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wev
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Posts: 4095
Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 06-20-2004 05:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From a recently closed auction comes this very interesting mark of a hot air balloon on a typical 1850s Ohio spoon:

The maker/retailer is Henry Ralph Holman. He worked first (?) in Cincinnati, c 1855-1858, then Kansas City, c 1859-1862, and Denver, c 1865-1880.

I know Cincinnati now hosts a yearly air regatta, but I wonder how old the tradition is? Was this a commemorative first-flight mark? Or done for a private club of early enthusiasts? Whatever the story, it's very cool.

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labarbedor

Posts: 353
Registered: Jun 2002

iconnumber posted 06-20-2004 08:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for labarbedor     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Betty Beckman, my aunt, wrote in her book on Cincinnati silversmiths about Richard Clayton. This silversmith made at least 28 "Aerial Voyages" in balloons. When I was advising someone on this spoon, I checked the book as I thought the gondola was very oddly shaped, but looked familiar. Sure enough the gondola was shaped the same as those used in Clayton's add. I am no expert on balloons, or gondolas for that matter, but it would be interesting to see if there is a tie between this mark and Clayton. I have had several pieces of Clayton silver but none with a similar mark, but he did regularly use balloons in his advertisements. In any case it is a great mark, and the purchaser was very lucky the rest of the world was asleep.

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bascall

Posts: 1626
Registered: Nov 99

iconnumber posted 11-17-2008 02:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Henry R Holman is listed in Denver directories in 1881, 2 and 3 and possibly beyond. In 1885 he is in the Iowa State Census in Sioux City. In 1890 he is listed as a jeweler under the business name W H (William H) Beck. He continues to be listed in Sioux City census's through 1910.

His mark has to be one of the most interesting ever.

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bascall

Posts: 1626
Registered: Nov 99

iconnumber posted 05-03-2018 05:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's a link to an article that also supports the balloon mark belong to Richard Clayton: . PDF

Richard Clayton was born in England in 1806 and died in Brooklyn, New York in 1877.

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ahwt

Posts: 2173
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 05-06-2018 10:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the link to more information about Richard Clayton.
Amy Dehan in her book on Cincinnati Silver shows the hot air balloon mark used on Holman silver, but did not attribute it to a specific silversmith. She thinks it is an yet to be identified silver manufacturer's mark. Neither Holman or Clayton were silver manufacturers according to Dehan and I guess that is one reason why she was reluctant to make a firm connection with Clayton.

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avalata

Posts: 58
Registered: Feb 2003

iconnumber posted 10-12-2019 08:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for avalata     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mr. Holman was a known balloonist at least by his Kansas City days, and there are contemporary newspaper accounts of some of his ascents. He had at least one balloon built at his own expense, as was described in an 1868 newspaper account. Another account of one of his ascents was published in 1863.

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avalata

Posts: 58
Registered: Feb 2003

iconnumber posted 10-12-2019 08:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for avalata     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It should also be noted that he was still listed as being in Kansas City in 1869, so there may be conflicting accounts if he was supposed to be in Denver by that point.

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