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tline3open  Seeking to verify "Sayre & Richards" hallmark.

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Author Topic:   Seeking to verify "Sayre & Richards" hallmark.
jim klopfer

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Registered: Jun 2008

iconnumber posted 06-09-2008 05:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jim klopfer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
[26-1671]

I am posting my first question to S M P Silver Salon Forums.

I have collected nutmeg graters for 35 years and have special interest for American silver examples.

Many silver nutmeg graters were never marked and I am in question of my recent acquisition by "Sayer & Richards" of NYC 1800 ~ 1813. Although I do NOT question the age of this small silver nutmeg grater, my concern is that the maker’s mark is unlike any other hallmark that I have seen and that under magnification, it seems that the bedding (back portion) of the mark consists of parallel vertical (cut??) lines rather than “??stamped??”[SEE image #1 & #3].

Why would there be parallel lines?
Why is there a halo line (mark) above the hallmark?[SEE image #3]. There also is a non-alignment of the features within the mark; is this due to a double stamping with the marking tool?[SEE all images, but seen best in Image #2].

I seek to verify the mark as genuinely that of “Sayre & Richards” and would welcome any suggestions how I might do this.

Thanks
Jim K.

P.S. I have added a fourth image containing known "Sayre & Richards" hallmarks from three public sources.

P.P.S. I HAVE ADDED A FIFTH IMAGE OF THE NUTMEG GRATER. I have no question regarding the age of this item. The opposing hinges making the lids open in opposite directions is a rather unusual feature. Construction methods are first half nineteenth century, most likely first quarter: 1800 ~ 1825.

[CLOSED MEASURES 1 1/4" LONG / 1" DIAM.]

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wev
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iconnumber posted 06-09-2008 08:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hmmmm.

The typeface used in the mark is very close to Century Schoolbook designed by Benton for Collier's Magazine in 1890. It is not at all what I would expect to see -- in terms of letterform -- in a punch cut c 1805, when most all were based on some variant of Caslon, Baskerville, or Bodoni. I am also disturbed by the inconsistency of the double strike -- the shift of the oval is not nearly enough to account for the large shift of the & and R. And where is the remnants of the first S?

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jim klopfer

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iconnumber posted 06-09-2008 10:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jim klopfer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you for your thoughts. I added an additional image containing three known "sayre & Richards" hallmarks from publically available sources. The lettering is very similar, but not exact. Note image #2; the tail of the "R" turns up. Did early silversmiths have several hallmarking tools, so that the marks vary??? Jim K

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wev
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iconnumber posted 06-09-2008 10:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What is the attribution authority for the second of your three additional marks?

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jim klopfer

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iconnumber posted 06-09-2008 11:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jim klopfer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The image was taken from "Sayre & Richards Coin Silver Porringer; [online auction]; sale date ended date May 23, 2008. This item should remain viewable as of this posting for some EXCELLENT photos of a beautiful porringer under "find item" by entering the item number.
quote:
200224480022
SAYRE & RICHARDS Coin Silver PORRINGER

This Early American coin silver porringer is a fine example of this classic form. Made by the partnership of John Sayre and Thomas Richards of New York City, it measures approximately 4-1/8" in diameter and is about 1-1/2" tall. The key hole handle is typical of the American form and is marked on the back S & R in a rounded rectangular punch. There is a feather script monogram G B W on the front of the handle and a later presentation inscription Francis Philip Nash August 14th on the front of the bowl. This porringer is in excellent condition with no dents or apparent repairs. Early Sayre family coin silver is always very collectible, and this porringer will make an excellent addition to any collection of early Sayre family silver!


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swarter
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iconnumber posted 06-09-2008 11:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't know what to make of the mark on the grater, either - it is hard to intterpret from photographs alone. As far as the ebay porringer is concerned, the fact that it did not receive any bids at that reasonable price might tell you something (unless it is just a reflection of today's economy).

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ahwt

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iconnumber posted 06-10-2008 12:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Above is the mark from Belden for Sayre and Richards which I think is the same as your first mark. I think the ovals are different in height from the one on your mark your letters appear to me to be thicker in the middle portions.

Would it be possible to see the grater?

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wev
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iconnumber posted 06-10-2008 01:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
re the [auction] item, Francis Philip Nash was born in February of 1897; the other monogram is not readable enough to trace reliably, though the GBW is certainly not correct -- it is more likely GBFN.

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 06-10-2008 08:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was wondering if any of our silversmith members have seen this post? I don't know but something suggests that the porringer was made using techniques not really used until well after 1813.

Any thoughts?




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agleopar

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iconnumber posted 06-10-2008 09:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for agleopar     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
“Under magnification, it seems that the bedding (back portion) of the mark consists of parallel vertical (cut??) lines rather than “??stamped??”[SEE image #1 & #3]. Why would there be parallel lines? Why is there a halo line (mark) above the hallmark?[SEE image #3]. There also is a non-alignment of the features within the mark; is this due to a double stamping with the marking tool?[SEE all images, but seen best in Image #2].”

The back ground of the punch is the surface that the letters are cut into on the punch and usually it is polished flat but some times it is left with file marks that would give the parallel lines. It seems though that another possibility is that the area where the mark is was filed very roughly and it was marked over the file marks, which did not disappear but remained (in line with the file marks out side the punched area.

The halo could be evidence of a double strike like in image #2.

I feel that from what I can tell from the images (and I can’t tell that much) that there is nothing out of the ordinary with any of them. It seems that often the simple realities of physical work are confused by folks who have never seen it done. By that I mean that it is not rocket science but if one has not seen it it tends to be over analyzed.

The question of thick vs. thin letters is a great example – the same punch struck lightly or heavily and then the struck mark is hammered either lightly or heavily and then polished lightly or...and throw in 200 years of wear, you get 6 different looking marks (thin, fat, full, flat letters etc.). Throw in double strikes (very easy to do) and also maybe there is more than one punch in the workshop...

Yes fake punches can be made but is this so valuable that one would go to the time, trouble and expense? One last thing is that different levels of work were done at different times and a smith in NYC being paid top dollar might have more resources to have more punches and do better work than his provincial peers.

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 06-10-2008 10:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
agleopar,

Thanks for a silversmith's view about the mark. What about the porringer itself -- post 1813 work?

As to why go to the trouble of making up such a die? There is a lot of unmarked coin silver around but if the unmarked silver were struck with such an early mark then the silver could become worth 10 to 100+ times more then an unmarked piece.

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FWG

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iconnumber posted 06-10-2008 11:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FWG     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As I've mentioned before, there was a table-full - literally - of faked Michael Shaver silver floating around in the Virginia - North Carolina - Kentucky area some years back. Apparently someone either found his punch or made a decent copy of it and marked everything they could find, from correct period spoons to spun holloware. I personally only saw a few such pieces, but had the account of a table-full from several reliable sources. So yes, I'd say once one has or has made a suitable punch it's likely to be used over and over.

Should've added, I'm not asserting there's anything wrong with these pieces, just pointing out a case in which there was....

[This message has been edited by FWG (edited 06-10-2008).]

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Paul Lemieux

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iconnumber posted 06-10-2008 02:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
jim klopfer, will you please post a picture of your nutmeg grater? I am sure I am not the only one who is curious to see what it looks like. Thanks.

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jim klopfer

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Registered: Jun 2008

iconnumber posted 06-10-2008 10:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jim klopfer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you to agleopar, this information is very useful and targeted the exact nature of my concerns.

So; Scott martin; What is wrong with the porringer to make it not be of the period 1800 ~ 1813? Just wondering.

[This message has been edited by jim klopfer (edited 06-10-2008).]

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wev
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iconnumber posted 06-11-2008 01:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm sorry, but I thought we were talking about your grater -- or do you have some vested interest in the porringer, as well?

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silverhunter

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iconnumber posted 06-11-2008 02:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for silverhunter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've learned that even a handle has a special name "key hole handle"(good to know).

When I saw the initials into the porringer I doubt to see two initials for two names, like BDR and GTR and a lot of scratches between these letters.The one who did made these ones was no expert. Because the porringer is so extremely in good condition I have my doubt about his age. The key hole handle and the bowl of the porringer gives to me a reaction that it isn't a totally silver object, but a silvered or re-silvered porringer.

I good be wrong but that's my opinion.

It was a interesting reaction Agleopar my compliment and FWG also thanks for reaction good to know all the facts.

I shouldn't buy this one thinking about is it a real one?

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silverhunter

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iconnumber posted 06-11-2008 03:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for silverhunter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just forgot to show a pattern which was made around 1900 in Holland, only for to give a indication about another pattern, perhaps the pattern also changed into the U.S.A seeing the showed pattern in the topic.

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bascall

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iconnumber posted 06-11-2008 06:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The father of a Francis Phillip Nash that was born in February 1897 in New York was born in Austria, so he seems an unlikely fit. There is a Francis Nash in the 1790 U S Federal Census in Norwalk/Stamford, Connecticut that might have some connection.

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wev
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iconnumber posted 06-11-2008 09:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Being born in Austria is not the same as being Austrian. Francis Philip Nash senior was the son of Francis Nash and Katherine Cleveland Cox, both of New York City. She was the grandniece of the silversmith James Nevin Hyde and great grandniece of the silversmiths Aaron and William Cleveland. His grandfather was Joshua Nash, a well-to-do Boston merchant and sea captain.

[This message has been edited by wev (edited 06-11-2008).]

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ahwt

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iconnumber posted 06-11-2008 09:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Below is a nutmeg grater shown in the new book “Silver in the Americas, 1600-2000 – American Silver in the Museum of Fine Art, Boston”, edited by Jeannine Falino and Gerald W. R. Ward. This one has the mark of Ebenezer Moulton and is in the form of a barrel. The construction would appear to me to test the skills of a silversmith, although I have never understood why the barrel shape was picked up by silversmiths as a form to copy. I suspect that the barrel represented something to folks in that era that is not apparent to me.

The “Silver in the Americans” book is heavily discounted on the internet and is well worth buying. Perhaps the early discounting is a sign of the economy of today.

The nutmeg grater never gained the popularity in the U.S. that the porringer did, either during the time period that they were actually used or later during the reproduction stage.

The porringer makes a great ice cream bowl, but I feel that the ubiquitous reproduction of this form has taken away its mystery.

One question on porringers - were the handles cast?

Also thanks Jim for posting a picture of your lovely nutmeg grater. And also to silverhunter for a picture of your lovely nutmeg grater.

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wev
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iconnumber posted 06-11-2008 09:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cast handles are known, but the majority were sawn from flat stock, as in this case. This handle is quite poorly done, another argument against an attribution to Sayre & Richards.

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 06-11-2008 10:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jim asks:
quote:
So; Scott martin; What is wrong with the porringer to make it not be of the period 1800 ~ 1813? Just wondering.
as I said:
quote:
I don't know but something suggests...
That is why I requested comment from our silversmith members.

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Kimo

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iconnumber posted 06-11-2008 10:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is an interesting discussion. While I am not an expert in Sayer and Richards or their markings, my sense is the markings on the porringer seem a bit 'off' compared to the known markings and so my initial reaction is to be chary as to its authenticity, especially when one thinks about the amount of profit one can obtain for a relatively minor cost of making a die of a well known maker and banging it on all kinds of older unmarked and less valuable things to dramatically increase their values. Doing this on genuinely old objects is far harder to spot than making a complete forgery from scratch. I do not know the seller and I do not suggest that he or she has any part in such an activity, but I also know that auctions on this site are unregulated, the vast majority of sellers simply copy material from reference sources as sales pitches rather than being true experts in the material they sell, and the auctions are very caveat emptor. There are many such forgeries in the market these days - not just in silver but in all kinds of antiques.

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bascall

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iconnumber posted 06-11-2008 02:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
wev, yours must be a different Francis Phillip Nash than the one whose records are accessible to me. Mine was born February 1897 in New York. His father of the same name was born in Vienna, Austria. His grandfather also of the same
name was born in Florence, Tuscany in 1836 to American parents who
were born in Massachusetts.

The Francis Phillip Nash whose genealogy you give does seem like a good enough possibility for the person whose name is engraved on this piece.

My own guess about this piece is that it could be a reproduction commissioned for a family member.

[This message has been edited by bascall (edited 06-12-2008).]

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silverhunter

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iconnumber posted 06-11-2008 02:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for silverhunter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
AHWT,

I'm sorry I don't own this one, please let me continue dreaming about silver objects!

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bascall

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iconnumber posted 06-11-2008 05:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Once again about Francis Phillip Nash, wev and I are off a generation and mismatched on birth states for Francis Phillip Nash's (the first) parents, Massachusetts vice New York. But otherwise this looks to be the guy.

[This message has been edited by bascall (edited 06-12-2008).]

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ahwt

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iconnumber posted 06-11-2008 08:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Whenever I see or hear the name Nash I remember the great James Bond movie “From Russia with Love”. “Captain Nash’s” ordering a Red Chianti with a grilled sole was just enough to tip James Bond that Captain Nash was an imposter. Robert Shaw was a great actor and that was clearly the best James Bond movie.

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Paul Lemieux

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iconnumber posted 06-11-2008 09:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I do not understand why we can't see a picture of your nutmeg grater. If you are asking for assistance authenticating a piece from your collection, seeing the object itself would go a long way toward helping us advance a theory.

p.s. I prefer 2006's Casino Royale among the Bond movies, although my favorite villainess is May Day played by the fabulous Grace Jones in 1985's otherwise mediocre A View to a Kill.

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bascall

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iconnumber posted 06-11-2008 09:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is the son of Francis Phillip and Katherine C Nash. Francis Phillip Nash Jr was born in 1869 in Vienna, Austria.

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 06-11-2008 10:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Paul,

Look at the first post it was edited to include the nutmeg grater.

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Paul Lemieux

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iconnumber posted 06-11-2008 10:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Scott!

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jim klopfer

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iconnumber posted 06-12-2008 07:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jim klopfer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This image was added to the top listing, but I'm adding it again here.

I am sure that readers are aware of the two books that were made in association to nutmeg grater exhibitions:
The Robert And Meredith Green Collection of Silver Nutmeg Graters, John D. Davis, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 2002, ISBN o-87935-217-5
The English Silver Pocket Nutmeg Grate, A Collection of Fifty Examples, Elizabeth B. Miles, CW Printing Service, Cleveland, OHIO, 1966.

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 06-12-2008 03:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the book references. I have added them to the Silver Library List.

In your original inquiry about the mark on the nutmeg grater, it was clear that there were reservations about the mark. In reading through this thread a general consensus appears to remain irresolute.

Jim this is your first post and it has only been up for a few days. At the SSF the more seasoned SSF members may take their time to consider whether the mark is verifiable and will not rush to judgment. As such, it may take some time before anyone with a resolute opinion speaks up about the mark.

From time to time please check this thread for new info. And as you discover more about the mark please remember to share the info with us.

You have been collecting nutmegs for a long time so you must have some very interesting items in your collection. When time permits, please share with us some from your collection (in a new thread). Thanks.

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FredZ

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iconnumber posted 06-12-2008 03:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FredZ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The grater is very charming and well made. The placement of the mark seems a bit odd and it would be interesting to see if the mark left an impression on the lid.

I do not see anything about the porriger that would lead me to believe it was made after the early 19th century. There are radial marks that might cause one to think it was spun. The lathe was sometimes used to help finish a vessel's exterior.

I have always admired the nutmeg graters I have seen and regret passing up the oportunity to acquire and English one.

Fred

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wev
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iconnumber posted 06-12-2008 03:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am resolute enough to say the mark does not belongs to Sayre & Richards. I do not think, for now, that we can say for sure that the mark is spurious, a deliberate attempt to deceive, but I certainly have my suspicions.

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Ulysses Dietz
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iconnumber posted 06-13-2008 09:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am curious about the whole idea of silver porringers as late as Sayre & Richards. I know pewter porringers are made well into the 1820s...but can you all steer me to some examples of post-1800 silver porringers. They'd have to be very conservative, or provincial. Would that fit Sayre & Richards? I think of them as modern federal silversmiths...unless it was a commission to replace or duplicate a family heirloom--something one can never discount.

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wev
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iconnumber posted 06-13-2008 10:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gorham, among other major makers, produced porringers throughout the 19th century, the original form becoming debased as time went on. My grandmother used a vaguely Kirkian reposse version c 1880 for bridge mix -- wonder what became of it?

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swarter
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iconnumber posted 06-14-2008 12:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ulysses Dietz:
I am curious about the whole idea of silver porringers as late as Sayre & Richards.

I have seen a few key-hole handled porringers from this period appear over the years on ebay. Although I kept no records of the makers, all were well known, established makers, and I had no reason to doubt their authenticity. Those that I remember were of the typical classical bulbous form, rather than the less common straight-sided form of the one in question here. Most of the later porringers made more recently (except for reproductions) have a flat bottom, as opposed to the domed bottom of the older, hand-raised ones.

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