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Author Topic:   Indian Trade Silver
labarbedor

Posts: 353
Registered: Jun 2002

iconnumber posted 03-12-2003 01:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for labarbedor     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I thought since there was so much discussion about Indian Trade silver some people might like to see a piece. This is a “Jesuit cross” “Croix de Lorraine” or ‘dragonfly”. Whatever you want to call it, it was made by Robert Cruickshank or at least came from his shop c. 1800. The trade with Native Americans was very important part of the silversmiths trade in Canada and most of the Mississippi Valley. An enormous amount of trade items were made, usually of coin silver as the Native Americans preferred high-grade silver. Unfortunately many of these pieces have been connected with the looting of Native American graves, and many spurious items have come on the market. Nearly all the examples I have seen are fakes, and even some of those displayed in Museums. I would be very careful buying any such items.

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wev
Moderator

Posts: 4095
Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 03-12-2003 04:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Lovely piece. As to quantity, Hamilton's Silver in the Fur Trade notes one order placed by the fur trader Angus Mackintosh with Cruickshank:
10 sets Gorgets
8 sets of Moons
16,000 small Brooches
5,000 large Brooches
8 large Armbands
150 Earwheels
30 large Crosses
15 Headbands
12 Hairpipes
3,000 pairs of Ear Bobs

What were the hallmark regulations for such goods? Was it required on for export only items?

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Stephen

Posts: 625
Registered: Jan 2003

iconnumber posted 03-12-2003 07:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Stephen     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cruickshank?

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wev
Moderator

Posts: 4095
Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 03-12-2003 08:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert Cruikshank, born about 1759, the son of Reverend George Cruickshank of Aberbrothock. Apprenticed to Alexander Johnson at London, 04 April 1759. Free by 09 April 1766 and mark entered at Goldsmith's Hall. He was well known for using the latest technology -- plate rolling machines, die stamping presses, etc -- to produce a prodigious amount of goods from toys to trade silver to tureens from his shop on Jewery Lane. He emplyed a large staff of journeymen and workers and trained at least 7 known apprentices. He died in 1809.

[This message has been edited by wev (edited 03-12-2003).]

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labarbedor

Posts: 353
Registered: Jun 2002

iconnumber posted 03-12-2003 11:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for labarbedor     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to Langdon, Robert Cruickshank worked in England then arrived in Boston around 1767 then in Montreal around 1773. He worked and married there and finally died on a voyage in 1809. Kane's book says there was an Alexander Crouckshanks in Boston ca. 1768 and doesn't mention Robert Cruickshanks. I have more faith in her than in Langdon.

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wev
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Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 03-12-2003 11:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And Jackson's records a maker's mark recorded for Cruickshank in 1773, with a piece so marked and dated 1781 in the author's collection.

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vathek

Posts: 962
Registered: Jun 99

iconnumber posted 03-13-2003 08:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for vathek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I remember seeing a similar item on antiques roadshow. Certainly there would have been no hallmark regs on pieces made in the US, I'm not sure about Canada.

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labarbedor

Posts: 353
Registered: Jun 2002

iconnumber posted 03-13-2003 09:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for labarbedor     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As far as marking regulations in Canada, there were none that I know of. The majority of Indian Trade silver was small and unmarked. Most marked pieces are from a few of the big producers, ie. Cruickshank or the Arnoldis. A lot of the phonies can be recognized by the marks, either clumsy reproductions or completely made up makers.

As far as Cruickshank's amazing ability to be in two places at once. I can easily accept the 1773 date since, as I said, I doubt his presence in Boston before that date. The 1781 date would be more of a problem. He could have briefly returned to England (since at the time I think he was in partnership with the Arnoldis) or his shop (in England) could be continuing in his abscence under an associate or journeyman, Jackson could be mistaken or hey maybe Cruickshank discovered a "beam me up Scotty" transporter. Got me.

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