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tline3open  William G. deMatteo vrs William L. deMatteo

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Author Topic:   William G. deMatteo vrs William L. deMatteo
Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 03-02-2017 02:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are lots of references to William deMatteo, silversmith on the WEB.

Most often I see deMatteo spelt with a capital D - DeMatteo. I believe lowercase d - deMatteo is correct.

I also see just William DeMatteo used with no distinction as to whether they are referring to "William G. deMatteo" or "William L. deMatteo" (father/son).

The son of William L. deMatteo, Chip deMatteo, is also a silversmith and currently operating as Hand & Hammer Silversmiths in VA. Chip offers this history:

quote:
I learned silversmithing from my father, Bill deMatteo, in Williamsburg. I started out when I was about 10 years old. Dad learned from his father, a leading silversmith in New York. When he left his father's studio, he became the Master Silversmith at Colonial Williamsburg. In 1979, Dad, Phil Thorp and I started Hand & Hammer Silversmiths.

My father's talents were recognized by the American Institute of Architects which awarded him its Gold Medal. In 1975 he was the first American silversmith inducted into the Goldsmiths' Company in London.

Over the years, we've been commissioned to design and make presentation silver for every president since Kennedy, for whom Dad reproduced the famous Paul Revere lanterns to hang in the Oval Office. Presentation silver has been made for many foreign dignitaries as well.



I thought we might start a thread to clearly identify the history and marks,

To get things started, I believe William G. deMatteo is William Gaetano Dematteo. Anyone know if this is correct or not?
And his mark:

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asheland

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iconnumber posted 03-03-2017 09:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for asheland     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is William G. deMatteo the one in the Colonial Williamsburg video that makes that coffee pot?

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 03-03-2017 04:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If I read Chip's history correctly it was his father, William L. deMatteo, that was at Williamsburg.

The 1971 video Silversmith of Williamsburg has the following credits so I don't think William G. deMatteo appeared in it.

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 03-04-2017 06:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This history is from an auction listing:
quote:

This is a museum quality coffee and tea service which has had loving care over the decades. Each piece is marked DEMATTEO and STERLING. The serving tray is also marked HANDMADE, and the COFFEE POT, TEA POT, CREAMER, and COVERED SUGAR BOWL are marked HAND HAMMERED. Each item shows careful use as there are no dents, or scratches or other damage to the silver except for fine hairlines on the serving tray. The hinges are all tight. The ivory handles show only a small amount of age typical of ivory which is over a half century old. Any splits are very small and the stability and beauty of the ivory is not impaired. There is no engraving on any of the pieces. This elegant set, which research indicates is the LILY PATTERN, is a showpiece which can be enjoyed with guests, and also enjoyed everyday as a display of a unique piece of art handmade by the internationally recognized master silversmith, William G. DeMatteo.

William G. DeMatteo was born in Italy and came the U.S. as a boy. He was first interested in medicine but made a chance visit to a silversmith's shop which changed his life's direction. He apprenticed at Reed & Barton and opened his own business in 1919 and moved that business to Bergenfield in 1921. In partnership with Philip and Chip Thorp founded Hand & Hammer in 1979. Over the years, they were commissioned to design and make presentation silver for every president since Kennedy, for whom DeMatteo reproduced the famous Paul Revere lanterns to hang in the Oval Office. Presentation silver has been made for many foreign dignitaries as well. He produced hand wrought trays, tea sets, centerpieces, etc. until his retirement in 1968. In 1975 he was the first American silversmith inducted into the Goldsmiths' Company in London.

NEW NOTE 06/08/08 : Phil Thorp was the first apprentice to Bill Jr, who became Master Silversmith at Colonial Williamsburg in 1953, at the age of 29. Chip is Bill jrs son, and still is in the jewelry business, running the business that he started with his father and Phil Thorp. It was Bill Jr. that made all the stuff for dignitaries, was in the goldsmiths company, etc. [The] teaset was almost certainly made by Bill Sr, as he also made much of the silver for the George Jenson store in New York, and this set is very much in the style of George Jenson. (A tip of the topper to jcraig93 who provided this clarification. Per his emails to us, jcraig93 was one of Bill Jr's. last apprentices at Colonial Williamsburg.)

Each item has been weighed on our most accurate scales, but weights are not guaranteed. At best, please consider weights as an estimate only. Weights for the items with IVORY HANDLES do not include the weight of the ivory. An estimate of the ivory weight was made from the most similar size ivory piece available, and the estimated weight of the ivory was deducted from the total weight of the silver piece. There does not appear to be any other weighting to the silver items, and none of them are marked as being weighted. The estimated weights of the silver pieces are TRAY--2,157 grams or 69.35 troy oz, COFFEE POT--561 grams or 18.03 troy oz, TEA POT--588 grams or 18.91 troy oz, SUGAR BOWL and LID--298 grams or 9.58 troy oz, CREAMER--224 grams or 7.20 troy oz. Total estimated weight of the sterling silver in this set is 123.07 troy oz.


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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 03-05-2017 01:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
William Lawrence deMatteo
Dictionary of Virginia Biography
quote:

William Lawrence deMatteo (12 October 1923 - 14 May 1988), silversmith and master craftsman, was born in New York City and was the son of Elizabeth Rommelman deMatteo and William Gaitano [Gaetano] deMatteo, an accomplished silversmith who immigrated to the United States from Acciaroli, Salerno, Italy, with his family when he was a boy. William Lawrence deMatteo grew up in suburban Bergenfield, New Jersey, and attended schools in nearby Tenafly, all the while observing and absorbing his father's skillful work. DeMatteo began studying sculpture and fine arts at Columbia University in 1941, but after the United States entered World War II he joined the navy in November 1942 and served in the Pacific theater as a torpedo bomber pilot. On 14 November 1946, in Asbury Park, he married Jayne Walpole, a painter who later co-founded an art gallery. They had three daughters and one son. DeMatteo resumed his apprenticeship with his father and may have continued his studies at Columbia before being recalled to active duty with the navy during the Korean War. He was discharged in 1953.

Bill deMatteo, as he was usually known, visited the restored capital of colonial Virginia while he was still in the service and asked to see the silversmith's shop. Told that Colonial Williamsburg had none, he saw an opportunity for himself. Soon after deMatteo left the navy, he returned to Williamsburg and in July 1953 joined the staff as a silversmith. He created the entire silversmith program and was responsible for the James Geddy Silversmith's Shop, where he trained shopkeepers in interpreting craftsmanship to visitors, instructed and supervised apprentices in all kinds of metalworking, and handcrafted reproductions of eighteenth-century silver items for sale in the shop. DeMatteo also revived colonial silversmith James Craig's Williamsburg shop, "At the Sign of the Golden Ball." In January 1963 deMatteo was promoted to Staff Master Craftsman and Master Silversmith.

In accord with Colonial Williamsburg's motto - that the future may learn from the past - deMatteo spent much of his time in educational and advertising efforts. Working from a research report that Colonial Williamsburg staff member Thomas K. Bullock had prepared, in 1956 deMatteo published The Silversmith in Eighteenth-Century Williamsburg - An Account of his Life & Times, & of his Craft, a short history of silversmithing and techniques used in colonial days. DeMatteo also provided much of the information for a 1971 video program, Silversmith of Williamsburg, and the accompanying manual. In the film he demonstrated every stage of making an eighteenth-century silver coffeepot, beginning with receiving silver coins or scraps to be melted, discussing details of the commission with a customer, methods and design, and shaping the piece with his hammer and burnishing the completed coffeepot. In 1971 and 1972, deMatteo studied design, silversmithing, and methods at Sir John Cass Department of Art of the City London Polytechnic, and with professional London silversmiths; in 1975 he became the first American craftsman to be elected an honorary foreign associate of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, in London.

As his skill became apparent to staff and visitors, deMatteo received many requests to design and craft commemorative gifts. A town-crier's bell that he made for Colonial Williamsburg to present to Sir Winston Churchill in 1955 appeared in a picture of Churchill on the cover of Life magazine the following year. DeMatteo designed presentation pieces for the White House Correspondents' Association annual presentations to Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, Gerald R. Ford, and Jimmy Carter. He designed numerous handcrafted gifts for visiting presidents, queens, kings, and prime ministers, and the Department of State commissioned deMatteo to craft silver trays for presentation to Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin at the Camp David Accords in 1978.

For a commission from the American Telephone and Telegraph Company in 1976 in recognition of the centennial of Alexander Graham Bell's invention of the telephone, deMatteo produced an abstract silver piece, a departure from his colonial-style masterpieces, inscribed with Bell's first words transmitted over his telephone. Despite his finesse, he was a modest man who insisted that he was a craftsman, not an artist. DeMatteo was content to make beautiful utilitarian objects that he believed did not rise to the level of imagination and execution required of an artist. His devotion to excellence was acknowledged by the American Institute of Architects, which in 1960 gave him its craftsmanship medal for high achievement in industrial arts.

After twenty-six years with Colonial Williamsburg, in 1979 deMatteo left and moved with his family to Alexandria. Together with his son, Chip deMatteo, and Philip Thorp, a colleague at Colonial Williamsburg, he opened Hand & Hammer Silversmiths. DeMatteo continued to explore and extend his range beyond eighteenth-century forms. He was an affable man, noted for his disarming smile. He was an intense perfectionist who was deaf to his surroundings while sitting at his bench shaping precious metals with his hammer. He was also a resourceful artisan who was known to make his own hammers when he failed to find suitable ones in the market. DeMatteo once remarked that "being a silversmith is just a delightful, lovely way to go through life" and that while he was not fully satisfied with his silver work he was "very satisfied with the life I lead." William Lawrence deMatteo died of leukemia at an Alexandria hospital on 14 May 1988. His son, who continued to work at the Hand & Hammer Silversmiths, preserved his ashes.

Sources Consulted: Birth date in Social Security application, Social Security Administration, Office of Earnings Operations, Baltimore, Md.; unpublished brief biography (Mar. 1973), numerous press releases (1964 - 1977), and "At the Sign of the Golden Ball" announcement, ca. 1963 (first quotation), all Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Williamsburg, Va.; feature articles in Richmond Times-Dispatch, 2 Aug. 1957, and Wall Street Journal, 13 July 1973 (second quotation); family history information and marriage date confirmed by son, Chip deMatteo (2011, 2015); Philadelphia Inquirer, 7 Feb. 1960; Colonial Williamsburg News, 31 July 1979; obituaries in Newport News Daily Press, 15 May 1988 (incorrect age at death); Washington Post, 16 May 1988 (incorrect age at death); Richmond Times-Dispatch (incorrect age at death) and Richmond News Leader, both 17 May 1988, and obituary and editorial tribute in Williamsburg Virginia Gazette, 18 May 1988.

Image courtesy of Chip deMatteo.
Written by Lucy Southall Colebaugh.


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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 03-05-2017 06:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
1930 Census

William G Dematteo
United States Census, 1930
Name William G Dematteo
Event Type Census
Event Date 1930
Event Place Bergenfield, Bergen, New Jersey, United States
Gender Male
Age 35
Marital Status Married
Race White
Race (Original) White
Relationship to Head of Household Head
Relationship to Head of Household (Original) Head
Birth Year (Estimated) 1895
Birthplace Italy
Immigration Year 1908
Father's Birthplace Italy
Mother's Birthplace Italy
Sheet Letter B
Sheet Number 3

Household Role Sex Age Birthplace
William G Dematteo Head M 35 Italy
Elizabeth Dematteo Wife F 31 Connecticut
Margaret M Dematteo Daughter F 10 New York
William L Dematteo Son M 6 New York


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chicagosilver

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iconnumber posted 03-05-2017 08:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chicagosilver     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very cool, Scott

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Vetdaddy

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iconnumber posted 03-06-2017 09:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Vetdaddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great information- thanks Scott.

We came across a deMatteo 5 piece lily tea set last summer in a local antique shop. The dealer nor myself had any idea as to the maker or makers mark. He felt the set was Mexican, my eye told me otherwise. Was fortunate enough to pick the set up for a bit above melt. After an hour or so of research, I was surprised to learn the maker was deMatteo. Never paid much to Jensen style silver....but to sum it up....my wife states that this set will never leave the house. We did purchase the book "Jensen Silver- The American Designs" by Schiffer & Drucker. What a great reference with a wealth of information. Wishful thinking- someday we will stumble upon a tray to go with our set.

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asheland

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iconnumber posted 03-07-2017 10:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for asheland     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Vetdaddy I'd love to see a picture of that set!

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 03-07-2017 11:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I edited my 03-03-2017 04:17 PM (above) to include the video and a response.

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 03-07-2017 11:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The deM mark is William Lawrence deMatteo's mark.

I don't know the i●G mark. Does anyone?

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 03-07-2017 12:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Chip deMatteo, Hand & Hammer Silversmiths mark:

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 03-07-2017 01:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Might the i●G mark night have something to do with the James Geddy House?
    ".... Home used for foundry, gunsmith, and silversmith businesses ..."

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 03-07-2017 05:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

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chicagosilver

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iconnumber posted 03-07-2017 06:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chicagosilver     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
An interesting DeMatteo pitcher. The marks are: STERLING / HAND-HAMMERED / DEMATTEO and the wagon wheel.

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 03-07-2017 07:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Colonial Williamsburg video end credits spells it "deMatteo". The video title credits spells it "de Matteo".

Chip deMatteo spells it on his web site "deMatteo".

All over the Internet, from very knowledgeable sites, it is found spelled differently:

    "de Matteo"
    "De Matteo"
    "DeMatteo"

I suppose when William G. first came to America there was a space and perhaps immigration dropped the space.

For me, I will use deMatteo.

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Vetdaddy

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iconnumber posted 03-07-2017 08:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Vetdaddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Asheland- As requested, a photo of my set. Not getting along with my camera this evening so the photo is not the best. Seriously, I feel my cell phone takes better pictures.

[This message has been edited by Vetdaddy (edited 03-07-2017).]

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Vetdaddy

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iconnumber posted 03-07-2017 09:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Vetdaddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Chicagosilver- nice pitcher. As to dimensions, is that a creamer size or water pitcher size?

Since acquiring our deMatteo tea set, we began to pay more attention to mid-century craftsmen.
We followed the deMatteo find with a Randahl candelabra pair. Of all of our silver, the candelabras probably are used the most.

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asheland

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iconnumber posted 03-08-2017 11:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for asheland     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"The deM mark is William Lawrence deMatteo's mark."

That mark is used in the video from the 70's I posted. That must be the guy then. smile

Vetdaddy, awesome set!

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 03-08-2017 12:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

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chicagosilver

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iconnumber posted 03-08-2017 09:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chicagosilver     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Vetdaddy -- It's a water pitcher, 7" W and 9" H

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asheland

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iconnumber posted 03-09-2017 01:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for asheland     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's a great video, Silversmith of Williamsburg, showing virtually all aspects of hand making. He's quite the silversmith!

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 03-09-2017 03:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Scott Martin:
Might the i●G mark night have something to do with the James Geddy House?
    ".... Home used for foundry, gunsmith, and silversmith businesses ..."

At this time, I'm pretty sure the i●G mark is the indicator that an object was made in the Geddy Foundry. On the net, I have seen brass, pewter and silver objects from Colonial Williamsburg that bear the i●G mark. Often the pewter/brass also has the mark Berg which may be the craftsman Sven Berg.

pewter spoon

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Vetdaddy

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iconnumber posted 03-09-2017 10:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Vetdaddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ashland- Thanks for the link to the video. This is the most complete 'smithing video that I have seen.

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Polly

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iconnumber posted 03-10-2017 01:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That was a great video. What a cutie!

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asheland

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iconnumber posted 03-10-2017 03:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for asheland     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You're welcome, thanks to Scott for assisting with the link. That video is a big reason for my silver addiction! biggrin

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agleopar

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iconnumber posted 03-11-2017 11:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for agleopar     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ashland, thanks! Just watched the Williamburg video. I had seen it before and just have to say that it is a very accurate veiw of the work of a smith. Of corse today a gas torch, electric polisher and a few other time savers make this a little less like hard work. None the less the rest is just as seen here and deMatteo was a very fine smith.

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asheland

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iconnumber posted 03-13-2017 12:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for asheland     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You're welcome. I love that video. smile

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