Saturday, December 6, 2008

Spoon Types - Caddy Spoons

Caddy spoons are lovely little spoons that were originally used to scoop the tea out of tea caddies. The earliest are from around the 1760s, they were made in large numbers for the next hundred years. Although have still been made since then, it hasn't been in the same quantities. They are very collectable today, with a wide variety of patterns and styles. These include the common patterns such as Old English and Fiddle, as well as creations unique to this type of spoon, such as Jockeys caps and Eagles wings.


This caddy spoon has a square bowl and is in the fiddle and thread pattern. As can be seen from the hallmarks below, it was made in Birmingham, by Joseph Willmore in 1818.





Sunday, August 24, 2008

My First Piece of Silver!

This lovely pair of sugar tongs was my first ever silver purchase!  I found them at the Woollahra Antiques Centre, back when I was in high school.  When I saw them I loved both the lions paws and the little cherubs.


The hallmarks on these tongs are from Germany after 1888.  The 800 is the silver purity, the crescent moon  and crown are the national mark for Germany. As there is no makers mark, I haven't been able to work out who made them, but they were probably made in the 1930's.  

From these tongs, I managed to dig around the family home and find another piece, which was an English Sterling bookmark that belonged to my great-grandfather! These two were the beginning of what I'm sure will be a lifetime of collecting!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Jersey Brightcut Teaspoon

With some ancestry in the Channel Islands, I was excited to find out they had their own silversmiths, marking their wares with unique marks.  



This spoon was made by the last of the Jersey Silversmiths to make spoons.  It was made by Jean Le Gallais, around 1850.  As you can see the hallmarks don't follow the standard English hallmarking system.  In this case there is the makers mark, (JLG), a crown and the letter J (for Jersey).  


Another really cool thing about Channel Islands spoons is their use of the double drop (I've also seen it called a skeleton drop) heel to join the stem to the bowl of the spoon.  Although this can be found in early English spoons, it died out reasonably quickly there.  In the Jersey however, the silversmiths continued to use this style up through the nineteenth century.  It was hard to take a photograph of, but you can see it in the photo, the little pitchfork shape.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Scottish Silver Butter Knife

Welcome to my blog!

Here you see an interesting piece of antique sterling silver flatware.  This little item was actually produced in reasonable quantities and can still be found at quite good prices (I see a possible collection!).  The earliest examples come from the late eighteenth century and have ivory handles, but by the late regency period (such as this one), they have a scimitar blade and the same handle as other flatware.  


This one is a little more special, because it was made up in Scotland.  It was assayed in Edinburgh in 1835, but the maker, David Gray was actually a Scottish Provincial maker, working in Dumfries.