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Author Topic:   An old ladle
trapper

Posts: 27
Registered: Jun 2004

iconnumber posted 12-07-2007 12:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for trapper     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
[26-1547]

Greetings all,

It has been a while since I last posted, so I will reacquaint myself with you. I have been a silver collector for over fifteen years. In that time I have accumulated a large eclectic collection. This ladle fits perfectly into that group. Anyway, this ladle shows me all the signs of an early 19th century piece. As a whole the ladle demonstrates consistent wear throughout. There is one old repair to the bowl and a more recent half-inch split. The ladle is 12 inches long and the bowl is 4 inches in diameter. It weighs 7 ounces.

If what I understand about this piece already is accurate, pinpointing a maker would be difficult. If that is not possible, I am looking for opinions of age and region this was made.

Thanks all and happy holidays��.Roger

PS It has been a while since I have posted pictures and I hope I remember how to do it here within your guidelines.

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swarter
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Posts: 2920
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 12-07-2007 01:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I cannot make out the first mark, but the last three have been used on 19th C Canadian silver, in the Maritime Provinces. The style is common in (but not restricted to) Canadian silver.

[This message has been edited by swarter (edited 12-07-2007).]

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trapper

Posts: 27
Registered: Jun 2004

iconnumber posted 12-07-2007 01:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for trapper     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The first mark might be a crown on its side....or a...ahem...three toed paw print...

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silverhunter

Posts: 704
Registered: Jul 2007

iconnumber posted 12-07-2007 01:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for silverhunter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Trapper,

Nice old ladle, it's difficult to say.

The first stamp on the left is a crown? The second stamp looks like the standard mark (old one?), the third stamp must be the year letter and the fourth stamp looks like a duty mark it can be the one which belongs to the period 1786-1821 or it can be the one which belongs to 1822-1833 when it is of course recognized as a English ladle.
It's not easy to recognize all, so I wonder if my suggestion is wright? I miss the maker's mark and also the city mark. I hope somebody recognize this one for hundred percent. The duty mark was stamped for the tax which was paid for the ladle to the crown(But I think of course you already knew that, after fifteen years enjoying collecting silver).

But it's a nice silver piece and I follow the topic.
Have also a nice holiday over there,
greetings silverhunter.

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silverhunter

Posts: 704
Registered: Jul 2007

iconnumber posted 12-07-2007 01:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for silverhunter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When it is a Canadian silver piece than I have learned about this and which period is it used in the 19th century?

Is the standard mark copied (worse) from the clearer marks, used in England?

Swarter will you explain the words "the maratime provences" to me it's a new item for me.

Thanks a lot.
greetings
silverhunter

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swarter
Moderator

Posts: 2920
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 12-07-2007 02:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The marks are pseudohallmarks, and are not official marks (true hallmarks). See this faq for an explanation.

The Maritimes are the smaller Eastern Canadian Provinces bordering the Atlantic Ocean (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and also Prince Edward Island.

[This message has been edited by swarter (edited 12-07-2007).]

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doc

Posts: 701
Registered: Jul 2003

iconnumber posted 12-07-2007 03:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for doc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not to be too much of a stickler, but the area that swarter is referring to is the Maritime Provinces, with obvious reference to its coastal location and seafaring based economy.

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silverhunter

Posts: 704
Registered: Jul 2007

iconnumber posted 12-07-2007 07:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for silverhunter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Swarter and Doc thank you for explaining everything, tomorrow I will read the article which you mentioned Swarter.
good weekend and enjoy the hobby!

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FWG

Posts: 845
Registered: Aug 2005

iconnumber posted 12-08-2007 11:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FWG     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If the leftmost mark were a crowned leopard's head, this would be a close match to the marks used by Justin Spahnn of Fredericton, New Brunswick (began work c. 1823, died 1856 but the business continued until 1861). He made a fair amount of silver for the wholesale trade as well as his own retail, and the name mark was often about a half-inch from the pseudohallmarks. It's possible that die was damaged at some point.

There may be a few other smiths who used similar marks with the I, but (at least from MacKay) it's not clear. Just for context, smiths in Halifax (Nova Scotia) often - not always! - used a set including an H, or HX. NB was used by some in New Brunswick; NS by some in Nova Scotia; J or St.J less frequently for St. John, New Brunswick. Other letters were used as well, often without any clear rationale.

The crown, thistle, and anchor were also used by different people. Like the 'date letters' repurposed as markers of location (or something else), I suspect in at least some cases these represent an affiliation to either England or Scotland; the anchor doesn't seem to relate to a background in Birmingham, however, and I suspect it was taken up by some as an emblem of the maritime orientation of the provinces.

It's a nice ladle, and I'd guess could easily date from the period of Spahnn's production (say, second quarter 19C). Interesting thing to turn up in my old stompin' grounds of Kentucky, too!

[This message has been edited by FWG (edited 12-08-2007).]

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trapper

Posts: 27
Registered: Jun 2004

iconnumber posted 12-08-2007 01:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for trapper     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks all for the good info!

What do you think about this being an early Chinese export piece? After looking at the marks on the 925-1000 site, I see some similarities between the "lion" and the "head in profile." I do not think the "I" is a letter but a castle tower. It is wider at the base than at the top.

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FWG

Posts: 845
Registered: Aug 2005

iconnumber posted 12-08-2007 01:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FWG     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would consider Chinese export a possibility, although I've only handled a few pieces. These marks don't match any of the ones in the one reference I have, but some Cumshing marks do include an I, and the lion has the crudeness one often sees in the Chinese marks. The lines look more Canadian than Chinese to me, but photographs can mislead and it's not a definitive position anyway.

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trapper

Posts: 27
Registered: Jun 2004

iconnumber posted 12-08-2007 06:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for trapper     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks....I would love some other opinions as to this being early Chinese export vs Canadian.

FWG What part of Kentucky was your old stompin' grounds? I am in Western Kentucky.

[This message has been edited by trapper (edited 12-08-2007).]

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swarter
Moderator

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Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 12-08-2007 07:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
These same symbols (I, lion, bust, crown), although not all the same punches) were also used by James or John Munro, New Glasgow, New Brunswick and the firm of Black, Parker, and Black, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The ladle is Canadian, not Chinese Export.

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DB

Posts: 252
Registered: May 2006

iconnumber posted 12-09-2007 02:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Canadian,for sure. But if ever in doubt and without looking at the marks, according to my experience Chinese export flatware pieces are unusually heavy and Canadian - alas - are very light, if not to use the word "flimsy".

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FWG

Posts: 845
Registered: Aug 2005

iconnumber posted 12-09-2007 03:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FWG     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I spent a year in and around Lexington back in the mid-90s, and enjoyed good hunting -- although of course at the time we all were lamenting how things weren't what they used to be!

I've seen a fair amount of good-weight Canadian silver (more often Ontario and Quebec than the Maritimes, but there too), although seldom as massy as most of the Chinese export. And I've seen a little lightweight Chinese, too, but far less common. Not disagreeing with Dorothea, just emphasizing that there are exceptions....

I hadn't seen ths combination for the Munros, so that's good to know. My point about other users being not clear was in reference to the reported wholesaling of so-marked pieces by Spahnn to other smiths; I don't know that anyone has done the analysis of these marks and pieces to determine whether they're different marks for different producers, or pieces produced for wholesale in one or two shops with multiple punches that then had others' marks added as retailers.

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trapper

Posts: 27
Registered: Jun 2004

iconnumber posted 12-09-2007 03:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for trapper     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well...this ladle has me all confused now. I certainly understand the case for it being Canadian in regards to the marks and style. Also, I see similarities with the cutshing marks and style.

Two marks on this piece are obvious, the lion and the head. The other two are in question in my mind. Is it a crown? If so it is the oddest one I have ever seen. Is the other an I? It is wider at the bottom than the top. Very unusual in my opinion.

Then I understand that Chinese export is sturdy stuff. No one would consider this ladle "flimsy" by any stretch. It is pretty stout.

Regardsless, I like it and it goes into the Canadian category. Thanks all for the great help!

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