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tlineopen  American Silver before sterling
tline3open  Unknown marks RM and SMH

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Author Topic:   Unknown marks RM and SMH
cbc58

Posts: 291
Registered: Aug 2008

iconnumber posted 02-12-2021 11:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cbc58     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Have two spoons with unknown marks I'm trying to identify. One is marked RM 3 times, and the other is marked SMH 3 times. The RM spoon is the one on the left with the upturned handle. I have exhausted my limited library and an internet search doesn't bring up anything that I can uncover. Guessing these date to 1780's - 1790's or so?? Don't know if they are American but hoping so...



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ahwt

Posts: 2214
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 02-12-2021 06:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The RM mark bears a resemblance to the mark of Richard Morton of Sheffield. That would be worth investigating as he worked prior to Sheffield having an assay office.

From Wax Antiques website:

"Richard Morton was one of the few Sheffield manufacturers who produced silverware prior to the establishment of the Sheffield Assay Office. He is recorded as a working silversmith in 1768 in partnership with William Clayton. His mark “RM” was entered on 16th September 1773, possibly in partnership with John Winter. A fortnight later the two marks “R.M” and “RM & Co” were entered by Richard Morton, Thomas Warris, John Winter, Samuel Roberts, John Elam, Thomas Settle, John Eyre and Nathaniel Smith. It is on record that this firm was not to produce silver candlesticks, that branch of the trade being reserved for John Winter. There may well have been covenants as to non-production of certain other items as all of the partners except Morton and Warris also comprised the partnership of Samuel Roberts & Co. who registered their mark on the same day. The Assay Office day-books show that John Winter & Co. produced buckles as well as their main product of candlesticks, the latter being the sole output of their successors John Parsons & Co. Samuel Roberts & Co's main output was silver handles, but they too produced candlesticks. Richard Morton & Co. manufactured a wide range of products, but noticeably not candlesticks, buckles or silver handles."

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cbc58

Posts: 291
Registered: Aug 2008

iconnumber posted 02-13-2021 12:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cbc58     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
ahwt - thank you for the info on Richard Morton. His mark is very similar and I found another website that lists a few variations of it - but nothing that is an exact match - primarily not having the indents on the punch. I had always thought that English items would have at least 2 marks, so didn't even look there. Have never come across any English pieces with just one mark. I thought these might be Channel Islands made and bought the book - but they were not in there.
The application and location of 3 initial marks on these seems unusual to my untrained eye (haven't seen it before) and it was a guess that they came from the same general area.

Tks again...

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Polly

Posts: 1957
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 03-10-2021 10:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SMH was made by the famous silversmith Shaking My Head, father of the even more famous silversmith Shaking My Damn Head, who used the mark SMDH.

(Kidding, kidding! In case that wasn't obvious. Apologies.)

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