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tlineopen  American Silver before sterling
tline3open  Charles Billon

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Author Topic:   Charles Billon

Posts: 2173
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 06-10-2019 02:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

The nice ladle above was recently an auctioned off and has some interesting features. The mark is for Charles Billon born in Loche, Switzerland in 1766. He found is way to St. Louis, Mo by 1818 via Paris, London and Philadelphia and stayed there until his death in 1822.

The initials HSG may be for Henry S. Geyer. St. Louis was a city of 10,000 people in 1820 so there probably were not too many with these initials and Geyer in the only one with those initials listed in Paxton’s Directory for St. Louis published in 1821. Geyer was a Senator from Missouri and has a street named after him.

Would the monogram normally reflect the husband’s initials or the wife initials in 1820?

The other things that are interesting about this ladle are French style shoulder and the oval bowl. St. Louis was founded by the French in the 1760ss and even as late as 1820 French style was still used. The oval bowl replaced the round bowl I think just slightly earlier on the east coast so St. Louis was using an up to date style. Of course, this ladle may have been made by one of Billon’s connections in Philadelphia as he is listed as a clock and watchmaker rather than a silversmith in the St. Louis Director note above.

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iconnumber posted 06-11-2019 11:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cbc58     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very nice ladle. I like the style of engraving of the initials. Tracking down the provenance adds another dimension and research aspect.

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iconnumber posted 06-11-2019 01:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Attributing the original owner as Geyer is just speculation on my part and I do not know what buyer might think or know about prior ownership.
I think part of the fun of buying objects with monograms is trying to figure out who might have been the owner. Here the seller did not venture a guess.

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Posts: 58
Registered: Feb 2003

iconnumber posted 10-19-2019 07:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for avalata     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's worth noting also that Billon's tenure in Philadelphia was quite long, and the ladle could easily have been made there.

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iconnumber posted 10-20-2019 11:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is a good point made by avalata.
I often wonder what prompted people to move in this early days. His move from Philadelphia to St. Louis certainly would have brought knowledge of the latest style to St. Louis.

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