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tline3open  davis & moron?

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Author Topic:   davis & moron?
vathek

Posts: 962
Registered: Jun 99

iconnumber posted 02-27-2004 01:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for vathek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is from the back of a coffin-ended coin spoon. The last O in Moron looks like a U in the photo, but it is an O. There may be a rubbed letter at the end. Can't find anything close in Belden or Kovel, but can at least date it to c. 1800. Any ideas? thanks.

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wev
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Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 02-27-2004 02:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The partnership was Thomas Aspinwall Davis and Thomas N. Morong, listed in the Boston Directory for 1820. Though your spoon would seem to indicate an earlier date, Davis was born in 1798 and the partnership c 1820 was at the beginning of his career. Possibly it was a replacement, or old goods bought in and re-sold.

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vathek

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Registered: Jun 99

iconnumber posted 02-28-2004 08:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for vathek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks wev, maybe you could write a book? I wouldn't think someone would want a replacement of a coffin ended spoon made that late - just goes to show how many variables there are in the history of silver.

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swarter
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Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 02-28-2004 12:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Actually, since this spoon appears to be a "coffin fiddle," rather than the original "coffin handle" or "coffin-end Old English," it still could be correct (although on the late side) for the period. Even though both styles were relatively short lived, the modified fiddle appeared somewhat later (probably sometime during the second half of the first decade of the Century) than the modified Old English (which first appeared no later than 1800).

It is often easier to pinpoint the appeararance of a style(because none were found before a certain date) than its disappearance (because demand for it usually tapers off more gradually, and can reoccur at any time).

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wev
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iconnumber posted 02-28-2004 01:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree; end dates can be very fuzzy and very regional.

It might be appropriate to add a word of caution as well, though not specific to this case. I have seen many late coffin fiddles that owe their form to a file-weilding collector or dealer rather than the original maker. It is an easy alteration to make and the increased rarity/valuation makes it tempting. Luckily, most who do it seem to have a very bad eye for proportion and balance.

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swarter
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iconnumber posted 02-28-2004 02:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Luckily, most who do it seem to have a very bad eye for proportion and balance.

They also tend to be sloppy, leaving file marks that can be detected under magnification, or by running a fingernail along the edge, although these are harder to detect than on fiddles that have been modified to "Old English", as the thickness of a fiddle is less (flatter) towards the end of the handle. They may also have been heavily buffed, in an attempt to smooth off the roughness left by the file. I, too, have seen a number of once nice pieces ruined this way.

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Brent

Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 02-28-2004 06:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On another note, I was wondering if Davis & Morong got along very well. Maybe the missing "g" was an editorial comment. biggrin

Brent

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Brent

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iconnumber posted 03-18-2004 10:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Trefid sends along this interesting coffin-end piece, made during the mid 19th C by Butler & McCarty of Philadelphia. It was likely made as a replacement or fill-in piece for an existing set of coffin-end spoons.

Brent

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wev
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iconnumber posted 03-18-2004 10:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I posted another by the same maker in the discussion of the cheveron/horsehead maker: maker query - horsehead

Perhaps this was a stock pattern for the company, a revival from earlier days?

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