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tlineopen  American Silver before sterling
tline3open  Phila. Spoon ?

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Author Topic:   Phila. Spoon ?
G.MANN

Posts: 17
Registered: Feb 2001

iconnumber posted 12-05-2002 07:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for G.MANN     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If only there was a good reference for Phila/Pa silver.So I'm calling on your expertise to help me identify the maker of this 5" birdback spoon, marked "IM"It is similar to Joseph Moulton III, but no one I have talked to with good Newburyport knowledge believes a birdback was crafted there.Thank you for your help.


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Brent

Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 12-05-2002 09:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi,

I actually have an almost identical spoon, save for the monogram. Your bird is a bit better than mine.

I have narrowed my thoughts down to two possibilities: John McMullin, of Philadelphia, or John Murdock (or Murdoch) of Philadelphia and New Jersey. I am leaning towards Mr. Murdock, mainly because I grew up in south Jersey and he is the only early silversmith of note from that part of the state. The book "Silversmiths of New Jersey" illustrates a Murdock spoon with both an IM mark and a full name mark; unfortunately, the illustration is so poor I can't be certain that it matches the one in question. I do know that some initial marks I have seen attributed to McMullin are different from this one.

I hope this helps. Can anyone else shed some light on the subject?

Brent

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FredZ

Posts: 1069
Registered: Jun 99

iconnumber posted 12-06-2002 07:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FredZ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Winterthur booklet "Flights of Fancy" provides a list of known makers of birdback decorated spoons.

John Murdock, Phila.
John Myers, Phila.
John McMullen, Phila.

Perhaps Winterthur could match the bird with the maker they believe used this specific die.

I only wish that Winterthur had printed the examples of each spoon in their booklet. It would have given us this valuable resource and would have been an interesting study in style of bird decoration by region and dates. Brent could you post an image of your spoon as well? Perhaps your design will show different detail that will help id the maker.

I love birdback spoons and all decorated bowl spoons.

[This message has been edited by FredZ (edited 12-06-2002).]

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G.MANN

Posts: 17
Registered: Feb 2001

iconnumber posted 03-19-2003 09:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for G.MANN     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I e-mailed with photos to Winterthur twice, and never received a reply or acknowledgement that they received my communication. I also have "Flights of Fancy", and note its shortcomings. At this point, I am going with John Mc Mullen, Philadelphia silversmith, but.....Thank you for your interest........G.MANN

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TGS

Posts: 31
Registered: Sep 99

iconnumber posted 03-20-2003 02:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for TGS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would just like to comment that it is beyond me why they didn't add mark photos to the Flights of Fancy book...especially since it was to be sold.

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Brent

Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 03-20-2003 07:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
FYI,

I was able to see the exhibit at Winterthur, and wrote up my impressions as a topic in the Silver Events & Exhibitions Forum. If you do a search you should be able to find it; it was a few years ago, though. I noted the inadequacies of both the show and the catalog, if I remember correctly.

As for linking a specific bird to a particular maker, there are in fact instances of the same bird on spoons with the marks of different makers. I suspect that silversmiths often purchased silver and services from one another, and the dies may even have been shared around the close-knit silversmithing community.

In the meantime, I see I still owe some pictures of my spoon. Coming up soon!

Brent

[This message has been edited by Brent (edited 03-20-2003).]

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Brent

Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 03-31-2003 12:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote


Well, here is my spoon, at long last.

Brent

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