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tline3open  Joseph Richardson

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Author Topic:   Joseph Richardson
Mefecit@aol.com
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iconnumber posted 03-07-2004 11:23 AM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello:

I am a metalsmith in Shepherdstown WV. One of my clients has a "peace medal" made for the Treaty of Greenville in 1795. The form is a gorget or "lunette" with chased and engraved designs and a makers mark of "JR" in an oval. The 1795 date would make Joseph Richardson in Philadelphia the maker. There are some things that are not "right" about this piece, including the mark. My books have drawings, not photos, of the mark, and the form of letter is not a match to any of the listed ones. So do you have a good high res photo of a Richardson mark?
Thanks!
Daniel Tokar

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wev
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iconnumber posted 03-07-2004 11:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Both made trade and Indian pieces; both have been forged for many years. Some are quite sophisticated; some ludicrous. Can you post images of the piece and its mark?

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swarter
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Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 03-07-2004 12:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It would be helpful if you could obtain and post photographs of the medal and the mark.

Although the corners of a worn rectangle could be rounded to some degree, I am aware of no published photos of a Joseph Jr. mark in a truly oval reserve - all that I know of are rectangular, and his letter forms are quite consistent. Joseph Jr. apparently made quite a number of these medals; Richardson marks have been forged, and there are also spurious medals known - Martha Gandy Fales illustrates two genuine Richardson medals of different design, plus one forgery in her Early American Silver, along with her discussion of forgeries in American silver, which should be required reading for all dealers and collectors.

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labarbedor

Posts: 353
Registered: Jun 2002

iconnumber posted 03-08-2004 11:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for labarbedor     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I hope you know that the vast majority of these Indian Trade pieces are fake, especially Richardson pieces, even some in museums. The odds against it being real are about 1 in 100,000, about the differnce in value between a fake and a real one.

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Mefecit@aol.com
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iconnumber posted 03-09-2004 05:25 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello again:

Back with some scans of the peace medal. The list of things I found odd about this piece are:

  1. The holes are drilled , not punched and show sharp unworn edges.

  2. The pitting is not like anything I have seen on silver. The texture on the opposite side from the makers mark is almost like small pits.

  3. The Punch scar on the other side of the makers mark is very textured and shows no wear even though raised, like the punch was applied while the silver was on a very dirty surface.

  4. Chased and engraved designs do have a tiny bit of pitting in the grooves, but nothing like the surface.

What I have been asked to do is find out if this is "real," and I just have not seen that much "Trade silver." Ideas?

Thanks for the help,
Daniel Tokar

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swarter
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Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 03-09-2004 06:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is a gorget, intended to be worn around the neck, and not a peace medal. The mark is not that of Richardson, and does not look genuine. The lettering does not look "period," and the treaty was signed at Grenville, not Greenville. If the gorget itself is not genuine, as I suspect, then the surface has been artificially aged and the pitting is an attempt to simulate corrosion and make it look as if it had been dug up after being buried for some time.

[This message has been edited by swarter (edited 03-09-2004).]

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labarbedor

Posts: 353
Registered: Jun 2002

iconnumber posted 03-10-2004 12:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for labarbedor     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I take no pleasure in this, but honesty is the best policy. Swarter is right as usual (or maybe always). I am 56 years old, and I guarantee I am older than this gorget. The shape, engraving, mark, etc are all wrong.
I would like to suggest something to everyone. About 25 years ago I started to point out what was wrong with these fakes. I no longer do that. I started finding the mistakes were being corrected. This is a public forum, even fakers can find it. I made a very bad fake as an experiment 15 years ago, everyone I showed it to thought it was real. The problem is that in 50 years or less, the fakes will be great and probably be accepted as part of history. Already the books on this subject show fake marks as real.

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Patrick Vyvyan

Posts: 640
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 03-10-2004 10:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Patrick Vyvyan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wasn't the phrase "Let us have peace", in an American historical context, coined by Ulysses Grant when accepting the Republican presidential nomination?

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Mefecit@aol.com
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iconnumber posted 03-11-2004 07:16 AM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the all the help!

I had very little hope that this was "right". It is far outside my normal work , so having people with good "eyes" for this period is great!

Daniel Tokar

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Scott Martin
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Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 03-11-2004 10:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Daniel,

Welcome to the forums. This was a great post/thread. Thank you.

Being a silversmith I am sure you see fair amount of interesting and unusual things. If your time permits I would like to suggest that you become a member of the Silver Salon Forums ( Register by clicking here) and to share with us the more interesting. Also

We look forward to your future posts.

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