Cattle & Barber Salts

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dognose
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Cattle & Barber Salts

Postby dognose » Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:50 am

A pair of salts manufactured by the partnership of Robert Cattle and James Barber.

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Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.4 cm. Weight: 180 grams (the pair).

This pair were part of a lot of four pairs submitted for assay at the York Assay Office on the 30th January 1814, of this we can be confident, as there was no other submission of salts around this period and by this partnership. These would have been the last salts to be made by the firm of Cattle and Barber.

The use of the incuse punches are not without note, these punches were usually reserved for the marking of gold items, but Michael Baggott in his 'Illustrated Guide to York Hallmarks 1776-1858' notes the following: "Occasionally an incuse version of the date letter will occur (the letters 'a' and 'b' for 1812-14), which in the past caused some confusion..... The explanation for the use of these incuse marks is a simple one. Small incuse punches were favoured at York for the assay of gold, but on occasion when a small punch was required to be struck (or if no other punch was to hand) then the incuse punch meant for gold would be struck on silver"

Many thanks to members 'dartsil' and 'antiquum obitens' for providing information for this post.

Trev.

Granmaa
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Re: Cattle & Barber Salts

Postby Granmaa » Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:52 am

Thanks for posting this, Trev.

There's some interesting casting on those salts. I wouldn't have expected that on York silver of that date.

Miles

dognose
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Re: Cattle & Barber Salts

Postby dognose » Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:57 am

Hi Miles,

Yes, It does does show what fine work they were capable of. I believe later, James Barber bought in unmarked pieces from London, (Barnards from memory), but not at this early date I believe.

Martin Gubbins offered a different opinion to the incuse 'B' mark, in his 'York Assay Office & Silversmiths 1776 - 1858':

"This maker's mark 'JB', besides occuring on spoons with the date letter 'a', has also been seen on a cup bearing no normal date letter but an incuse 'B'. It is possible that this represented a stop-gap for the correct 'b' date letter.......One can only conclude that the first three years of the new alphabet found the assay office particularly carelessly run, and so it appears fruitless to seek a rational explanation for so many aberrations of hallmarking.

Trev.

doublestruck
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Re: Cattle & Barber Salts

Postby doublestruck » Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:19 am

They are A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

Kind wish
K

Aguest
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Re: Cattle & Barber Salts

Postby Aguest » Sun Mar 06, 2016 7:55 am

Fantastic, I would love to just find one item from York in my lifetime. And here are two amazing salt cellars.
Do these salts happen to be monogrammed or do they have a family crest?
The first pic seems to suggest markings on the sides of the salts, although this could be a reflection from across the room.

dognose
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Re: Cattle & Barber Salts

Postby dognose » Sun Mar 06, 2016 10:11 am

Hi Aguest,

I was sent those images a few years ago, I'm afraid there was only the four of them with no further detail.

Trev.


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