Exeter Hallmarks and Makers Photo Request

PHOTOS REQUIRED - marks + item
Granmaa
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Exeter Hallmarks and Makers Photo Request

Postby Granmaa » Tue Apr 27, 2010 6:49 pm

Dear Members,

I have started researching the Exeter Goldsmith Company from its beginnings in 1701 until its demise in 1883 with the view to produce a work on the subject: one which is both lacking and needed.

As well as information from the Company's account book, contemporary newspapers and various other records, I am trying to build up as many photos of makers' marks as possible and to make a chronological table of hallmarks which I hope will be of use to collectors and researchers.

If you have a maker's mark not featured in the Exeter section of this website (link below) please post a photo of it in this thread and the date and object it appears on.
I have collected all the hallmarks from the 19th century, but I am lacking many 18th century hallmarks. Please share any you may have in this thread.

Thank you very much for any additions you can make.
Miles

http://www.925-1000.com/dlExeter.html


Edmond Richards 1725
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Postby dognose » Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:29 am

Hi Miles,

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Joseph Hicks - 1792 - Date letter variant

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Moses Mordecai - 1796 - Date letter variant.

Members, this is a much needed project that I know Miles has already put a huge amount of work into. He has spent many hours and travelled many miles to bring it to the point where he is at now. This forum has a very large membership, but many are 'reader only', this is an excellent opportunity to get your feet wet.

Miles's contributions to this forum have been nothing short of massive, he's put a lot of time, energy and information into it, and it would not have reached the strength that it's achived without his imput. I'm sure some of you must have examples that have never seen the light of day for a long time, so please join in on this very worthwhile project and help Miles get over the finishing line.

Regards to all, Trev.
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Exeter hallmarks

Postby MCB » Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:56 pm

Hello Miles

Here's one from the 19th century just in case you don't have it. Jackson saw a mark JND on an 1826/27 label but the repro on page 297 of his book has very rough lettering whereas this one has classic Roman capitals. It must be for James N Dunsford of Plymouth Dock.

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Regards Mike
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Postby Granmaa » Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:13 pm

Thank you Trev and Mike for those photos.

There isn't much information on James Dunsford. I've found him in an 1823 directory listed as a jeweller and goldsmith of Plymouth. I'm not sure if the mark below is his, found on 1810 tongs.

Miles

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Postby dognose » Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:03 pm

Dunsford is a difficult name to research as it's a popular West country name, but there was a J. Dunsford of Plymouth, listed as a cutler who was made bankrupt in 1810.

Trev.
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Postby dognose » Sat May 01, 2010 12:04 pm

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Image

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Samuel Wilmott c.1725

Trev.
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Postby dognose » Mon May 03, 2010 6:39 am

A slightly better image of the Wilmott mark following cleaning.

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The spoon bears a 1732 inscription.

Trev.
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Postby MCB » Mon May 03, 2010 7:10 am

Hello Miles,
A search of websites shows a little more information on the likely owner of the JND punch.
James Newman Dunsford was baptised at How Street Baptist Church Plymouth on 8th July 1785. His father was William Newman Dunsford, his mother Ann nee Mitchell.
No trace was found of a marriage or his whereabouts at the time of the 1841 UK Census.
He died in the third quarter of 1850 in the St Pancras District of London.
Regards,
Mike
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Postby Granmaa » Mon May 03, 2010 10:16 am

Well found, Mike. Do you remember which websites you found that on?
William Dunsford was also a silversmith in Plymouth.

Miles
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Postby MCB » Tue May 04, 2010 5:39 am

Hello Miles,
The baptism report is on http://www.familysearch.org
The death report is on http://search.ancestry.com
Contained in the latter records is reference to an insolvency case report in the London Gazette which involved JND and is probably the one Trev has mentioned previously. Also there is reference to a partnership being dissolved. Opportunity to view the two reports is not available on line however.
Keep up the good work and please let me know if I can help further.
Regards,
Mike
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Postby agphile » Wed May 05, 2010 1:51 pm

Image
Image
An early Joseph Hicks mark (or so I am told) that differs from the marks shown on the website— note the barred I — and is fairly tiny, no more than 3mm.wide
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Postby Granmaa » Thu May 06, 2010 6:34 am

Now that is interesting!
I haven't seen a Joseph Hicks mark quite like that. I currently have seven different marks of his.

The relief duty mark suggests post 1786, and the lion does seem like the Exeter "letterbox" lion (below).

The spoon itself is, I believe, called a sucket spoon. I have been going through the Exeter assay books and have not come across a mention of one, but the records are missing for 1784-94.

Thank you for posting it.

Miles


Image
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Re: Exeter Hallmarks and Makers Photo Request

Postby dognose » Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:42 am

Hi Miles,

A couple of 19th century examples that I know you already have, but may be of use. The makers, however are unknown to me.

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Jacob Nathan? Nice example of 'crowned lion's head'.

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Unknown.

Regards Trev.

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Re: Exeter Hallmarks and Makers Photo Request

Postby Granmaa » Sun Aug 29, 2010 1:51 pm

Thanks for those, Trev.

WHL is likely William Henry Lamport. His name does not appear in the assay books, but I have seen him listed in street directories from 1823-38 as a silversmith and jeweller of 29 Whimple St, Plymouth. I have seen his mark on flatware dated: 1829, 33, 37 and 39. He was declared bankrupt in 1841.

I don't know for certain who JN is. Jacob Nathan was sending items to assay from 1803-1836, but only gold rings, silver rings and gold buttons.
I have seen this mark before on an 1815 teaspoon. It looks, as it does on your photo, to be overstriking. Possibly a Joseph Hicks mark. For the moment my money is on Jacob Nathan.

Miles

Anyone with an piece of 18th century Exeter silver or an unusual maker, please do consider posting a photo here.

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Re: Exeter Hallmarks and Makers Photo Request

Postby dognose » Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:51 am

Hi Miles,

Many thanks for the information. On close inspection the 'JN' mark is indeed an overstrike of 'JH'.

Things get much more interesting and are worthy of further examination when we come to the subject of the Lamport spoon and his non-registration at the Exeter Assay Office. How could such a spoon be marked at the assay office without registeration? The answer may well be found when we look at the way the wholesale silver flatware trade was being carried out at that time.

We know from Henry Ellis's diaries that by 1826 he appears to have given up the manufacture of flatware, due to the availability of cheaper, factory produced output that could be acquired from the larger London silversmiths.

This entry from from his diary appeared in: viewtopic.php?f=38&t=15546

The Diaries of Henry Ellis, the Exeter silversmith and jeweller, give a most interesting account of how business was conducted at this time.

This is an entry from 1826.

“ After repeated solicitations I opened an account with Mr Jonathan Hayne of London, silversmith, who carried on a large manufactory of spoons and forks on the ready money principle, deducting a long discount from the fashion of those articles for immediate cash. From the great competition which has sprung up in the trade, in this branch in particular, I now found it necessary, having money at my command, to obtain these goods at the lowest possible price. A system had lately been introduced by Thos. Cox Savory who was advertising in almost every part of the Kingdom, of reducing the sale of silver plate to a mere nominal shade of the profit. The day had undoubtably gone by when large profits were to be realised on any article, but here was an instance in which things of superfluity and luxury were cut down to a price which yielded less profit than the commonest necessaries of life. The name of Cox Savory thus became execrated in the trade, until others one by one, were compelled, in their own defence, to adopt the same plan. This was a great hardship on the country shop keeper where the demand was necessarily limited, for as it has been justly observed: The stockbroker may realise a splendid fortune at 3 / 4 or 3 / 8 per cent while the small dealer will starve on a profit of 50. Thus those goods were sold by this house in large quantities, and always paid for on delivery across the counter, just as change would be given for a banknote. But as regards the customer in the country, the case is very different for I found by the time those articles were engraved (for they were generally left for that purpose), sent home and the purchaser called to pay for them, it was on average a month at least before what he called ‘ready money’ passed into my hands.”


Henry Ellis purchased such wares on his frequent buying trips to London, it is doubtful if he carried such weighty parcels with him from supplier to supplier, it is far more likely that Hayne would arranged delivery down to Exeter. But was to Ellis's premises that the goods were destined, or direct to the assay office? Would Ellis have the goods delivered to his premises, and upon his return to Exeter, unpack the secure packages, stamp his mark onto each individual piece, re-pack the items and then take them to the assay office, leave the items there, return home for several hours and then return to the assay office to collect the now marked flatware. Most of this labour could have been avoided if the Assaymaster was obliging enough to accept a parcel from a reputable London manufacturer.

Could the above be the reason we occassionally come across an Exeter assayed spoon marked as below?

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Returning to Mr Lamport, a perhaps small retailer in Plymouth, not big enough to justify buying trips to London. Maybe he acquired his pre-assayed flatware from someone like Henry Ellis. All he had to do was to strike his mark on the piece and job done. No registration and no trips to the assay office, "look at my spoons" he may have said, "as good as any you would find in London".

Is there any evidence to back my thoughts up? Well maybe a little.

Below is the WHL mark from my earlier post:

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And this is a Henry Ellis marked piece:

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Note both have a chevron tally type mark. This is likely the only mark struck on the blanks when the left the London supplier as it is unlikely that Lamport or even Ellis, would have had enough journeymen that they needed an individual mark to identify them. Also note the unusual distance between Ellis's mark and the chevron mark, usually a tally mark is struck close to that of the maker's mark. It may be that, in this case, that the mark is not that of a journeymen but just a mark used by the manufacturer to denote his work.

Regards Trev.

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Re: Exeter Hallmarks and Makers Photo Request

Postby MCB » Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:07 pm

Hello Miles,

Between 1841 and 1861 Jacob Nathan born c1784 is recorded in Census records at Trevillo Street Plymouth first as a goldsmith then in 1851 as a pawnbroker. He lived with his two brothers Nathaniel born c1778 and Henry born c1793. At various times on the Census forms Henry was shown as a pawnbroker or jeweller, Nathaniel as a (retired) jeweller so it looks as though these were family businesses.
I should have liked to find a link to Solomon Nathan of Plymouth whom Jackson's book page 305 shows active in Plymouth from 1796-1805 as all the brothers were all said to have been born in Plymouth but there is quite a dearth of information as to baptisms or christenings to discover who their father and mother were!
Jacob died in Plymouth in 1867.
Strangely there is nothing on the web sites for William H Lamport as far as I can see.
I hope the opus still goes well.

Regards,
Mike

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Re: Exeter Hallmarks and Makers Photo Request

Postby Granmaa » Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:13 pm

Hi Trev,

The issue of Exeter marked silver with a maker's mark not listed in the assay books is part explained on page 73 of the 1856 Parliamentary Report.
James Williams (Bristol manufacturer) is being interviewed by the committee:

Are they in the habit at Exeter of allowing the plate to be marked with the initials of the dealers instead of the manufacturers?
JW - Yes.
Do you consider that an objectionable proceeding?
JW - Not at all.
But it is stated in a paper which is before the committee, that the practice of allowing plate to be so marked, affords means of evading one of the checks contemplated by the Act of Parliament, and is therefore very objectionable?
JW - We only use it in one case, and that is in the case of a very large consumer; his name is duly entered in the register kept at the hall, and there is no difficulty in ascertaining who the manufacturer was.



Hi Mike,

I too could not find Lamport in the census websites. I imagine it has simply been mistranscribed.
As for the Nathans, some connection may yet be made. I still have so many records to look through!

Miles

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Re: Exeter Hallmarks and Makers Photo Request

Postby dognose » Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:07 pm

Jacob Nathan left £20,000 to charity.

Jacob Nathan, by his will dated the 15th January 1864 and proved at Exeter on the 3rd June 1867 (Messrs. Hooker, Matthews, Harrison & Co., Plymouth, solicitors to the trustees of the will.)

His bequests were:
£1,000, the interest to be given half-yearly to the following: Israel Myers, Joseph Abrahams, Ann Isaacs, Bella and Esther Levy, and Harriet Bellem, and on their demise to the Hebrew Soup Kitchen, Aldgate, London, and the Guardians of the poor Hebrews, London; £1,200, interest of, to the Hebrew Blind Asylum, London; £1,000, interest of, to the poor of Jerusalem; £3,000, interest of, for establishing a school to be called the Jacob Nathan School, for teaching Hebrew, expounding the Holy Scriptures, and elementary education; £600 for establishing the Jacob Nathan School; £1,000, interest of, for the maintenance of the Hebrew public worship–Plymouth congregation; £500 for a burial-ground for Hebrews, Plymouth. The interest of the following sums also to be applied to the purposes named: £400, to be divided on different holidays to the Jewish poor, Plymouth; £200, for clothing children attending the Jacob Nathan School; £100, for supplying coals to Jewish poor, Plymouth; £100, for Jewish Ladies' Benevolent Society, Plymouth; £150, Jews' Free School, Greek Street, Soho, London; £200, for the Jewish Hospital, Norwood; £200, for Jewish Free School, Westminster; £200, for Jewish Orphan Asylum, Tenterground, Goodman's Fields, London; £200, Jews' Infant School, London; £200, Jews' Free School, Bell Lane, Spitalfields; £200, Jewish Institution for Diffusion of Knowledge; £200, Jewish College, Finsbury Square; £200, Jewish West Metropolitan School, Red Lion Square; £200, Philanthropic Society, London; £200, Hand-in-Hand Asylum, London; £50, Hebrew Benevolent Society, Bristol; £60, Jews' School, Birmingham; £50, Ladies' Benevolent Society, Liverpool; £50, Hebrew School, Newcastle; £60, Jewish Mendicity Society, Portsmouth; £200, South Devon and East Cornwall Hospital, Plymouth; £200, Public Dispensary, Plymouth; £150, Female Orphan Asylum, Plymouth; £150, Blanket Society, Plymouth; £150, Eye Infirmary, Plymouth; £60, Lying in Charity, Plymouth; £50, Branch National Life-Boat, Plymouth; £60, Humane Society, Plymouth; £50, Sailors' Home, Plymouth; £50, Female Penitentiary, Plymouth; £50, Blind Asylum, Plymouth; £70, Female Home, Plymouth; £50, Industrial School, Plymouth; £60, Bagged School, Plymouth; £150, Orphan Asylum, Stoke; £150, Public Hospital, Devonport; £60, Blind Institution, Devonport; £200, Metropolitan Hospital, Devonshire Square, London; £200, London Hospital, Middlesex; £60, British Asylum, Clapham; £60, British Home for Incurables, Clapham; £50, Deaf and Dumb Asylum, London; £70, National Orphan Asylum, Ham; £50, Deaf and Dumb Asylum, Exeter; and, absolutely, £19 19s. to the Society for Preventing Cruelty to Animals, Plymouth; the like to the Plymouth Soup Kitchen; and £30 to the Plymouth Benevolent Society.

Trev.

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Re: Exeter Hallmarks and Makers Photo Request

Postby robtherib » Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:01 am

Hi, A new member to this site and came across your request. I have 5 silver buttons which I believe to have an early Exeter assay mark but I cannot be certain. Perhaps you can help identify the buttons and marks ? Are they any use to you in you Exeter hallmark investigations ?
I do have pictures (not very good) if needed. The ship button shows: a crown XXXN and the other is a soldier on horse back the mark is very small but looks like: is4.

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Re: Exeter Hallmarks and Makers Photo Request

Postby georgiansilver » Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:29 am

Hey Miles. Website may be of use to you! Best wishes, Mike. http://www.silvermakersmarks.co.uk/Makers/Exeter.html


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