Robertson-Darling Ladle?

PHOTOS REQUIRED - marks + item
Hunter
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Robertson-Darling Ladle?

Postby Hunter » Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:42 am

Thank you for having this forum. I'm researching a silver ladle which has the IR DD mark that I gather represents the John Robertson-David Darling partnership, but the piece lacks any other marks. It appears to be hammered silver with a spiral twisted (not carved) handle of great delicacy (looks like ebony but grain is in a spiral). The 1mm surface edge of the lip of the ladle has a pattern stamped on it. Can it be authentic without the other marks? I appreciate your thoughts. I gather I can't upload photos as I get a "quota has been reached" message but can email them if anyone is interested. Thanks!

dognose
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Re: Robertson-Darling Ladle?

Postby dognose » Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:58 pm

Hi,

Welcome to the Forum.

Your question cannot be answered until you have posted the required photos as per the Posting Requirements

Check out How to Add Images

http://www.tinypic.com is recommended.

Trev.

Hunter
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Re: Robertson-Darling Ladle?

Postby Hunter » Sun Nov 07, 2010 5:31 pm

Sorry to be such a newbie! Here are the photos:

Image
Image

agphile
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Re: Robertson-Darling Ladle?

Postby agphile » Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:07 pm

It is not that unusual to find items of this period that have escaped assay for one reason or another though it was becoming less common by the end of the 18th century. Incidentally, I think you will find the handle is whalebone.

silverly
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Re: Robertson-Darling Ladle?

Postby silverly » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:34 pm

Another name for whalebone that is used in connection with handles like yours is baleen.

silverport
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Re: Robertson-Darling Ladle?

Postby silverport » Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:30 pm

Whale bone?

Hello

Maybe it's usual to say in English speaking area to the handles material, well incorrect, »Whale "bone"« only?

But it isn't »bone« - it's »horn«.

In the past centuries, until first decennia of XX century, this Baleen whale material was used e.g. also as »corset "bone"«; for reason of his flexibility.

Kind regards silverport

silverly
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Re: Robertson-Darling Ladle?

Postby silverly » Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:08 pm

I agree with your distinction silverport, but as I understand it whale and baleen are synonymous. Even though they are a bit of a misnomer, I believe whalebone or baleen are the accepted terms used to identify this handle.

dognose
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Re: Robertson-Darling Ladle?

Postby dognose » Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:19 am

Hi,

Your ladle, despite it lack of marks, can be dated very accurately as the partnership of John Robertson and David Darling of 21, Dean Street, was a very short-lived one, being in existance for the period July 1795 until November 1796.

For more information on the term 'Baleen', see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baleen

Trev.

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Re: Robertson-Darling Ladle?

Postby agphile » Mon Nov 08, 2010 8:50 am

Re. Whalebone, as the one who used the term I can add that it is a perfectly proper and long established English word. Note that it is a single word. If I wanted to refer to a real whale bone, I would use two words as I have just done.

Whalebone used to be the more generally used word and I suspect that the average English person would need to look baleen up in a dictionary. However, I have noticed an increasing tendency to use the word baleen when describing antiques. I suspect that this is because whalebone is no longer familiar as an everyday item and there is a fear that the reader will misunderstand (or a desire to show off knowledge of the less common word!). I still prefer to use the traditional and perfectly correct term. That might be a sign of my age.

silverly
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Re: Robertson-Darling Ladle?

Postby silverly » Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:10 am

May I say that as this is a discussion group, mentioning additional words about a subject when they actually apply should not be considered showing off. Even genuine mistakes should be handled with an air of forgiveness in our format.

Hunter
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Re: Robertson-Darling Ladle?

Postby Hunter » Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:38 am

Wow, thank you all for your thoughts. Now that I know about Baleen, I'd love to know more about the piece as a whole. I've seen many examples of this style of ladle--is it common to find ones from this period and by this maker? I thought it was pretty miraculous that this one had survived unbroken.

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Re: Robertson-Darling Ladle?

Postby Granmaa » Mon Nov 08, 2010 11:16 am

I've had a Newcastle punch ladle, marked like yours with makers' mark only, but for John Langlands and John Robertson.

Miles

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Re: Robertson-Darling Ladle?

Postby agphile » Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:59 pm

Silverly

I hope you did not think I was accusing you of showing off. Your explanation of the terms was on the contrary helpful. My comment was aimed, slightly tongue in cheek, at the way some sellers describe their wares.

David

silverly
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Re: Robertson-Darling Ladle?

Postby silverly » Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:46 pm

David,

Thanks! I just imagined I was slightly in the line of fire. Your "write ups" are always exemplary, but with a possible double barrel there, I thought maybe you had gotten a little irritated. I aplologize for that.

Pat

agphile
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Re: Robertson-Darling Ladle?

Postby agphile » Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:51 pm

Hunter

In reply to your question about how common these items are, 18th century punch ladles of this general form are not too hard to find. You can, for example, usually find one or two offered in on-line auctions. However, I think it would probably take a long time, if ever, to find another with your particuar maker's mark, particularly bearing in mind that the mark was only in use for a limited period.

agphile
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Re: Robertson-Darling Ladle?

Postby agphile » Mon Nov 08, 2010 2:04 pm

Pat
You have nothing to apologise for. I need to be more careful to make my meaning clear. All fault is mine. And all because at the outset I was too lazy to type "whalebone, otherwise known as baleen...." with an explanation of what this was.
David

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Re: Robertson-Darling Ladle?

Postby StewartMcI » Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:46 pm

The 1mm surface edge of the lip of the ladle has a pattern stamped on it. Can it be authentic without the other marks?

Hunter, you mention a pattern on the lip of the ladle.

In this period, particularly in the smaller provincial centres, it was relatively common for the bowls of these ladles for hot punch or toddy to be hammered up from a coin, leaving the edge wording of the coin as intact as possible. This provided, in and of itself, a guarantee that the piece was made of good standard solid silver.

We might also note that the use of baleen provided the necessary insulation against the heat of the punch, and was less susceptible to damage by the hot liquid than the earlier turned wood handles.

Stewart


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