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  N Y State Coin Silver Marks.

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Author Topic:   N Y State Coin Silver Marks.
G.MANN

Posts: 17
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 02-16-2001 03:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for G.MANN     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
1. Is there a good reference for NY State marks that is available for purchase?

2. Many NY makers used 3 hallmarks. Can the sequence and form be used to identify a particular maker? For example,see Belden, P371, Sanders marks.

3.I have a Serving spoon,marked "WATSON",in serrated rectangle and in addition, a floweret stamped next to it. fiddle handle tipped on rear,mono plus1826 on front.Probably a NY maker ?


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wev
Moderator

Posts: 3874
Registered: Apr 99

posted 02-17-2001 01:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am always a bit leery of absolutes when it comes to pseudo-hallmarks. While the arm-holding-hammer is generally ascribed to the New York area, it is known to have been used elsewhere, by Reed & Barton of Tauton MA, for one. One mark that I believe is absolutely attributable to New York is the buffalo mark used by Henry Bosworth (and possibly others) of Buffalo. The mark -- [D] [eagle] [bust] -- you mention in Beldon, though often found on New York work, can also be found on pieces associated with makers from Maine to the Gulf of Mexico. Some of the latter are surely pieces bought out and re-marked by a retailer (commonly done in Southern states), but many are wholly the work of the smith whose mark appears with it. I don't have a reference for the Watson mark; the starburst mark is often found with many New York makers, though again, it can also be found associated with Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusetts makers.

Aside from the standard general references, George Cutten's Utica and The Silversmiths... of the State of New York outside New York City are the standard specific works. Unfortunately, I don't think either has been re-printed and the originals are quite pricey.

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G.MANN

Posts: 17
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 02-19-2001 01:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for G.MANN     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wev-Thank you for the quick reply. Anyone else care to add a comment?

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Brent

Posts: 1496
Registered: May 99

posted 02-19-2001 05:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The subject of "pseudo-hallmarks" on american coin silver has been the subject of a great deal of research and speculation. They were once thought to be meaningless, merely attempts to fool buyers into thinking they were buying English sterling. Over the past 25 years or so, people have come to realize that the marks are meaningful. Certain groupings of marks have been identified as the trademarks of specific manufacturers. Most of these manufacturers are also indeed from New York state. Don Soeffing has doen a lot of this work, and his articles for Silver magazine have identified trademarks used by Philo Gilbert, Philo Dubois, Joseph Seymour, and others.

We still have a long way to go, however, to match up all of the different groupings of marks with specific manufacturers. I believe it can be done, but I also know that:

A.) Trademarks were a fluid sort of thing, and very similar marks may have been used by different makers.

B.) Particular makers seem to have used multiple, different sets of marks, perhaps at different times or for different purposes.

C.) Some pieces were never marked by the manufacturer. We know that John R. Wendt had marks that were seldom used; most Wendt pieces bear only the marks of the retailers.

D.) Some makers bought pieces from other makers, and a piece may have trademarks for both.

E.) Usually the stamped name that accompanies a lot of pseudo-hallmarked silver is the name of the retailer, not the manufacturer. In some cases, though, it IS.

Overall, I would say that yes, particular sets of marks can be linked to particular manufacturers. Actually achieving this, though, given the caveats listed above, is a different story.

As for Mr. Watson, I have a piece with a similar starburst mark that is very likely from Philadelphia or points south. Kovel shows a serrated edge WATSON mark attributed to a Joseph H. Watson of Warrenton, VA. Can you post a picture of the entire spoon? The form may help us narrow down the area of origin.

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wev
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Posts: 3874
Registered: Apr 99

posted 02-19-2001 07:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is the entry in Silversmiths of Virginia by Cutten:

"JOSEPH H. WATSON purchased the stock and stand of John M. Jacobs in Warrenton, and announced on November 1, 1844 that he would continue to carry on the clock- and watchmaking business, and also have for sale jewelry, silver spoons, &c. Mr. Jacobs cheerfully recommended him as "a gentleman fully competent to execute any work entrusted to his care." In 1850 he returned thanks to his friends and customers and reminded them that he was to be found next door to the post office.' He was still advertising in Warrenton in 1878. In 1847 he purchased a lot and house on Main Street "running to the centre of the alley between the silversmith shop now occupied by said Watson and a saddlery shop." Beside some other real estate transactions, in 1870 he was a special commissioner to deed to Rice W. Payne property sold by the Methodist Episcopal Church."

The mark shown (in a sketch) is WATSON in a serrated cartouche flanked by federal eagles in round cartouches.

[This message has been edited by wev (edited 02-19-2001).]

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Brent

Posts: 1496
Registered: May 99

posted 02-20-2001 10:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It sure looks like Philadelphia work to me. That does not preclude a southern origin, though, as many southern smiths got their design cues from Philadelphia. What do you think, WEV?

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wev
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Posts: 3874
Registered: Apr 99

posted 02-20-2001 11:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree; my first thought was Philadelphia. It is identical in form and proportion to a set of spoons I have by Philip Garrett. Possibly the Virginia Joseph Watson (a relative of James Watson perhaps?) received his training in Philadelphia before moving south - Cutten's reference indicates he purchased his shop fully trained to the trade.

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bascall

Posts: 1579
Registered: Nov 99

posted 06-07-2008 07:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's another angle on this Philadelphia style spoon that is attributed to a Virginia silversmith. That such a spoon would exist is plausible because Jacobs family members state that John M Jacobs was born in about 1817 in New Jersey and grew up in the Burlington/Philadelphia area and was listed as a Philadelphia area resident until 1836. In 1836 John M Jacobs married Sarah Ann Fairbanks of Baltimore, Maryland. The family also states that a J M Jacobs was listed in the 1837 Baltimore City directory as a silversmith, clock and watch repairman. A John M Jacobs in the correct age range is shown in the 1840 U S Federal Census for Leeds, Fauquier, Virginia. After that time, There are no John Jacobs shown in the Virginia Census's in Fauquier County. John M Jacobs a silversmith born in New Jersey in the correct time frame does show up in St Louis, Missouri with a wife named Sarah in the 1850 U S Federal Census only. He is said to have died in St Louis on July, 23 1855 of consumption and was buried in the Wesleyan Cemetery.

It seems possible that John M Jacobs trained Joseph H Watson and even included his floweret punch in the sale of his stock and trade which might ultimately explain this spoon's Philadelphia style (and the extra marking).

A watchmaker named James Watson did have a son named Joseph Watson who is listed as a merchant in Philadelphia in the 1850 U S Federal Census. The Joseph H Watson of interest here is shown in the 1850 U S Federal Census as being born in Virginia and residing in Ashby District (town and enumeration district names do not always match), Fauquier County, Virginia, and he was a silversmith. Joseph Watson continues to appear as a silversmith, watchmaker, and jeweler in the U S Federal Census's in Faquier County, Virginia through 1880.

In 1870 Nicholas R Hooper a watchmaker and jeweler was working with Watson. Hooper married Mary C Fortman in Virginia and was in Lebanon, Missouri in 1880 working as a jeweler and from there he is found farming in Los Angeles County, California in the early 1900's. In 1880 Jacob Mytenger was working with James Watson. Cutten mentions Mytenger but not as a partner of Watson's.

Naturally, this is not meant to be the last word on this particular spoon or its maker. By the way, if anybody does have any silver that is attributed to John M Jacobs, it would be my pleasure to pass an image of it along to his family with due credit. Apparently, to date, as far as the family knows, there is no John M Jacob's silver known to still be in existence.

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ahwt

Posts: 1392
Registered: Mar 2003

posted 06-07-2008 08:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
McGrew in his book “Manufacturers’ Marks on American Coin Silver” attributes the floret or eight pointed star to Curry and Preston and lists four possibilities for Watson (Isaac; James; Joshua; or Robert all of Philadelphia) The mark is also on items from marked E. Lownes, S. Richards, J. Stockton and Warrington.

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bascall

Posts: 1579
Registered: Nov 99

posted 06-09-2008 12:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Paid a visit to Warrenton, Fauquier County, Virginia yesterday. It is a beautiful well preserved and interesting small town. The citizens of the Warrenton seem to take a lot of pride in their little jewel of a town. A saddlery on main street was pointed out to me, but there was nothing certain about the premises next door that would place it as a jeweler's/silversmith's/watchmaker's shop.

The town cemetery was just as interesting with people interred in it from the eighteenth century to the twentieth century. There were a number of Mosby's in the cemetery as Warrenton is the Grey Ghost's hometown. Also quite a number of Paynes there with names just august as their likely progenitor Rice Wingfield Payne.

There were no obvious Starbucks in the town...just a little attempt at some inside humor, maybe.

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swarter
Moderator

Posts: 2876
Registered: May 2003

posted 06-09-2008 01:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ahwt:
McGrew in his book “Manufacturers’ Marks on American Coin Silver” attributes the floret or eight pointed star to Curry and Preston and lists four possibilities for Watson (Isaac; James; Joshua; or Robert all of Philadelphia) The mark is also on items from marked E. Lownes, S. Richards, J. Stockton and Warrington.

There is a discussion involving this floret PHM towards the end of this rather long thread (When Coin Evolved to Sterling).

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