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Cool Early American Find ~ Coin Related ~

ashelandasheland Posts: 22,567 ✭✭✭✭✭

So, as many of you probably know, I collect antique silver as well as coins.

Just a few days ago, last Wednesday, a friend of mine that just recently moved to New York City, who also likes to go antiquing found some silver spoons in a junk bin at some store in Brooklyn and the spoons were three dollars each!

He sent this picture:

I was really happy for him, I think it’s cool when your friends score a little deal like that, but I noticed one of the spoons looked a little earlier, and the more I looked at it, the more interested I became, and he’s one to just flip the stuff, so he saw that I had interest in it and just mailed it out to me to inspect it in person, I got it, gave it a gentle polish which is allowed with silverware
and it turned out really nicely!

I ended up buying it from him for a modest markup, and here it is:

I quickly found the maker to be one from right there in New York City! The website I’m going to post the link to is just for American silversmiths. Anyone that collect this stuff will find the site very handy:

https://www.americansilversmiths.org/makers/silversmiths/101830.htm

My initial guess for this piece was 1790 to 1810 period, then, looking at the page it appears he worked from 1805 to 1806 so my guess was pretty decent.

And how it relates to coins: it’s made out of coin silver, they would literally melt down coins from circulation, cast it into an ingot and hammer up the flatware that way. It’s all hand forged. Then if you’ll notice the engraving, this would’ve been probably a gift to a married couple, the top initial is the last name, and the bottom two initials are the man and woman’s first initials.

You see this a lot with 18th and early 19th century silverware from England and America.

I just thought you guys might find this interesting… If you have anything similar, post it on this thread!

Comments

  • lordmarcovanlordmarcovan Posts: 43,194 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Think of the Draped Bust and Flowing Hair silver that might be inside those shockingly cheap spoons!

    Actually, I suppose the odds probably favor Spanish silver, but still…


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  • JBKJBK Posts: 14,535 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Now go out and find a coin counterstamped with that punch. ;)

  • erwindocerwindoc Posts: 4,896 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Awesome!

    Thanks for letting the coin community know that polishing silver is ok in the silverware sector!

  • ashelandasheland Posts: 22,567 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MaineJim said:
    The closest thing for me like this was when I stumbled on a box of old sterling silverware at my town dump. 1872 Gorham Sterling, if I recall correctly. It was a strange thing for someone to toss out like that but I was happy to save it from the crusher.

    Jim

    That’s just plain awesome! 👍

  • ashelandasheland Posts: 22,567 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 29, 2024 7:18AM

    @erwindoc said:
    Awesome!

    Thanks for letting the coin community know that polishing silver is ok in the silverware sector!

    It’s ok and encouraged, but must be done with care, and not often.

    Leaving tarnish on the spoon won’t hurt it obviously, but can look unsightly. This is where silverware has the advantage as you can polish it.

    It’s just over polishing that can be an issue. Definitely never buff with a wheel. It’s not supposed to shine like new.

    There are many many little scratches and marks on the surface that come with 220 years of use. You want to preserve that as much as possible. It’s called patina, but it’s different than patina on copper, the green or brown color this spoon happens to have exceptional patina. It almost looks sand blasted! It’s exactly the look you want on early silver!

  • LukeMarshallLukeMarshall Posts: 1,883 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Excellent Save, the Makers Hallmark is a Beaut!

    It's all about what the people want...

  • Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 8,599 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Love the utilitarian designs. Not to mention the health improvements of not using pewter ware leaching out toxicity. Peace Roy

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  • WeissWeiss Posts: 9,922 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Awesome, @asheland !

    We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
    --Severian the Lame
  • silviosisilviosi Posts: 444 ✭✭✭

    Me I use TarnX to clean my set when it is the time. I have two big boxes with old ones. I mark the boxes as melting Silver, but I thing I have to take a look first. Thanks for the link of markers.

    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT.FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL.THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE. MARK TWAIN

  • TimNHTimNH Posts: 107 ✭✭✭

    My goodness, imagine if you could take that silver and replicate it atom-by-atom back to those <1807 coins, how much they'd be worth. I'm thinking more than 3 bucks. Nonetheless very cool.

  • ashelandasheland Posts: 22,567 ✭✭✭✭✭

    One thing that I thought of is, that was made around the time of my quarter here:

    Imagine that quarter being mint state 65, having just been minted and going into that melt bucket! :o:#:s

    Thanks everybody for the comments!

  • wevwev Posts: 136 ✭✭✭

    Very nice find. Thomas is the rarest of the trio with father John and brother David. He only appears in the 1805/1806 and 1806/1807 city directories and his vital dates remain undiscovered.
    And thank you for the use and mention of my little project.

  • ashelandasheland Posts: 22,567 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @wev said:
    Very nice find. Thomas is the rarest of the trio with father John and brother David. He only appears in the 1805/1806 and 1806/1807 city directories and his vital dates remain undiscovered.
    And thank you for the use and mention of my little project.

    Thank you! Your site is an incredible resource and I appreciate the effort you’ve put into it!

  • wevwev Posts: 136 ✭✭✭

    @asheland said:
    So, as many of you probably know, I collect antique silver as well as coins.

    I was really happy for him, I think it’s cool when your friends score a little deal like that, but I noticed one of the spoons looked a little earlier, and the more I looked at it, the more interested I became, and he’s one to just flip the stuff, so he saw that I had interest in it and just mailed it out to me to inspect it in person, I got it, gave it a gentle polish _which is allowed with silverware and it turned out really nicely!

    Just curious -- how were the other spoons marked? The three coffin ends would have been made just a few year later, if that.

  • ashelandasheland Posts: 22,567 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I will post a picture here in a minute:

  • ashelandasheland Posts: 22,567 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 30, 2024 11:07AM

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