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tlineopen  American Silver before sterling
tline3open  Demilt

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Author Topic:   Demilt

Posts: 1629
Registered: Nov 99

iconnumber posted 10-30-2008 04:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just bought a Demilt salt spoon that got me looking into the Demilts a little. Obviously, the first place to look
is Wev's American Silversmiths Family Tree, and occasionally there is some information that he has not yet
gathered or updated. Here is some of what was available on them:

In the Manhattan 1829-30 City directory, Benjamin and Samuel Demilt are watchmakers at 239 Pearl.

Benjamin Demilt appears often in the Minutes of the Common Council of the city of New York from 1801 to 1820 concerning
fire engine company assignments and the office of regulator of public clocks. Samuel and Thomas were also involved with the fire department.
(It seems most of the responsible and able merchants did their part in support of the fire engine companies).

Benjamin and Samuel are also listed in the New York Genealogical Records for New York City from 1815 to 1835 as a watchmakers, and Thomas is listed in 1815 as a watchmaker.

Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy. Vol. III: (New York Monthly Meetings) has the following for the death dates of these Demilts: Benjamin born New York died 4-2-1835 age 55
Samuel born New York died 5-23-1845 age 58
Thomas born New York died 3-25 1816 age 48

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iconnumber posted 01-24-2015 11:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's a pair of Demilt tongs I just bought (I love the current low melt price of silver!).

It's marked DEMILT and also B. Has anyone ever seen that B on a Demilt piece before? I'm speculating that it's Benjamin's, to distinguish the brothers, but I have zero evidence for that.

Apparently Benjamin and Samuel made an astronomical clock (with an extra pendulum and a case), three box chronometers, and a watch for the United States South Seas Exploring Expedition of 1838-1842. Here's Benjamin in 1829 testifying that they really, truly did make these instruments for the Navy

Here are my tongs:

Monogram TH or HT, I think:

Mark, with the B:

My guess, based on the shape of the arms, is that these were made c. 1820s-30s, but before 1835, when Benjamin died. Anyone agree or disagree?

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Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 01-24-2015 04:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
McGrew shows the same mark combination, attributing the B to a shop journeyman, which is as likely as not.

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Posts: 1970
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iconnumber posted 01-25-2015 10:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, Wev. I guess the masters were busy building chronometers for the Navy!

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