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tline3open  Yesterday I saw the darndest thing!

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Author Topic:   Yesterday I saw the darndest thing!

Posts: 1507
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 12-15-2000 02:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's true, I did see the darnedest thing! I was out shopping a bit on my way to Winterthur to see the exhibit of bird-back coin silver spoons (See the American Coin Silver forum for a review). There are a bunch of shops in the vicinity, mostly pricey but you never know.... Anyway, among a number of coin and English Georgian spoons in one shop, I found a nice heavy early spoon with a downturned end. When I turned it over, I was delighted to find the maker's mark of Adrian Bancker (!), an important early New York maker. (See Scott Martin's c. 1735 Arian Bancker coin silver spoon earlier thread in this forum, The Roots of My Addiction, related to another great Bancker find.).

My delight quickly turned to disappointment, then pure amusement, then a little sadness. My first impression was that the spoon just didn't look or feel quite right; it felt awkward, and looked strange. Next I noticed the telltale signs of an old repair, just behind the maker's mark; OK, so it had been broken and repaired. Then I figured out what was wrong; the handle was upside-down! The spoon had a nice high midrib on the back, which was originally on the front. The old block intials on what was the back were now on the front! No wonder it felt funny!

So how did this happen? Was it a numbskull repair by someone who didn't know what they were doing? Strangely, I don't think so.

Throughout the mid 18th century, the Hanoverian style of spoon reigned supreme, with an upturned tip, a ridge or tip down the front, and monograms on the reverse. Right around the Revolution the downturned-end spoon took over in popularity, and intials and decoration moved to the front. I think that some enterprising early American, rather than having a new spoon fashioned in the new style, simply had the handle on his old spoon reversed. This makes for an interesting antique, but of dubious value to the collector. I didn't ask the price, but I'm fairly certain it would have been for a pristine Bancker spoon. In my experience, dealers often turn a blind eye to damage, (especially if they didn't notice it before), and hate to have it pointed out by a customer. Anyway, I wasn't in the mood for an argument, so I let it lay.

What do you think? Has anyone seen other pieces like this before? I know it is a first for me, and certainly worthy of a Silver Story!

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Posts: 935
Registered: Nov 2003

iconnumber posted 04-12-2018 11:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for asheland     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sounds interesting for sure.

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