Help please with date and maker of Newcastle teaspoon

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Salter
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Help please with date and maker of Newcastle teaspoon

Postby Salter » Mon May 01, 2006 9:47 pm

Hello,
Does anyone know who the maker GM is? Also, why would this spoon not have a date letter? Any info would be appreciated. Thanks in advance,
Will

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Waylander
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Postby Waylander » Tue May 02, 2006 9:18 am

Well, it looks to be Newcastle assayed. Unsure why there is no date letter, but you have a male duty mark, which helps. Personally think its betwen 1821 and 1839 (1829-1831 specifically if pushed). I would hazard a guess at George Murray but he died 1816 (marked entered 1805). May still be him - hard to tell w/out a date letter.

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Granmaa
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Postby Granmaa » Tue May 02, 2006 12:37 pm

Unfortunately for the spoon collector, date marks for provincial assay towns rarely appeared on small spoons (e.g. tea and mustard) until the early 19th century, and it was only common practice by 1821! I'm afraid Will, that your spoon was assayed in Newcastle, as Waylander said, which is a provincial assay town. I have a Dorothy Langlands teaspoon (Newcastle) with no date, so I can empathize with your situation.

Waylander, did you arrive at your 1821-39 date based on the lack of cusping on the duty mark? The collector can't even use this valuable tool, because cusping was not used on the duty marks of small spoons in Newcastle. I disagree with your 1821-39 because, as I mentioned above, by that time date marks were being used on small spoons, and also the rapid broadening of the handle suggests a date much nearer the turn of the century.

I had never heard of George Murray before, so I looked him up and found one mark of his from 1810 which I think is fairly similar to this one, though there are some differences (sorry for the poor quality). You'll notice the order of the hallmarks: maker-town-lion-duty which was the practice from 1798-1815 (although not exclusively).

In conclusion I believe the maker was (as suggested by Waylander) George Murray and was made 1805-1810.

Mike (georgiansilver), I would love to hear your opinion on this piece.


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georgiansilver
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Postby georgiansilver » Tue May 02, 2006 1:17 pm

I guess it's almost all been said. George Murray is the only GM I can remember as assayed at Newcastle office and looking at George 111's head on the spoon I would suggest it is the 1800-1805 head shape. His head first appeared in 1784-5 and had some six or seven changes in look(as I remember). The one on the spoon just pricks my memory banks as being the one at the time I mentioned. What do you think? If this is correct and George Murrays stamp mark was entered in 1805...then we can accurately date the spoon to bang on 1805. Best I can do from memory I'm afraid. Best wishes, Mike.
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Granmaa
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Postby Granmaa » Tue May 02, 2006 1:46 pm

Wasn't there a special bust from 11th October 1804 - 28 May 1805 with a particularly narrow bottom line on the bust (I don't know how else to describe it), one which looks exactly like this one?

If so, we can make quite an accurate dating for a spoon with no date mark!

Miles
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Salter
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Postby Salter » Tue May 02, 2006 4:53 pm

Dear All,

I can’t tell you how impressed I am at your expertise. Talk about precise. Thank you all so much! Who would have thought that I would be able to find out so much about my little spoon that I found in a tray of 1960’s plate at a garage sale in Blind Bay, B.C. on Easter weekend.

I hope you will forgive my ignorance with another question. The handle of the spoon has a definite curve, would this have been made this way?

Thanks again,
Will
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Granmaa
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Postby Granmaa » Tue May 02, 2006 6:07 pm

Dear Will,

Old English pattern (your design) spoons often had slightly curved handles. A good way of telling if a spoon should have a curve in it, is by lying it on a flat surface and looking at it sideways; if the bowl points slightly upwards (5-15 degrees) then there should be a curve to offset the inclination of the bowl, otherwise it would be difficult to use. If, however, the bowl points slightly downwards, the bend should not be there.
Yours seems fine.

Miles

PS Here is the difference in the bottom line of the bust I was talking about. Here are three pictures: one from 1804, one from the earlier part of 1805 and one from the latter part of 1805. Notice the difference on the early 1805 piece.

1804
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Early 1805
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Late 1805
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Last edited by Granmaa on Fri May 19, 2006 7:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Waylander
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Postby Waylander » Wed May 03, 2006 9:06 am

Mike and Miles

Thanks for your comments. Miles, my comments were solely based on the shape of the duty mark (for reasons unknown to me the other photos were not working?), but on reflection, your comments seem correct and I would, especially on the basis of the George Murray mark, agree with you.

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