and 1861. Henry Aston (we assume another son) took over the business in 1862, it was still operating in 1930 as wedding ring manufacturers (Culme, Gold and Silversmiths, page 18).
A Cape silver konfyt fork in the Old English pattern, with 3 tines. The fork is hallmarked with makers mark OA in oval punch, this is faintly struck but still visible, between two square devices with 4 dots, these are both clearly struck ( Welz mark 2). Ahlers worked as a silversmith between 1810 and his death in 1827. He married the widow of silversmith Jan Brevis, which may have facilitated his entry into the trade. He was the son of Oltman Alders of Germany, his mother was Dorothea of Bengal, who presumably arrived in the Cape as a slave. His silver is quite scarce.