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tlineopen  American Silver before sterling
tline3open  Unknown hallmarks

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Author Topic:   Unknown hallmarks
Eddie E
iconnumber posted 02-09-2004 06:01 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was hoping that someone would be able to assist in the identification of some hallmarks. I unfortunately don't have a camera that will take clear pictures so I will describe the hallmarks. Tablespoons fiddle and shell design approximately 8.5" in length. Five hallmarks as follows reading from left to right: lion walking to the right, Georgian duty head mark, letter "C", H&N (in rectangular punch), B.W (also in a rectangular punch). I thought possibly 19th C Canadian? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


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iconnumber posted 02-10-2004 12:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This exact set of marks is shown in Belden for the New York firm of Hyde & Nevins (w. 1814-1819). They were retailers, so the B.W. mark is probably that of the maker, who was listed as unidentified in the book, but may have been Bernard Wenman (w. 1789 - 1835).

[This message has been edited by swarter (edited 02-10-2004).]

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Eddie E
iconnumber posted 02-10-2004 08:31 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the identification and quick reply! One additional question which I forgot to add to the original text. The tablespoons weigh approximately 62 grams each. At this weight would you think them to be sterling or coin silver? I've not handled alot of coin silver but this does seem heavy for coin silver. Thoughts or insights?


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iconnumber posted 02-10-2004 08:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FredZ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Weight is a poor indicator that the metal used in making an object is coin or sterling. Two identical spoons made of each alloy would show no noticeable difference in weight. I have a spoon made by Jonathan Otis that is massive and every bit as heavy as any English Sterling spoon of the same period.
The lighter weight coin silver spoons of some of the mid 19th century were a matter of economy, competition, and frugality by the maker and the client requesting the spoons. The alloy should not be a concern when collecting early American silver or even any early silver. The craftsmanship and rarity are qualities I search for. Condition is of great importance as well.


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