Possibly Cork soup ladle

PHOTOS REQUIRED - marks + item
rat-tail
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Possibly Cork soup ladle

Postby rat-tail » Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:54 pm

Hi All
Any thoughts appreciated on identifying the maker of this rather large fiddle pattern soup ladle. it is simply punched JMd once. The front is monogrammed M. Measures 38cm and weighs about 230 grams. I have found a mark that matches this in Jacksons, which he attributes to an unidentified Cork maker 1796. Being fiddle pattern, it is probably a little latter than this and the long fiddle almost suggests a Scottish origin. It has no shoulders, so unlikely to be English provincial. Maybe in the intervening 90 years since my copy of Jacksons was published, someone has some insight into the maker. Many thanks Frank

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dognose
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Re: Possibly Cork soup ladle

Postby dognose » Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:24 pm

Hi Frank,

Perhaps that's some damage to the mark, but I think that it may be 'JMc'?

The initials, and the Oar pattern handle, all point to a Scottish origin. The Incorporation of Edinburgh Goldsmiths website does have an image of a similar mark, but have it as 'unidentified'. Unfortunately, 'JMc' must be just about the commonest set of initials for a Scotsman and further identification may be difficult.

Hopefully someone else may have some thoughts.

Regards, Trev.

rat-tail
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Re: Possibly Cork soup ladle

Postby rat-tail » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:52 pm

Thanks Trev
I must admit when I bought the ladle I thought it was Scottish - still do and you've confirmed that - and was somewhat surprised when researching in Jacksons lead me to the Cork page. Yet the mark is definitely JMd. It's not the clearest of photos - sorry - but there is a definite line to the side to the d that extends above what could be a "c" and has a serif at the foot. I'll try to get a better shot.
Two possibilities
There were two JMd s one in Scotland and one in Ireland. Which seems unlikely. This mark could be said to have slightly thicker letters slightly closer together than the one in Jacksons, although this could be explained by 200 years of polishing. It's certainly a reasonable match.
Or did Jackson misattribute the maker JMd? We don't know on what grounds he ascribed the mark to Cork. He notes the mark on some old English spoons from Mr Dudley Westropp. Most of the marks in the Cork section of this period are from Westropp's collection. it's not inconceivable that in the 100 years or so prior to Jackson seeing this mark that some Scottish spoons had made a trip to Ireland, got mixed up in some Irish provincial silver and snapped up by an early collector who certainly didn't have the reference material at his disposal we have today - and were presumed Irish. And there would be nothing about some old English spoons that screamed Scotland, like this ladle does. Just a thought.

One question: When did the oar pattern first make it's appearance in Scotland? Is it - as I've always thought of it - a Scottish variant on the fiddle pattern, or does it have a completely different history.

Many thanks Frank


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