blakstone wrote:You’ll note the small pellet under the “8” in the mark; this indicated the secondary assay office in the Vienne department, which was located in Chatellerault.
Tardy lists only the departmental numbers for 1819-1838. It is important to note that the official department numbers changed several times in the first third of the 19th century as the Napoleonic Empire rose and fell and new departments were added and lost. (This is why the department numbers for the 1819-1838 marks do not match the current official department numbers, as the numbering has changed over the last two centuries as new departments were created, and some eliminated.) This fluctuation was part of the reason department numbers were replaced by “différents” – symbol codes – for assay offices in 1838. The assay office numbers used in the first three post-revolutionary series of marks – First Republic (1798-1809), Empire (1809-1819), and Restauration (1819-1838) – are all different, and you must make sure that you are checking the appropriate table of assay office/department numbers corresponding to the particular series of marks. Yves Markezna’s Les Poinçons Français (Paris: Editions Vial, 2005) is probably the most readily available reference which has the complete tables.
As for the maker, that is more problematic. Elie Pailloux’s Orfèvres et Poinçons, Poitou Angoumois Aunis Saintoige : XVIIe-XVIIIe-XIXe S. (La Rochelle: Librairie Pailloux, 1962), which is the standard reference for Chatellerault, unfortunately does not show this mark. (Pailloux gives no biographical information on any Chatellerault makers of the 19th century, and the marks and names of those only until about 1821.)
However, Chatellerault was a large center of cutlery manufacture in the 19th century, and there was much crossover between the silver and cutlery trades after the abolition of the guilds in 1791. Several of the early 19th century silversmith’s marks that are shown in Pailloux are listed as cutlers in trade directories and Camille Pagé’s La Coutellerie (Chatellerault: H. Riviere, 1898), a massive six-volume history of cutlery with a particular focus on Chatellerault (where Pagé himself was from an important family of cutlers).
Pagé mentions a Chatellerault cutler, working 1810-1835, by the name of Torbat-Bachellier. This is clearly Marc Antoine Turbot, culter, who married, on 16 Jan 1819 in Chatellerault, to Rose Bachellier. It was a common practice in the region for couples to hyphenate their last names, and Pailloux shows numerous Chatellerault silversmith’s marks in this fashion (e.g., “GP” for Gougeault-Perraut, “DA” for Daille-Audiger; “BD” for Bouruche-Dalliat, for “BD” for Briault-Dugas, “DD” for Dansac-Doasan, and many others).
Moreover, Pailloux shows a silver mark – MT with a pellet above and below – that was entered for cutler Marc Turbot. Given the similarity of the marks, I think it highly likely that your mark “TB” is that of Marc Antoine Turbot-Bachellier, who changed his mark after his marriage in 1819.
He was born in Chatellerault on 21 Aug 1796, the son of Antoine Turbot (also a cutler) and Louise Chaveneau, and died there on 29 Jul 1864. He had a son, Marc Antoine Turbot fils (1819-1857), also a cutler, who predeceased him.
Hope this helps!
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