Interesting Dognose/Wavy-End Tablespoon

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WesternPA
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Interesting Dognose/Wavy-End Tablespoon

Postby WesternPA » Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:46 pm

Just wanted to share - not really looking for help (hallmarks are clear enough and maker's mark is almost gone), but curious as to what other interesting takes on a midrib people have seen! Regards, WesternPA

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agphile
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Re: Interesting Dognose/Wavy-End Tablespoon

Postby agphile » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:57 am

Interesting and pretty rare. I recall a similar spoon being illustrated in the Finial 10 or more years ago and thinking I would quite like an example, but I never came across one for sale and have since drifted into other collecting priorities. I think I have seen mid rib variants on early Hanoverian spoons slightly more often than on dognose but that might just be to do with survival rates. I don't have illustrations to hand right now, but slightly less rare variants include a very fat rib, a stubby version of the fat rib, and a rib within a wavy or heart shaped surround to the edge of the stem.

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Re: Interesting Dognose/Wavy-End Tablespoon

Postby dognose » Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:04 pm

Hi WesternPA,

Thanks for sharing this one with us. It's a first for me.

Trev.

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Re: Interesting Dognose/Wavy-End Tablespoon

Postby oel » Thu Aug 10, 2017 4:44 am

Hi,

For people not so familiar with English spoon terminology and or old British (hall)marks, like me. Some use full links.

http://www.silvercollection.it/dictiona ... spoon.html
DOG-NOSE SPOON
WAVY-END SPOON
Dog-nose or wavy-end is a spoon having a flat stem widening towards the terminal which then narrows to a rounded point. This shape resembles to a dog's head viewed from above.
Usually it has a long rat-tail to the reverse of the bowl, occasionally decorated.
This spoon is similar to the "Trifid spoon" with the two notches eliminated.
This pattern was used from 1695c. to 1715c., coinciding with the period when Britannia Standard (95.8% pure) was used, hence the spoons produced at this time will carry "Britannia" hallmarks.

http://www.silvercollection.it/dictiona ... spoon.html
TREFID SPOON
TRIFID SPOON
Trefid spoon or Trifid is a flat-handled spoon having a stem that widens at the top and has two notches that form it into a three-lobed shape suggestive of a clef hind's hoof (hence the French term "pied-de-biche")
The trifid/trefid is the earliest English flatware "pattern" in which the stems of both the spoon and the fork were made to match. These spoons have the bowl with a rat-tail support and were usually engraved with initials or, sometimes, with a foliate design. The trifid pattern was introduced in England when the court returned from exile and had a comparatively short life from about 1660 until the early eighteenth century.


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http://www.ascasonline.org/articoloAGOSTO86.html

"BRITANNIA" SILVER STANDARD HALLMARKS IN GREAT BRITAIN

The Britannia silver standard (95,84% of fine silver)(note 1), was introduced by a 1697 Parliament's Act signed by William III to replace sterling silver (92,5% of fine silver) as the mandatory standard for items of wrought plate. The decision was taken to limit the practice of clipping and melting sterling silver coinage (which standard was maintained to sterling) to make silverware. This behaviour had its origin during the reign of Charles II (after the "restoration"), owing to of the largely increased request of fashioned silver for luxury and ostentation purposes (note 2).
The change of the "standard" required the change of the hallmarks. The "lion passant guardant" denoting sterling standard was replaced with the female figure, commonly called "Britannia". The "leopard's head" mark of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths (identifying the London Assay Office, but used in many provincial offices together with their proper town mark) was replaced with a "lion's head erased" (note 3)
Moreover, any silversmith was required to register a new maker's mark composed by the first two letters of his surname (instead of the initials of forename and surname, single initial or a device previously used).
The "Britannia standard" alloy was softer, less robust and a little more expensive compared to "sterling standard". Many silversmiths immediately began to lobby for the reintroduction of the "sterling standard", but many Huguenot silversmiths who, because of their origin, were familiar with the higher standard used in France (95 % fine silver), petitioned for its retention. Furthermore, the maintaining of "Britannia standard" allowed the export of English silver to France (while this practice was not allowed with "sterling" silver which was below the standard authorized in France).
"Britannia standard", compulsory from 1697 to 1720, did not produce any significant effect, and the "sterling standard" on silverware production was restored on 1 June 1720 ((note 4).
The restoration of the "sterling standard" ensued in the adoption of former hallmarks used prior 1697 ("lion passant guardant" and "crowned leopard head"). However, "Britannia standard" was not abolished and remained in use also after 1720 as a voluntary alternative option to the "sterling standard". It was rarely used for making silverware after 1720 and usually only for high level reproduction of antique items.
After 1720 silversmiths maintained the use the their former maker's marks (initials) for works in "sterling" silver standard while the later system of hallmarking (first two letters of the surname) was used for works in "Britannia standard".
The practice of using two sets of marks continued until 1739. At this date, due to the confusion which had arisen, plate workers were ordered to destroy their existing marks and register a new one composed by the initials of their Christian name and surname, choosing letters of different character from those previously used (note 5).
The "Britannia standard" had a revival in the reproduction of antique items in the late Victorian Era (late 19th century), during the reigns of Edward VII and George V (first third of the 20th century) and in more recent years (1960's and 1970's).
After the hallmarking system change (1 January 1999) "Britannia" silver is marked with the millesimal fineness hallmark "958", associated, on an optional and voluntary basis, with the "Britannia" symbol.
The marks of "Britannia" and the "lion head erased" had only slight changes over time so that the dating of items manufactured using these standards depends especially on the "date letter" (representing the year in which the object was verified by the Assay Office) and on the maker's mark initials (modified in 1739, when new criteria were introduced).


Peter.


Gratitude ASCAS

WesternPA
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Re: Interesting Dognose/Wavy-End Tablespoon

Postby WesternPA » Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:16 pm

Thanks to all - I couldn't find any example either. Will have to see if I can track down the mention in the Finial!

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Re: Interesting Dognose/Wavy-End Tablespoon

Postby asheland » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:08 am

That's an interesting piece!

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Re: Interesting Dognose/Wavy-End Tablespoon

Postby agphile » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:04 pm

I had misremembered. I've tracked down the article I was thinking of. It was by Walter Brown in the Finial of Jan/Feb 2002 on "Oddities" but the particular spoon with a double rib was different from yours in two important ways. It was Hanoverian and the ribs formed a simple curve following the outline of the stem. This was before the Finial went glossy so my scan of an already debased illustration may not take you much further.

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I continue to think I have seen something like your dognose spoon before but am now not certain I should trust my memory!

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Re: Interesting Dognose/Wavy-End Tablespoon

Postby Aguest » Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:14 am

This is very interesting. Is the entire piece "cast" out of silver, using a method which is uncommon for Britannia Silver Dog-Nose Spoons of the time?

Also, perhaps the maker could be found, there might be a tiny amount of detail in the makers mark?

WesternPA
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Re: Interesting Dognose/Wavy-End Tablespoon

Postby WesternPA » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:51 pm

It might be possible to figure out the maker, as the outline of one side of the mark and the edge of one letter are discernible. As to how the piece was made, I just don't know, not having a technical background and not being silversmith. It doesn't seem like someone would fake something so out of the mainstream, though!

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Re: Interesting Dognose/Wavy-End Tablespoon

Postby Aguest » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:02 am

Yes, it seems so unusual, and the marks seem so genuine, it couldn't possibly be fake, really I was just wondering about the construction because I owned a few Onslow pattern spoons, and I spent a lot of time analyzing Onslow pattern spoons which had been "Cast"....

I have been trying to figure out the date letter, at the very least...

WesternPA
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Re: Interesting Dognose/Wavy-End Tablespoon

Postby WesternPA » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:01 pm

Perhaps 1715?

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Re: Interesting Dognose/Wavy-End Tablespoon

Postby Aguest » Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:39 am

I was thinking either 1715, or possibly 1704 with the loopy-part of the letter partially broken-off....?

Those are the most likely candidates, but I suppose 1715 makes the most sense due to the Britannia standard being more likely to be found in 1715...?

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Re: Interesting Dognose/Wavy-End Tablespoon

Postby silvermakersmarks » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:42 am

1715 gets my vote too.

Britannia was the only legal standard from 1697 until 1720 so other dates cannot be ruled out on the basis of the standard mark.

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Re: Interesting Dognose/Wavy-End Tablespoon

Postby agphile » Fri Aug 18, 2017 4:43 am

Very odd to have the maker's mark nearest the terminal and the date letter nearest the bowl. The exact opposite of standard practice at the time. I had been wondering, fruitlessly, whether I could spot a similarity to a known spoon maker of this period.

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Re: Interesting Dognose/Wavy-End Tablespoon

Postby Aguest » Fri Aug 18, 2017 5:04 am

I like how the "Diamond" shape turns into the "midrib" shape which turns into one solid piece of silver, it becomes one solid shaft, and then finally it meets the bowl, it seems as if whoever made this spoon was a very creative silversmith.

It is a very subtle transformation from Diamond to Midrib to Solid Shaft, but when you look at the "journey of the form," you really can't help but see the work of a very creative silversmith. Does this make any sense? I have owned a few pieces which had such subtle beauty, and they were truly spectacular in their simple elegance, but you had to really study the piece to know how amazing it was.

No idea about the reverse-arrangement of punches, but if I were the assay-master I would probably stare at this spoon for awhile, and then call my colleagues over to look at this spoon, as it is a form they had probably never seen before, or at least not very often.

And I guess the spoon was not "Cast," but it has the "Soft Sheen" of Britannia Standard silver, would that be correct, or was this spoon "Cast" like some "Onslow Pattern" spoons were "Cast?"

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Re: Interesting Dognose/Wavy-End Tablespoon

Postby Aguest » Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:37 pm

When I was researching "Onslow Pattern" spoons and sauce ladles, I found articles with a lot of discussion about "Scarf Joints" which is the point of transition between a traditionally-made spoon with a "Cast" handle. The Onslow Pattern Handles were "Cast" and then joined on the spoon handle with a "Scarf Joint" which should show up as a tiny wavy line, and you must breathe on the "Scarf Joint" to see it better, otherwise it is very difficult to see.

Do you think this piece has a "Scarf Joint," which would therefore make this spoon a sort of "evolutionary ancestor" of the Onslow Pattern spoons?

Image

I highlighted the area where I think a "Scarf Joint" might be hiding, you would have to breathe on this area, which would give tiny moisture particles the opportunity to adhere to the "Scarf Joint" and highlight its existence.

WesternPA
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Re: Interesting Dognose/Wavy-End Tablespoon

Postby WesternPA » Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:32 am

Hi,

I will examine more carefully, and see if I can spot a scarf joint! I also need to see if I can get a better look at the remains of the maker's mark, in the event there is enough left to align it with one shown in Grimwade. Thanks!

WesternPA

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Re: Interesting Dognose/Wavy-End Tablespoon

Postby agphile » Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:58 pm

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Apologies for coming back with photos of some spoons that, though rare, are not as rare as the dognose spoon that started this thread. There is a reason. When I commented earlier that it would be odd to have the date letter nearest the bowl and the maker’s mark nearest the terminal, I chose my words carefully. I did not say impossible because I am well aware there are exceptions to the rule. I have since thought I had better check my own spoons to see just how common the exceptions were and was surprised by the number I turned up – a very small proportion of all the dognose and Hanoverian spoons, but a high proportion of those dated between 1711 and 1717. Here is the list in date order of those with the maker’s mark nearest the terminal.

1711, Wm Scarlett, a Hanoverian rattail dessert spoon
1712, Wm Scarlett, a Hanoverian double drop tablespoon (an oddity at this date. Perhaps there has been some alteration to the spoon but I cannot see how it might have been done)
1713, Wm Scarlett, a Dognose spoon with a fat stem rib, see top photo above. I think the rib is applied, i.e. soldered on. Most of the fat rib examples I have seen were from the Wm Scarlett workshop.
1714, WmScarlett, a Hanoverian “Heart end” tablespoon, the lower spoon in the second photo above. Two thin ribs run round the edge of the stem to form the heart shape. I think this pattern is die stamped.
1716, another heart end Hanoverian, this time by John Holland, the top spoon in the second photo.
1717, Benjamin Watts (probably – mark very worn), a Hanoverian rattail tablespoon.
1749, a small Hanoverian double drop dessert spoon, partial maker’s mark only (possibly Paul de Lamerie, but that might be thought wishful). This is my only example outside the Britannia standard period.

You will notice that Wm Scarlett features very strongly. On my earlier spoons by him, which pre-date the appearance of the stem rib as a feature on some dognose and most Hanoverian spoons, the maker’s mark is in the normal place.

The number of rarer patterns in the list may perhaps reflect my collecting interests rather than a tendency for such spoons in particular to attract this marking anomaly.

Anyhow, what this means is that I should possibly have been more cautious about the marks on WesternPA’s spoon. It might indeed be from 1715 with the remnants of a maker’s mark nearer its terminal (though not necessarily so). If the rattail is of the type that I think of as “drop and rattail” with a very distinct drop before the rattail at the heel of the bowl, it might even be by Wm Scarlett. His rattails at this period seem mostly to be of that form.

It is dangerous to generalise on the basis of examples from a single collection, but perhaps I may volunteer a theory. When the rattail began to decorate spoon bowls, the leopard’s head mark was moved from the bowl to join the others on the back of the stem. It is assumed this was to protect the rattail from damage. The standard procedure continued to be for the maker to mark the spoon near the bowl. The assay office would then add the hallmarks running up the stem and often scattered quite far up the stem in those days.

When spoons began to be decorated with a stem rib or with other decoration of the type shown in this thread, some makers may have felt it desirable to protect this decoration in the same way that the rattail was protected. By putting the maker’s mark as high up the stem as they could without the decoration on the other side being damaged, they caused the assay office to strike its marks lower, in the gap between maker’s mark and bowl.

Not all spoonmakers felt the need for this precaution. Once it became clear that the assay office was grouping its marks compactly enough everybody could revert to normal marking practice. The anomaly of the 1749 spoon listed above may result from the fact that it is a very small spoon with a pronounced stem rib. The maker might have been worried that, because of its size, the hall marks might stray too far up its stem, so placed his own mark high as a long stop.

Clearly I should beware of pontificating before doing a bit of fact checking but perhaps I can go on to risk saying that I would be surprised if WesternPA’s spoon turned out to be cast. My own feeling is that it is most likely to have been die stamped

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Re: Interesting Dognose/Wavy-End Tablespoon

Postby asheland » Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:59 am

agphile, great post! Very interesting to read as always.

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Re: Interesting Dognose/Wavy-End Tablespoon

Postby Aguest » Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:04 am

That makes complete sense, the placement of the maker's mark as a kind of guide to the assay office.

Very thoroughly researched work of spoon scholarship, hopefully the maker of the spoon will be identified from the tiny bit of remaining hallmark.


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