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tline3open  C. Petersen Serving Spoon

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Author Topic:   C. Petersen Serving Spoon
imagal49

Posts: 5
Registered: Mar 2006

iconnumber posted 03-31-2006 08:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for imagal49     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
[26-0987]

I'm attaching some pics of a serving spoon marked P. Petersen. The spoon is 9" overall, bowl is 1 3/4" wide x 3 1/8" long. Color is off in photos - clear silver color, no gold wash. In perusing the archives here, I've learned his maker's mark was PP. Is this a fake? Or were some of his flatware pieces marked P. Petersen? Any help identifying the pattern and year/era of production would also be appreciated. New at this so here's hoping I've got the coding correct for pictures.

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Kayvee

Posts: 204
Registered: Oct 2004

iconnumber posted 03-31-2006 12:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kayvee     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Your spoon was not made by the Canadian silversmith and designer Carl Poul Petersen whose mark as you know was PP. Poul Petersen worked by hand in the modernist biomorphic style. He was heavily influenced by his apprenticeship with Georg Jensen. So neither the mark nor the style of your spoon match Poul Petersen’s work. However this does not mean that your spoon is a fake, only that it was made or retailed by another Petersen. Perhaps a knowledgeable member can enlighten you about the C. Petersen who made your spoon.

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imagal49

Posts: 5
Registered: Mar 2006

iconnumber posted 03-31-2006 01:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for imagal49     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had a feeling it was too good to be true, but one can always hope. After looking at samples of his incredible work and seeing the depictions of his hallmark, I figured the chances at, oh, about 0.0025%. Ah, well. Still, a nice looking spoon, and with luck some other knowledgeable member will set me straight as to the true identity of C. Petersen.

Thank you very much for taking the time to post your reply. I'm a rank beginning here with a fairly strong thirst to learn as much as I can about my own meager collection, and then be able to branch out and assess the historical/collectability factors of pieces I might be lucky enough to encounter.

My apologies to the moderator for the oversize picture(s) in my posts; still coming to terms with techno-jargon. I'll learn to behave (grin).

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Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 03-31-2006 11:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's a lovely piece. The decoration looks traditional, very nice hand work and brite cutting. The shape of the bowl looks Scandanavian. How long is this piece? Dimensions always help in dating.

As to who P Petersen was. The last name is Danish or Norwegian, not Swedish. Frequently silver found in the US with a Scandanavian name on it was made in and around Chicago. You might try looking at various lists of the Kalo smiths and others.

It has long been my contention, which is not widely shared, that silversmiths from Scandanavia worked in the US and used traditional methods and forms. And sometimes 800 standard silver which they were used to. In which case, this may have been made by a jeweler somewhere in the Midwest. Does the piece appear to be hand forged or stamped? It could be that Petersen was the retailer and decorator not the maker.

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FWG

Posts: 845
Registered: Aug 2005

iconnumber posted 04-02-2006 06:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FWG     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have seen that C PETERSEN mark before somewhere, but can't remember where. I am pretty sure it's a US retailer of the late 19th century, and most likely from somewhere in the northeast quadrant of the US (given my travels and where I might have seen it, as well as your location, as well as simple statistical distributions of such marks), but couldn't say much more just now. The piece itself appears to be commercially made sterling, probably with some of the decoration done locally, but I can't see the sterling mark clearly enough to say if there's anything more that could be gleaned from it.

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imagal49

Posts: 5
Registered: Mar 2006

iconnumber posted 04-02-2006 07:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for imagal49     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's a shame there isn't a good source of 19th and 20th century retailers somewhere. Web searches turn up nothing, not even a hint. Unfortunately, there are no markings other than the name and sterling on the reverse to lead in another direction. It does appear to be hand-engraved rather than stamped, but the shape of the spoon is generic enough that narrowing it down from there is proving difficult.

Thank you for your reply; your deductions seem quite reasonable and I will continue to search. Should I be able at some point to identify it definitively, I'll post it here in hopes it will aid someone else at a later date.

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Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 04-03-2006 11:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It might be helpful to contact the Westerheim Museum in Decorah IA about Mr. Petersen. This is the center for Norwegian American research. They have an online presence and quite a bit of information. I did link to it once, but am too tired right now to dig up the reference. Maybe in a day or two.

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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1768
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 04-04-2006 10:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Actually, there is a decent source for retailers. It is a book about jeweler's trade cards by one Green. I don't remember the exact title or author, but will post that tonight when I get home. It is helpful in pinning down the location of many retailers.

As for your spoon, it is a circa 1880-85 American sterling silver berry serving spoon, in a fairly typical pattern for the time. Both Whiting and Durgin, for example, produced very similar engraved designs (and didn't always sign them).

Petersen was the retailer of your server.

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doc

Posts: 712
Registered: Jul 2003

iconnumber posted 04-04-2006 04:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for doc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The photo is a bit tough to see, but the retailer mark actually looks like it says "C. Peters". Could the poster clarify?

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FWG

Posts: 845
Registered: Aug 2005

iconnumber posted 04-04-2006 04:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FWG     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That would be Robert Alan Green's Jewelers' Trade Cards 1800-1900. It's far from exhaustive, but nevertheless a really handy tool. I lent mine out some time ago and never got it back; this thread prompted me to order another. It's available at very reasonable prices.

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imagal49

Posts: 5
Registered: Mar 2006

iconnumber posted 04-04-2006 06:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for imagal49     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm amazed at how much information I'm getting, and can't thank you all enough.

In answer to the question about the maker's name, no, it's definately C. Petersen.

I plan to do some further searching tomorrow and see if the Museum lead pans out, as well as check my local library source for the book you've mentioned.

This process of discovery, and I don't mean necessarily just the information about this particular spoon, is something that's always fascinated me. Thanks, so much.

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