John Cook---A Rare Newcastle Maker

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dognose
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John Cook---A Rare Newcastle Maker

Postby dognose » Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:12 pm

Here we have a couple of Newcastle tablespoons that are not without interest.

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The maker is the rarely seen Newcastle silversmith John Cook. Cook's working period spanned eighteen years from 1832 until 1850, the top example was assayed in 1835 and the lower one in 1837. The records of the Newcastle Assay Office show the amount of silver that he submitted to assay was small indeed.

His submissions were as follows:

1832 = 211 oz.
1833 = 493 oz.
1834 = 272 oz.
1835 = 349 oz.
1836 = 323 oz.
1837 = 258 oz.
1838 = 95 oz.
1839 = 74 oz.
1840 = 69 oz.
1841 = 55 oz.
1842 = 44 oz.
1843 = 9 oz.
1844 = 21 oz.
1845 = 83 oz.
1846 = 0 oz.
1847 = 4 oz.
1848 = 36 oz.
1849 = 14 oz.
1850 = 3 oz.

John Cook's relationship with the assay office was not a happy one, it is noted in the records that between the 23rd November 1833 and the 27th May 1845 he had several batches of submissions broken by the assay office for being below standard.

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These spoons also show the improvement in the quality of the punches that were acquired by the Newcastle Company in July 1837 from the London engraver John Smith. Smith who was fast falling out of favour with the London Company (he was replaced by William Wyon in 1839), produced somewhat better examples than those previously used at Newcastle despite his failing eyesight.

Trev.
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