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tline3open  Gorham St. Cloud whatzit

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Author Topic:   Gorham St. Cloud whatzit
taloncrest

Posts: 169
Registered: Jun 2004

iconnumber posted 11-28-2005 02:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for taloncrest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've been lurking on this forum for about four years now, and this is my first starting post. Last week I bought a dozen pieces in the St. Cloud pattern by Gorham. They were marked as marrow scoops, but I'm not so sure of that. What are they for? They curve almost the way a spoon does. Victorian era flatware is not my specialty, but these were so reasonably priced that I couldn't pass them up. I figure I will figure out a use for them eventually. They are monogrammed on the back with an intertwined SB.


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Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 11-28-2005 11:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow, totally wonderful pieces. How long are they? My guess would be they are meant for eating an exotic fruit like mango.

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taloncrest

Posts: 169
Registered: Jun 2004

iconnumber posted 11-29-2005 08:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for taloncrest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
They are five inches long, and the "bowl" part is between 1/4 and 3/16 inches wide at the widest point.

[This message has been edited by taloncrest (edited 11-29-2005).]

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Scott Martin
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Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 11-29-2005 08:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I love mango's but can't envision how this would work with an mango. I believe these are fancy nut picks.

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FWG

Posts: 845
Registered: Aug 2005

iconnumber posted 11-29-2005 08:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FWG     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, possibly for Brazil nuts? Those have a large solid meat that generally has to be dug from the shell, and that point looks pretty strong. I'm not sure when Brazil nuts began to be imported into the US, though.

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ahwt

Posts: 2173
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 11-29-2005 09:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Welcome to the forum. I have not seen this form before, but individual marrow scoops may be the answer.
It is interesting to me how great buys can sometimes lead to a new direction in ones interest.

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Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 11-29-2005 01:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dumb answer on my part. There is a mango scoop which is rather long but wider at the bowl. How about pomegranates? The scoop was used for getting out the seeds and pulp from a pomegranate with an opening at the top. The reason Persephone spent so much time in the underworld was she was cleaning up the mess the pomegranates made.

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jersey

Posts: 1203
Registered: Feb 2005

iconnumber posted 11-29-2005 02:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jersey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Taloncrest!

Your marrow scoops are what they are. In Victorian times marrow was quite a delicacy so they needed some instrument to get it out from the bone.

As an aside, the Bearded Vulture's tongue is shaped like a marrow scoop for just that purpose.

For today's use (speaking for myself), my dog LOVES the marrow and now you've given me an elegant & great way to get it out other than using the dreaded knife.

OTOH How about scooping up those Non-Pareils!

Have a great day. Enjoy them!
Jersey

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Richard Kurtzman
Moderator

Posts: 759
Registered: Aug 2000

iconnumber posted 11-29-2005 03:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Below is a photo from the 1881 Gorham Catalog that includes a marrow scoop in the Empress pattern. I do not believe that your pieces are marrow scoops. The tips do not appear to be right. There is something about them that "bothers" me. Without seeing them in person it's hard to say, but could they be adulterated pieces?


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taloncrest

Posts: 169
Registered: Jun 2004

iconnumber posted 11-29-2005 04:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for taloncrest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have to admit that once I got my purchase home and had time to consider them at my leisure, the possibility of their being "adulterated" crossed my mind as well, but I could not see why anyone would do such a thing. I can kind of understand making a teaspoon into an ice cream fork, but it makes me shudder even then. I generally avoid any made-up pieces, if I realize it. The bowl is very much spoon-shaped, it just curls up more along the sides and is narrower. The foliage on the back of the bowl is so spotty, it made me wonder as well.

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Scott Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 11-29-2005 05:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Would it be possible to see a side view of the bowl?

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trapper

Posts: 27
Registered: Jun 2004

iconnumber posted 11-29-2005 05:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for trapper     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Greetings,
I have to agree that these are altered. If you look at the scoop in the setting you find a piece that is balanced and comfortable when you hold it in your hand. The other would look to be a bit cumbersome to handle. If it is "right" it would be a very poor and displeasing design in my eyes.

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Marc

Posts: 414
Registered: Jun 2002

iconnumber posted 11-29-2005 07:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi there,

As a long time dealer in silver, I have realized that in the last 7 or 8 years, a great many "fantasy" pieces have been made, mostly out of teaspoons. Why... because there are a lot of teaspoons on the market, a lot of profiteers, and a lot of us who want to believe.

The quick way to tell if a piece was made from a spoon, is to place the adulterated piece on top of a teaspoon (or coffee spoon) and see if it is the same size. Usually is.

I purchased an "ideal olive spoon" off of Ebay 6 years ago, and thought I got a deal!!
Turns out, someone was making them from ice beverage spoons. Also, I picked up some wierd chantilly spoon picks in a vintage box, "Oh Wow" type of goods, and discovered they were made from old teaspoons.

My silversmith makes butter picks from butter spreaders, salt spoons, mustard ladles, cheese scoops, horse radish spoons and so many other things from teaspoons, and he does not charge much to do it. This is a good 40% of his business.

I hate to say it, but when you are looking at "rare" pieces, ask yourself if it could have been made from something else. If you can, compare it to a teaspoon, which is what the pieces in the photos started out life as.
Also.. buyer beware, I hate to say it but it does apply, even in this business.

Hope this helps a little.

Marc Cutcher

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taloncrest

Posts: 169
Registered: Jun 2004

iconnumber posted 11-29-2005 07:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for taloncrest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here are three views of the bowl:

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Marc

Posts: 414
Registered: Jun 2002

iconnumber posted 11-29-2005 07:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Taloncrest,

You answered the question yourself with this quote, "They curve almost the way a spoon does".

Marc

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Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 11-29-2005 08:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I recall similar things being sold as 'caviar servers'. Part of the problem here is that a very large part of the silver buying market really doesn't care about authenticity. They need things they can use for serving food. Looking at the ice tea spoon that became an ideal olive serve, the answer would be: what a useful item, perfect with my cut glass boat.

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Marc

Posts: 414
Registered: Jun 2002

iconnumber posted 11-29-2005 09:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes Dale,

it is a most useful tool.. But, it was sold as old, and at a price that was rather high, which means they wanted to decieve. Not the way either you or I do business.

Marc

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Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 11-29-2005 09:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Marc for the kind words. This sort of item floats around the antique world. I have run into some very well done ones, and some that seemed to have some age to them. It can be difficult when the adapted piece was done over 20 years ago to be sure. My usual approach was to put them out as really handy items for the entertaining people. These gourmands and dinner party givers were always a substantial part of my clientele when I was on the show circuit.

What messes this up even further is that there a quite a few pieces made by someone who had an idea. Then produced a few dozen. Then never made any more. These pop up one at a time, and are very difficult to attach to an adapter.

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taloncrest

Posts: 169
Registered: Jun 2004

iconnumber posted 11-30-2005 10:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for taloncrest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you all for your responses. I can usually resist buying things if any little thing about them bothers me, but for some reason, I can't do this with silver. If the price is right, I buy it now and regret it later. I'm trying to work up the nerve to post pictures of another such item that still bothers me: a Hyde & Goodrich gravy spoon that has unfortunately had the monogram removed and replaced, and buffed as well.

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outwest

Posts: 390
Registered: Nov 2005

iconnumber posted 12-01-2005 12:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for outwest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It seems like a lot of trouble to go to just to deceive. I wonder if the person who altered them sleeps well at night? Maybe the spoons were worn out and that's why they did it. On the other hand, maybe someone way back when had lots of spoons and wanted some marrow spoons and did it to use them. Anyway you look at it they are an interesting conversation piece.

I'd like to see the other item you have. I'm learning, too.

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Scott Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 12-01-2005 06:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
They are too curved to be used as marrows. I still feel they were intended to be used as a pick of some kind. Most likely a nut pick or butter pick.

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