Early Dublin Spoon

PHOTOS REQUIRED - marks + item
scorpio
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Location: Ireland

Early Dublin Spoon

Postby scorpio » Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:39 am

This is an old Dublin Hanoverian rat tail spoon in fine condition. It could be a Queen Anne or George I spoon as the X date mark on it was used from the 1st November 1713 to the 31st October 1715. This pattern of spoon was known in Ireland from 1710 and referred to as 'Hanoverian' after the accession of George I in August 1714.

The EB maker's mark puzzles me a bit. It has to be Edward Barrett (1698-1730) but this particular mark does not appear in Douglas Bennett's Collecting Irish Silver (see photo below). Edward Barrett used capitalised EB in a rectangular reserve and capitalised script EB in an oval reserve but the mark here is a mixture of the two. 500 Years of Irish Silver just shows two of the marks Bennett shows.

Although I may be wrong, to me the initials seem to be in an oval reserve rather than in a rectangular reserve worn to an oval shape over the intervening 300 years so has anyone come across this particular mark before for Edward Barrett?

Gordon

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scorpio
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Posts: 160
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:41 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: Early Dublin Spoon

Postby scorpio » Fri May 15, 2015 7:26 am

I spoke to a gentleman in the Dublin Assay Office this morning who told me he took the opportunity to refer this undocumented EB mark to Douglas Bennett when he visited the office recently and Douglas Bennett confirmed it is indeed one of Edward Barrett's marks.

Gordon

Traintime
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Re: Early Dublin Spoon

Postby Traintime » Sat Aug 08, 2015 1:00 am

Your fat backed B seems lead off differently from mark 3 (#118). Perhaps this is a transitional mark placed between 2 and 3, but in which direction did the marks evolve? Maybe a large enough sample of known pieces attributable to specific dates of manufacture could clarify this. Since this beautiful find is in such pristine condition, you'd be correct to rule out wear as changing the mark's field. Of course one wonders why the other stampings were so poor on a piece obviously crafted with care. Hangover?

scorpio
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Posts: 160
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:41 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: Early Dublin Spoon

Postby scorpio » Fri Aug 14, 2015 4:16 pm

I can't be sure but it is likely Douglas Bennett listed maker's marks in the order he believed they were used so script first and block letters later in the case of Edward Barrett. This seems to be borne out by a 1702 spoon having script letters and a 1725 marrow scoop having block capitals.

As this spoon dates approximately halfway through Edward Barrett's life as a silversmith, it is likely it fits in between the oval script and rectangular block capital marks, 117 and 118. Unfortunately, there are few examples of his work available to examine. However, since I started this thread, I came across a silver fork dated 1719 with the same oval maker's mark with block capital initials as on my spoon so it seems he was using this mark for at least five years. On this fork, Barrett's mark is again struck deeper and has lasted better than the assay office date and harp crowned marks which show more wear but are still readily discernible.


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