Seal Top Spoon

PHOTOS REQUIRED - marks + item
DublinFusiler
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:50 pm

Seal Top Spoon

Postby DublinFusiler » Mon Aug 24, 2015 7:25 am

Hi,

I purchased this spoon yesterday from a gentleman who purchased it at Adams last year. Its description from Adams was:

"AN IRISH GEORGE III SILVER-GILT SEAL END SPOON, Dublin 1762, mark of John Craig, the fig shaped bowl crested tot he reverse, thought to be that of Sir Compton Meade Bart., Domville Santry"

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Would this have been made as a contemporary 'fake' of a spoon dating to some 150 years earlier?

The marks are very pinched, could this have been 'recycled' from the original John Craig spoon?

Any assistance would be most welcome.

Karl

agphile
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Re: Seal Top Spoon

Postby agphile » Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:58 am

It is generally safe to assume that 18th century apostle or seal top spoons started life as Hanoverian (or Old English) spoons and were re-worked in the 19th or early 20th century when their finials were added to exploit a growing collectors' market. I hesitate to condemn your spoon outright on the basis of photographs alone. Perhaps they did things differently in Dublin. I suppose somebody with a taste for the "Gothick" could have ordered a seal-top spoon back in the 1760s as a mock antiquity.

However, I think it wiser to be a bit suspicious. The pinched marks could be the result of re-shaping or just of tidying up and finishing after the marks were originally applied to a Hanoverian pattern spoon. I am more concerned about their positioning on the stem some way up from the bowl but I don't know enough about Irish practice to know whether this should worry me as much as it would on an English spoon. I can't tell from the photo whether there is any indication that the bowl may have been soldered to the stem as is sometimes the case with these alterations and which might explain the position of the marks.

The intriguing inventory number and scratch weight somehow look more 19th than 18th century to me.

Sorry if these comments are a bit disappointing.

DublinFusiler
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:50 pm

Re: Seal Top Spoon

Postby DublinFusiler » Tue Aug 25, 2015 7:19 am

Many thanks for the information, of its not disappointing, I was aware of what I was buying.

If my understanding is correct, there are no known example of period Irish seal top spoons so that may explain the appetite for such versions.

agphile
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Location: UK

Re: Seal Top Spoon

Postby agphile » Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:41 pm

I think you are right. I certainly don't know of any in-period Irish seal tops

scorpio
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Location: Ireland

Re: Seal Top Spoon

Postby scorpio » Tue Aug 25, 2015 3:34 pm

I have a vague recollection of examining this spoon last year when on view. The same spoon appeared in the same place in 2008 but because of forum guidelines I cannot provide a link but you can easily find it and what happened or should I say what didn't happen.

The date of 1762 puzzles me as John Craig's working life is given by Bennett as 1769 to 1783. I can see the I.C on the spoon but the date mark is too squashed and discoloured in the photo to make anything of it.

I don't know any period Irish seal top spoons either and I don't believe the National Museum has one either, just a 1639-40 slip top spoon.

DublinFusiler
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:50 pm

Re: Seal Top Spoon

Postby DublinFusiler » Wed Aug 26, 2015 4:39 am

Thanks Scorpio,

I did notice the date issue.

Its an interesting spoon. Do you think that it was made as contemporary 'recreation' or a later fake?

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

Re: Seal Top Spoon

Postby scorpio » Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:56 pm

Sorry for delay in replying. I have to agree with agphile, it looks suspiciously like it was converted from a tablespoon. However, as you were aware of what you were buying, I'm sure you'll just enjoy it as an interesting piece.


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