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tline3open  Punch strainer

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Author Topic:   Punch strainer
ahwt

Posts: 2243
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 06-12-2005 05:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote



Here is a nice little punch strainer that turned up at an antique show this weekend. No makers mark, but it could very well be an example of colonial American silver. The distance across to the ends of each handle is only six inches and the bowl is about 3 inches in diameter. Some handles from some early New York pieces have hearts and circles; however the pictures I have seen of them would indicate that they are often more sophisticated or complex. The band around the outside of the bowl appears to be made of three silver wires separately applied. The number on the bottom (1 18) may be a weight number as there is no indication of any missing numbers.

In another thread there was some discussion of dating by the style of monogram. Here the style of engraving the initials M*M and the uncomplicated style may be a good indication of an early work.

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Brent

Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 06-13-2005 08:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A neat item! It certainly looks like an authentic piece of 18th C silver, regardless of origin.

Thanks for sharing!

Brent

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swarter
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Posts: 2920
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 06-13-2005 01:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
An almost identical example, slightly smaller (2 3/4 in bowl) is shown by Michael Clayton, fig. 389c in The Collector's Dictionary of the Silver and Gold of Great Britain and North America as a pre-Queen Anne period orange strainer, hallmarked for 1686, maker's mark indistinct, assay office not mentioned.

Unlikely that yours is American - the crudeness suggests that it might be provincial, apprentice made, or otherwise not by a trained silversmith, but a nice early find, nonetheless. The engraving is certainly consistent with styles of the late 17th and early 18th Century period when this was likely made.

[This message has been edited by swarter (edited 06-13-2005).]

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ahwt

Posts: 2243
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 06-13-2005 11:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you for the reference to Michael Clayton's book. I will put that on my list of books to get. I will also try this strainer with some oranges and that may be the first time in many years that it was used for that purpose.

Some provincial craftsmen, whether they were silversmiths, furniture makers or artists, had a knack for taking existing designs and adding or changing something to make their interpretation exciting. The open ended hearts leading to the circles may or may not be symbolic, but they do create a joyful feeling.

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ahwt

Posts: 2243
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 06-18-2005 03:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Michael Clayton's book came today and the orange strainer shown in figure 389c certainly does bear a striking likeness to the one engraved M*M. It would be interesting to know what was engraved on the strainer from 1686. It would be speculation and an undo stretch to say they were both from the same maker, but whoever the silversmiths were most likely derived their work from the same design source. My wife feels that they may have been wedding presents, with the stylized figures surrounding the heart representing the love of a husband and wife and the circle representing their life together. This same design could well have appeared in other objects or drawings from that era and was chosen by the silversmiths for use in their work.

Thanks again Swarter for pointing out Michael Clayton's book. The book is one I have not seen before, but by just a brief look appears to be a valuable resource for identifying style by time periods. Thanks again.

Is there someway to transfer this over to the British section?
Art

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ahwt

Posts: 2243
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 05-14-2021 10:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The May/June issue of Silver Magazine has a very small advertisement for a new book entitled “Silver Lemon Strainers 1686-1846” by Michael Adams. I ordered it and it came today. I think anyone with even a little interest in strainers would find this book a most enjoyable read. It is always amazing to me what a focused and dedicated researcher/collector can do in their studies. This is a good example of such a work.



Mr. Adams has a portion of the book devoted to what I would consider a general essay on what lemon strainers are all about. He also offers some sage advice on value and price and as shown above where to look for strainers.

I think here he was referring to my post above from 2005 where he indicated “one lucky fellow” found a strainer at an antique show. To set the record straight it was at the old Lakewood show in Atlanta and the dealer I went to was not a silver dealer but simply a dealer with a “good eye”. It was a rare weekend that I did not find something wonderful from this dealer.

As shown below, Mr. Adams shows two examples of in the same style as the strainer I brought. These are marked for London silversmiths. The one I have is not marked, but one must remember if it had been marked with the full English markings it would not have been at this flea market show.



[This message has been edited by Scott Martin (edited 05-14-2021).]

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Silverpath

Posts: 44
Registered: Jun 2020

iconnumber posted 05-15-2021 01:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Silverpath     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very interesting post! My copy of Silver Mag is running late. Thanks to you I ordered the book today.

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ahwt

Posts: 2243
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 05-15-2021 02:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think you will like it. I have another strainer that I can not make out the marks, but based on Mr. Adams review of hole designs it appears to be from Scotland.

My strainer is now 58 grams and if I did the math right it weighed 59.09 grams when it was purchased. I think Troy ounces were used back when this was made so it lost a little over one gram.

[This message has been edited by ahwt (edited 05-15-2021).]

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ahwt

Posts: 2243
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 05-26-2021 07:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This lemon strainer has not been used for many, many years and most likely never in such a humble environment with such a modest cup.
Nevertheless, it works and helped me keep the lemon seeds out of a BBQ sauce I made for some smoked chicken.

The lemon juice must be just viscous enough to resist going through the holes. However, with a little tap all the juice flowed through and the seeds remained.

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Silverpath

Posts: 44
Registered: Jun 2020

iconnumber posted 05-27-2021 10:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Silverpath     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice that your lemon strainer is back in service!
I did enjoy Mr Adams' scholarly and detailed Lemon Strainer book. Beautiful pierced work on many of the examples.

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