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tlineopen  American Silver before sterling
tline3open  Basket of flowers pattern

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Author Topic:   Basket of flowers pattern

Posts: 2173
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 02-19-2020 12:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Below are a pair of sugar tongs by the partnership of Maltby Pelletreau, John Bennett and D.C. Clarke of New York, N.Y. with the basket of flowers pattern. They are just under 7 inches long and almost big enough to use for ice cubes.
An American physician, John Gorrie, built a refrigerator in 1844 to make ice to cool the air for his yellow fever patients. Dr. Gorrie may have also invented the first ice cube tray in its current form. The Pelletreau partnership was together in 1825 and 1826 so this was made well before ice cubes were invented and most likely it was made for lumps of sugar.

I got these tongs out today after talking to John McGrew. He is going to publish a book on the basket of flowers pattern, but more importantly he still has copies of his book on Manufacturers’ Marks on American coin silver. His phone number is 717/632-6244.

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Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 02-21-2020 04:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Beautiful! I bought a back issue of the copy of Silver Mag with his essay about Basket of Flowers--they may still have copies. Yes, definitely sugar rather than ice (but nowadays perhaps more useful for ice).

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Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 02-22-2020 01:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Tongs are still useful for Stevia packets or other sweeteners.
I think I always feel better if there are a couple of tongs laying around whether or not they are used.
Dr. McGrew, if I recall correctly, said there were about 150 different dies used for the basket of flowers pattern. This pattern was popular at the same time the sheaf of wheat pattern was popular, but from what I have seen more of the flowers were made than the wheat. I do not recall seeing either pattern in anything but spoons, tongs and ladles.

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