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Author Topic:   The old family spoon
Brent

Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 04-10-2008 03:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote



Every now and then I encounter a piece of silver that seems to have a story all its own. Such is the case with this teaspoon. Either made or retailed by F.A Durgin of St. Louis, the spoon is unsually heavy, with a square shank that is a full 1/8 inch thick.

What makes this piece so interesting to me is the exceptional degree of wear with no signs of abuse. The patina is like something you would see on a mid 18th Century spoon, but this is about 100 years newer. The wonderful Victorian monogram is worn down to near-illegiibity. The bowl is of such thick gauge that there are no dents, but it actually has a flat spot on the heel from contact.

My best guess is that this spoon was used every day for many, many years. I was thinking it might have been a child's spoon, and the child used it their whole life. Or maybe it was passed down from child to child, and every kid in the family used it.

Still, a piece like this makes me a little sad, because the story is lost, and a family is a bit poorer for it. It is like a photo album in a junk shop, with no one to care who the people in it were. This came to us in a lot (when I wasn't there), with a bunch of newer pieces and silverplate of little value. I guess it got passed down to someone who didn't know or care about it. I will preserve it, but I wish it were back with its family where it belongs.

Brent

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jersey

Posts: 1202
Registered: Feb 2005

iconnumber posted 04-10-2008 06:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jersey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Brent,
Thank you!

Jersey

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Polly

Posts: 1843
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 04-11-2008 12:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Brent, don't be sad. The spoon has found someone to treasure its history. And in a way, you know as much about it as a family member might--you just know different things about it.

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bascall

Posts: 1621
Registered: Nov 99

iconnumber posted 04-11-2008 08:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Brent, it does look like someones proud possession of many years. As worn as the monogram is, would you mind doing a closeup of it. Even if it is not too significant, it does look interesting.

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vathek

Posts: 961
Registered: Jun 99

iconnumber posted 04-11-2008 09:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for vathek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Brent said: "Still, a piece like this makes me a little sad, because the story is lost, and a family is a bit poorer for it."
Brent: I can't tell you how many estate sales I've been to where the family is selling off old family photos and correspondence. Something I find odd, guess they just don't care about family history.

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jersey

Posts: 1202
Registered: Feb 2005

iconnumber posted 04-11-2008 11:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jersey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Vathek, I too have been to sales where photos etc. are being sold off & have usually inquired as to why. The typical responses were: 1. There is no family left. 2. They have duplicate & triplicates. 3. No one around to say who these people are. 4. The sad answer, no one cares.
One thing with photos is to write info on the back & I know we all say we are going to do it but don't. Or with silver make a list......we don't seem to get around to that either.

Jersey

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Brent

Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 04-16-2008 10:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Here is a picture of the monogram on the back of the handle for you.

I was wondering if anyone thought the bird might be intended as a stork? It doesn't look much like a real one, but storks do appear on lots of children's silver.

Brent

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Polly

Posts: 1843
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 04-16-2008 10:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Could be. It looks more like a heron to me, but hey--it's not a photograph.

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Ulysses Dietz
Moderator

Posts: 1265
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 06-13-2008 10:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Heron, crane, stork--whatever; it was, in its day, Jap-o-neeze and hence modren. Very nice. I can't tell you how sad it makes me to see baby cups, inscriptions intact, in the marketplace--and you see them all the time. But people, some very dangerous people, really don't care about anything "old." Better for us.

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Marc

Posts: 414
Registered: Jun 2002

iconnumber posted 06-14-2008 03:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi all,

Yes it is sad to see so much family history being sold or given away. The good thing about silver, is that it can be cleaned up (lovingly), and recycled.

Brent, concerning the spoon, it appears as though the spoon was not used all that much as indicated by the full balanced rim. Daily use for one year will wear the edge significantly.

The reason for the extreme wear on the monogram and stamps on the back is polishing for 115 years or so. The engraving of the bird on the front was not polished as often, or as hard, because it held more significance
(or was more attractive).

Marc

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