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Author Topic:   New Member Intro & Coin Spoon Maker Question

Posts: 3
Registered: Nov 2022

iconnumber posted 11-29-2022 08:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JoeG     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello - My name is Joe, I live in central Pennsylvania and my silver journey is a recent one... My mother gave me a box of some family spoons - which turned out to be a blend of Lancaster, PA makers (Lewis Heck, HL Zahm) and some Rogers silver plate. I was immediately hooked on the history in the coin silver spoons and started looking for other local silversmiths and sellers. I like the chase of looking though a box full of spoons and trying to identify all the makers/hallmarks.

This brings me to my coin spoon question - the photos are of a serving spoon i pulled out of a box lot - H.D.CORNWELL. Many of the spoons in the box were from wester NY, but I can not find this person and I ask for the wisdom of the congregation. (pics at the bottom)

Looking forward to many silver discussions and adventures - Joe

[This message has been edited by JoeG (edited 11-29-2022).]

[This message has been edited by JoeG (edited 11-29-2022).]

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 11-29-2022 11:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Welcome. Good first post. Nice intro & posting of photos.

Hopefully someone will be able to offer some assitance.

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iconnumber posted 12-01-2022 03:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The only likely candidate I came across was Harvy D. Cornwell (1802-1861) of Middletown CT. He was a well-to-do merchant (1850 census) and deputy sheriff (1860 census). The only other noted H. D. Cornwell was a shoe manufacturer in Ohio, so unlikely to be retailing flatware.

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iconnumber posted 12-07-2022 09:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JoeG     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
wev - thanks for your reply, i saw some of that info in my searches, but merchant factoid is new to me - i think i shall attribute the spoon to him in my office-museum and be satisfied it may be as close as I will ever get. Thank again!

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iconnumber posted 12-10-2022 08:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was common for retailers to buy quantities of silverware from various makers that was unmarked by the makers so that the retailers could stamp their names on it. This appears to be such an example of this practice. I am not sure that it would be possible to actually identify the maker or factory that made this spoon. You might consider mentioning for accuracy that Cornwell was not the maker of this spoon, but rather the maker is unknown while Corwell was the retailer.

An interesting bit of background about non-modern "coin silver" is that the actual silver content can vary quite a bit and it is not necessarily made from melted down silver coins. Rather, it is made from whatever was on hand to throw into the melting pot including old damaged silver ware, silverware that was considered out of style, scrap silver and sometimes silver coins from various countries. Sometimes there were no coins at all involved, sometimes it was all coins and sometimes it was a mixture. The reason for this was raw silver was uncommon in the US until the Comstock Lode was discovered in 1859 and mining of it began. Other large silver mines came along afterwards and soon silver was common to the point where it was generally available to US silver smiths and factories.

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