A Chinese Export silver dessert spoon in the Fiddle pattern, with no engraving. The spoon is good quality, easily comparable to an English Georgian example. The hallmarks are good, with only slight wear to the top of the makers mark, and include pseudo duty mark, pseudo crowned leopards head (London town mark pre 1821), pseudo date letter P in incuse rectangle with cut corners, pseudo lion passant and makers mark WE WE WC. This is an imitation of the makers mark for William Eley, William Fearn and William Chawner. The Chinese Export silver collectors guide (4th edition, pg 763-767) says this maker remains unidentified, but was responsible "for an astounding production of silver items, almost all in the European neo-classical style. The work of WE WE WC is par excellence, it can rival the best of English, European and American silversmiths of the Georgian era. There is no such thing as a poor piece of WE WE WC silver. To have the wherewithal to create silver that rivaled the finest European and American silver...
A pair of attractive and unusual Georgian silver salt cellars, with a lovely pattern created by numerous embossed ovals with circular eyes, with a textured matt pattern in between. The cellars have 4 cast silver shell headed hoof feet, with additional cast shell feet below the hooves. The cellars have irregular gadrooned rims, and gilded interiors. They are a substantial size and weight, over 160 grammes each, these are lovely quality. The hallmarks are clear, but the makers mark is partially worn on one cellar, and slightly worn on the other, but no doubt this is William Fountain (Grimwade mark 3127). William Fountain was freed in 1785, he had a long career and worked until 1825 (he used this mark between 1805 and 1825). He produced some notable silver, examples of his work are in numerous museums, including the V&A in London.
Two early Georgian silver Hanoverian tablespoons, engraved with the Davy family crest. The spoons both have a strong front rib and double drop, both features of early Hanoverians. Both are clearly engraved with original armorials for the Davy family of Beckley, Sussex, on the back of the spoons (spoons were displayed bowl down during this period). The crest is described as "sable a fess or between three cinquefoils argent, the lozenge is tied at the top with a lovers knot that denotes the arms of a spinster", see heraldic report which accompanies these spoons. The spoons probably belonged to an unmarried daughter of the Davy family of Beckley, Sussex. The first spoon has clear hallmarks, including WH makers mark for William Hunter, and date letter i for 1744. The second spoon has squashed marks, but the makers mark JL for Jeremiah Lee is clear.
An early Irish silver rat-tail Hanoverian tablespoon, made in 1729 by Edward Barrett. The spoon is lovely quality, a pleasing weight, and in remarkably good condition. The spoon has a deep frontal rib running halfway down the handle, with a strong turn-up, and the traditional rat-tail used before 1730. The spoon has original engraved family crest on the back of the spoon (spoons were placed face down at this period), the crest featured a raised arm in armour holding a cross (slight wear to the cross). The 3 hallmarks are clear, makers mark EB in oval punch (slight wear to B, looks more like EE), date letter gothic K for 1729, and crowned harp, with slight wear but clearly discernable. This spoon predates the Irish Hibernia mark which was introduced in 1731. Edward Barrett worked between 1698 and 1730, a number of his spoons have survived. He was freed in 1702 and elected Warden in 1722, so he was a prestigious silversmith (Collecting Irish Silver by Douglas Bennett, page 139).
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.
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 Dutch antique silver pipe lighter (Zilver Pijpenkomfoor), made by Jacob van Nieuwcasteel in Utrecht in 1797. The silver frame is circular, beautifully decorated with pierced flowers and a reeded design, on 3 legs. It is fitted with a copper dish, which is fastened to a wooden mahogany base with 3 feet, by an iron screw with 2 leather circular nuts. The hallmarks are clear, and include makers mark IVN, Utrecht town mark struck twice (grote keur), and date letter Z for 1797. A very similar pijpenkomfoor, made by Jacob van Nieucasteel in 1816, is present in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, described as follows "Pijpenkomfoor van zilver op blad van mahoniehout en met binnenbak van rood koper. Gewelfd en aan beide zijkanten iets oplopend. Vier gebogen poten, Jacob van Nieuwcasteel, 1816". Van Nieucasteel worked between 1790 and 1818, his work is preserved in numerous museums. These items are also found in the Cape made by Dutch silversmiths, referred to as "Tessies".
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 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.
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 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...
An interesting coin silver American single struck Kings shape Thread and Shell pattern teaspoon, made by Samuel Kirk between 1824 and 1827. Whilst we describe this as a teaspoon, it is a large and heavy teaspoon, perfect for eating dessert. Single struck flatware means the pattern is only struck on one side, this only occurred in Scotland in the UK. The spoon has the original owners engraved family crest, a human head with full beard. The spoon has 3 hallmarks, makers mark S.Kirk in serrated rectangular punch for Samuel Kirk, Baltimore Coat of Arms large oval shield mark (quality mark), date letter C for 1824 - 1827, these are all well struck and clear. This dates to a very interesting period in US silver history, Baltimore between 1814 and 1830 was the only place and date where hallmarks were required on silver in the USA. The State Legislature of Maryland passed the Assay Act of 1814, which set the quality standard at 917, the Act was repealed in 1830 due to opposition by the affected silversmiths, includ...
A Darlington Dog Show antique silver jam or marmalade spoon, presented as a trophy in 1912. The spoon is excellent quality, very good weight and feel in the hand, a pleasure to use. The traditional scalloped jam spade bowl has a circular embossed armorial or crest, with bulls head and covered wagons, surrounded by "DARLINGTON DOG SHOW", and the date 1912 engraved beneath. The spoon handle is also lovely, it appears to be a variant of the Windsor pattern (Ian Pickford, Silver Flatware, page 162. The hallmarks are very clear, the spoon also has a registration number meaning the design was protected by Atkin Brothers. The Darlington Dog Show dates back to 1860, when dogs were added to the Darlington Horse and Foal Society, it still exists today, see www.darlingtondogshowsociety.weebly.com. It has championship show status from the Kennel club, is held at Ripon race-track, events attract over 10000 dogs.
A lovely pair of Old English pattern tablespoons, with Leopards head family crest. The leopard is quite realistically engraved, and looks quite fierce. The hallmarks are excellent, as good as they could be, a journeyman's mark (the silversmith who made the spoons in the Wallis workshop) of 2 dots is also present. What is of interest about these hallmarks is the double cusp on the duty mark, to the right and base, this mark was only used between 6 July 1797 and 28 May 1798, 6 July being the date at which duty on silver was doubled from sixpence to one shilling. Jackson shows the 2 cusps to the left and base, this mark was never used on spoons, it was only used on tongs and knife blades that did not require the London town mark (Tony Dove, in an article entitled "The cusped duty used at the assay offices from 1797", in the Finial Vol. 14-04). 1797 was the first year a cusp was used, it was used again periodically when duty changed. The different assay offices applied the usage of cusps differently.
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.
A rare Irish Provincial teaspoon in the Fiddle pattern, made in Cork by Samuel Green circa 1800, with a very rare Irish retailers mark. The teaspoon is quite long with a narrow bowl, and is hallmarked with incuse makers mark SG for Samuel Green, incuse STERLING guarantee mark, and retailers mark L.O.H in a rectangular punch, which is believed to be for Laurence O'Hagan, a watchmaker and presumably retailer in Limerick. Laurence O'Hagan, Watchmaker appears in the Hibernian Journal in 1791 on his marriage to Miss Quinn and again in 1804 on his marriage to Miss Bryan (source Silver Forums at 925-1000.com, on the Limerick and Irish Retailers marks pages). All the hallmarks are clear, especially the retailer mark, the G from STERLING is only partially struck. Irish provincial silver is quite rare, and often the hallmarks are worn or poorly punched, so this spoon is a nice example. Cork did not have an assay office, so the silversmiths adopted an unofficial STERLING mark to denote the 925 quality standard. This i...
A Cape Silver lemoen lepel, (orange spoon), in very good condition, and with very clear makers mark. This spoon is typical of the Cape lemoen lepels, with pointed terminal and bowl, the bowl itself eye shaped and quite deep. The spoon has typical Cape engraving, with a 4 petal flower and wrigglework along the edges of the handles. It also has a distinctive V joint connecting handle to bowl. The IC makers mark is well struck and clear (Welz mark 32 with canted corners). Welz describes orange spoons as"probably the most attractive type of spoon made at the Cape, derived from Dutch spoons", pg 95. He also notes that all known examples are by Cape born silversmiths of the early 19th century (so not made by the more prolific English immigrants who arrived after 1815). As far as we are aware, only Jan Lotter and Johannes combrink made lemoen lepels, probably between 1800 and 1815. Note - this spoon matches the pair S 1922.
A Georgian silver wine label, with original engraving for Madeira, by the Phipps family of silversmiths, who have been described as one of the best known London firms producing labels (Wine Labels 1730-2003, page 168). The label is rectangular with fully rounded ends, and has a reeded border (note this is classified as a rectangular label rather than an oval label, which are more eye shaped (Wine labels page 51). The label has 2 holes for the suspensory rings connected to the original chain. The label is also engraved with original owners initials RB on the back just above the hallmarks. The hallmarks are very crisp and clear, they could not be better, the detail of hair on the duty mark and mane on the lion passant are clearly visible. The makers mark is interesting, TP over ER in quatrefoil punch, without pellets. This is an unregistered punch, not recorded in Grimwade (London Goldsmiths 1697-1837), Phipps and Robinson usual registered punch, similar but with clearly defined pellets, Grimwade 2891, used bet...