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Author Topic:   FG mark
Fitzhugh

Posts: 136
Registered: Jan 2002

iconnumber posted 02-23-2004 07:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fitzhugh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Can anyone help me identifiy an "F . G" mark? I'll get some photos later, but it's on a spoon that surfaced in Virginia, and seems to date to the late 18th century. The letters are separated by a pellet. I see nothing in my Virginia silver books. Any ideas? Thanks.

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wev
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Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 02-23-2004 09:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is this the mark?

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Fitzhugh

Posts: 136
Registered: Jan 2002

iconnumber posted 02-23-2004 11:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fitzhugh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is the mark. Hopefully someone will have an idea.

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Fitzhugh

Posts: 136
Registered: Jan 2002

iconnumber posted 02-27-2004 07:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fitzhugh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Someone e-mailed me to say they thought this was European, but there are no other hallmarks to indicate this, and the form was very American, and quite Southern to my eye. I feel sure this is American.

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Fitzhugh

Posts: 136
Registered: Jan 2002

iconnumber posted 02-27-2004 08:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fitzhugh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ok, fellow scholars, ponder this. In Cutten's book on Virginia silver, he mentions a "Mr. Graham" as a Portsmouth smith at least in 1803. I find a Francis Graham included on the Norfolk County Virginia tax list. Does anyone know if this might be the same man? That's purely conjecture, but still worth ruling out.

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Fitzhugh

Posts: 136
Registered: Jan 2002

iconnumber posted 03-11-2004 01:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fitzhugh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's been suggested that Francis Gottier is a strong possibility. No other smiths come close in date, and no Gottier mark has been documented. Comments appreciated.

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swarter
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Posts: 2920
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 03-11-2004 02:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A couple of us discussed this spoon and its mark when it first appeared - we had no idea whose mark it was - only whose it wasn't (the seller's suggestion was incorrect, as you evidently know). I don't remember too much about it now, except that I did question whether it might be other than American, as it was fairly generic in form. Pictures would help - if you have none of your own, you could be entitled to use the posted ones if they are still available, as it would appear that you now own that spoon.

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wev
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Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 03-11-2004 03:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here are the spoons

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swarter
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Posts: 2920
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 03-11-2004 11:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I finally located the offering illustratted. Evidently I mistakenly assumed the spoon in question was one of those offered in that lot. If there is only one spoon, as the original question implies, then perhaps it is not one of these six, only having a similar or same mark. If so, it would help to have pictures of the spoon in question, and the mark on it.

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Fitzhugh

Posts: 136
Registered: Jan 2002

iconnumber posted 03-12-2004 08:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fitzhugh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You were correct, William, it's one of six, as you've posted in the photos. Thanks.

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swarter
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Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 03-12-2004 12:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, that is settled. Certainly these spoons could be American, but they could just as easily be Scottish provincial - in fact that was my first thought when I first saw them, but I had no better luck in finding the mark in that literature. The punch has more of a "European feel" to it (for whatever that is worth), which may have been the genesis of the email to that effect.

The original seller had attributed them to one Francis Garden, who was an engraver not known to be a silversmith c. 1750, on the basis of a very different FG mark in the Heritage Foundation collectin. Spoons with the latter mark that I have seen are too late to have been made in that period, as are these, and I understand that the attribution of the original mark to Garden has been withdrawn. It is also my understanding that inquiries on the present mark made to a couple of the larger American museum collections came up empty. Unless someone can supply an identification from some other source, I am afraid that this one will join the large number of as yet unidentified initial marks found on American spoons (and spoons that look American).

Parenthetically, it is always advisable when purchasing American silver to inquire for any provenance there msy be, as that may provide the only clue to the origin of items that have unrecognized marks and no obvious regional peculiarities.

[This message has been edited by swarter (edited 03-12-2004).]

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