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dognose
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The West Indian Trade - Information and Advertisements

Postby dognose » Sat Dec 26, 2009 1:15 pm

Official Hallmarking in Jamaica

Jamaica silver is amongst the least seen of British colonial silver, I've never handled a piece, but the 'Alligator's Head' mark that was in use on the island is well documented. I always imagined that the system of control that would have been used was that of a self-governing type, as was the case in other colonies, and I had not realised until recently that hallmarking in Jamaica was ever official.

The original laws setting the standards and enforcing the marking of silver and gold where put in place during the reign of Charles II in 1681. Those found guilty of breaking these laws lost their ears and endured a period in the pillory (Hard, but fair!). The pillory, often depicted these days as a target for the throwers of rotten vegetables, was in fact a place where many departed this life, for rather than soft tomatoes, such items as rocks and stones were the likely missiles that were used by an often bloodthirsty mob.

The laws relating to hallmarking in Jamaica are shown below:

CAP. XVI.

An act for the assaying of gold and silver wares, and bullion.

2nd July, 1747.

I. Whereas by an act of the governor, council, and assembly of this island entitled, An act for ascertaining the value of foreign coins, and establishing interest, it is, amongst other things, thereby enacted and ordained, That no goldsmith, or worker in gold and silver, within this island, from and after the first day of August, one thousand six hundred and eighty-one, should work, sell, exchange, or cause to be wrought, sold, or exchanged, any plate, or other goldsmiths wares of gold, less in fineness than twenty-two carats; and that, from the time aforesaid, no goldsmith, or worker in gold or silver, should make, sell, or exchange, in any place within this island, any plate, or goldsmiths wares of silver, less in fineness than that of eleven ounces two pennyweight; and that no goldsmith, or worker in gold and silver, should presume to put to sale, exchange, or sell, any plate of goldsmiths work of gold or silver, before he hath set his own mark to so much thereof as may conveniently bear the same upon pain of forfeiting the value of the thing so sold or exchanged ; that whatsoever goldsmith, of worker in gold or silver, as aforesaid, from and after the said first day of August, should presume to sell or exchange any gold or silver wares of less fineness than aforesaid, for every such first offence should forfeit treble the value of the said wares so sold or exchanged ; one half whereof to our sovereign lord the king, his heirs and successors, for and towards the support of the government of this island, and the contingent charges thereof, and the other half to the party aggrieved, to be recovered in manner and form aforesaid ; and that whosoever should offend the second time, and thereof be convicted, should stand in the pillory for the space of one hour, and lose his ears, for the same : And whereas notwithstanding the said in part recited act. it is notorious that most, if not all, the gold and silver wares made and sold in this island are composed of base metals, and are greatly inferior to the equality and goodness directed and required by the said recited law, to the great wrong and injury of the buyer.
In order, therefore, to put an end to so notorious imposition on your majesty's subjects in this island, and to compel and oblige the several workers of gold and silverwares in this island to comply with the said in part recited act, in working up such gold and silver of such fineness and quality as is directed by the said recited act, may it please your majesty that it may be enacted, and be it enacted by the governor, council, and assembly, of this, your majesty's island of Jamaica, and is hereby enacted by the authority of the fame, That, from and after the first day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and forty-seven, it shall and may be lawful for the governor and commander in chief of this your majesty's island of Jamaica, and the governor and commander in chief for the time being, by warrant under his hand and seal, from time to time, to nominate and appoint one or more assay-masters for the trying and assaying all gold and silver wares made in this island, in all or any, or either, of the three towns of St. Jago de la Vega, Kingston and Port-Royal; or in such other places as, from time to time, the governor or commander in chief of this island for the time being shall think necessary and convenient.

II. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that every goldsmith, or worker in gold and silver, before he or they shall be allowed to sell, expose to sale, or exchange, any gold or silver wares whatsoever, except as herein after is excepted, shall enter his and their name and place of abode, and mark, in the assay-office, nearest to his and their habitation, under the penalty of ten pounds and shall be, and they are hereby, obliged to carry all such gold and silver wares to one of the aforesaid assay-masters, to be tried in the like manner as gold and silver wares are tried and assayed in Great Britain.
And if, upon such assay, the said gold or silver wares shall be found worse than the standard aforesaid, it shall be lawful for the said assay-master, and he is hereby directed and required, to break and deface the said gold and silver wares, so that they may be not disposed of; but if, upon such assay, the said gold and silver wares shall appear to be of the fineness and quality above mentioned, the said, assay-master shall, and he is hereby obliged to, mark the said gold and silver wares with the stamp or mark of an alligator's head, and the initial letters of his own name, to so much thereof of the said wares as will conveniently bear the same.


III. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that it shall and may be lawful to and for the said assay-master and assay-masters to ask, demand, and receive, of and from every goldsmith, or worker in gold and silver, or any other person for whom any assay mall be made, for every gold assay twelve shillings and sixpence, and for every silver assay seven shillings and sixpence, provided always, that from the several small silver wares and trinkets following, brought at one and the fame time to be assayed, viz. From every twelve table-spoons, one assay only shall be made ; from every twenty-four teaspoons, four strainers, and four pair of tongs, one assay only ; from every twelve pair of buckles, one assay only ; from every twenty-four pair of sleeve-buttons, one assay only ; from twenty-four coat and other buttons, one assay only; from every twenty-four finger-rings or ear-rings, one assay only ; and from every parcel of other trinkets, or small pieces of silver wares, or plate of any sort, the whole parcel not exceeding six ounces, one assay only ; and from every parcel of gold trinkets, or small wares in gold of any sort, the whole parcel not exceeding two ounces, one assay only. All which said assays to be made by scraping a proportion from every piece, to make up the. weight to be assayed be made.

IV. And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, that the gold or silver that shall be made use of for such assays, had or made by virtue of this act, shall be returned to the proprietor of the gold or silver from whence the same was taken : And, if any goldsmith, or other worker in gold and silver, or any other person so carrying any gold or silver wares to be assayed, shall not be satisfied with any assay thereof, to be made as aforesaid, but that still insist that such wares so assayed are of the standard above mentioned, the said gold and silver wares shall not be broken or defaced, but be-immediately deposited in the hands of some, magistrate of the precinct, where, the said assay shall be made; and shall, in order, to determine the said dispute, be re-assayed before all or any other the assay-masters then in this island, who are hereby obliged to attend, on notice given by the party requiring the said re-assay, and. also before one of, his majesty's justices, of the peace, and any disinterested master goldsmiths or silversmiths that will be present at the laid re-assay, and in the presence of the party, if he will be present at the same, at a particular time to be appointed by the said justice of the peace, against a piece of old sterling plate with the goldsmiths hall mark upon it, then also to be assayed at the fame time ; from which, re-assay there shall be no appeal.

V. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that upon every such re-assay so to be made as aforesaid, the said assay-master or assay-masters so to be called in as aforesaid, and the said gold or silversmiths present at the said re-assay, shall,on their affidavits in writing, to be sworn to before, the said justice, declare, the quality and fineness of the said gold or silver wares re-assayed as aforesaid ; and thereupon-the said justice shall, certify under his hand and seal whether the same be of standard or not, and deliver such certificate to the party who is entitled to the benefit of the same : And if it shall be certified, that the said gold or silver wares are of the standard aforesaid, or of equal fineness with the said old sterling plate, at the same time to be assayed as aforesaid, the said assay-master, by whom the first assay had been made, shall forthwith mark the said gold or silver wares with the said mark of an alligator's head, and shall not be allowed any fee or reward for the said assay or re-assay, or for marking the said gold or silver wares, but shall bear the charge of the said assay and re-assay, and also pay one pound three shillings and nine pence to each assay-master that shall be present, and shall have travelled out of the parish where he or they reside, for his and their travelling charges and expenses on that occasion, all which said charges shall be likewise paid by the party requiring the said re-assay, in case the said wares shall be found to be worse than standard, and shall, in either case, be levied by warrant under the hand and seal of any one justice of the peace, by distress and sale, on the goods and chattels of the said party refusing to pay the same; And in case any person, who shall purchase any gold or silver wares from any goldsmith or silversmith with the mark aforesaid, shall be doubtful whether the same is of the standard aforesaid or not, such purchaser shall be at liberty to demand a re-assay thereof, to be made in manner aforesaid; and in case any fraud or imposition shall appear to have been made by the assay-master by whom the first assay was made, such assay-master shall, for every offence, forfeit the sum of twenty pounds to the party aggrieved ; to be recovered in the supreme court of judicature of this island, by action of debt, bill, plaint, or information.

VI. And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, that the said assay-masters, and each and every of them, shall, under the penalty of twenty pounds, take the following oath before the chief justice of this island, before he or they presume to make any assay of the said gold and silver wares ; viz.

"I, A - B. do swear, that I will, to the best of my Skill and judgements faithfully perform the office of assay-master, and make true assay of all gold and silver brought to me to be essayed, end give a true report of the fineness thereof; and that I will not break or deface any gold and silver which stall be by me assayed, in case the same shall be of the quality and goodness equal to the standard appointed by an act of the governor, councils and assembly of this island, entitled, " An act for ascertaining the value of foreign coin, and establishing interest " and that I will not make any undue profit or advantage of or by my said office, nor take any greater or fitter fees than what are appointed by law. So help me God";

which oath the chief justice of this island for the time being is hereby directed and required to administer, and to give a certificate under his hand, that such assay-master, so appointed as aforesaid, hath appeared before him, and taken the said oath.


VII. And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any goldsmith, or worker in gold and silver, or any other person whatsoever, from and after the said first day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and forty-seven, shall sell, expose to sale, or exchange, any gold or silver wares in this island (jewellers wares, and such small trinkets as cannot bear the touch, only excepted) before the same hath been
assayed, and hath received the marks aforesaid, by one of the said assay-masters duly appointed as aforesaid, such person or persons so offending, shall, for every such offence, forfeit the sum of twenty pounds.

VIII. And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, that each of the said assay-masters, so appointed as aforesaid, shall keep a public work-house in the town or parish for which they shall be appointed expressly by their said Warrant, and in no other town or place ; and provide themselves with proper furnaces, tools, and utensils, for the assaying and marking all gold and silver brought to him or them to be assayed; and give due attendance at the said workhouse every Tuesday and Friday in every week, and faithfully enter all and every the several pieces of gold and silver they shall assay, with the weight and fineness of the same, in a fair book, to be open to the inspection to all persons requiring the same, without fee or reward. And it shall and may be lawful to and for the governor and commander in chief of this island, at his and their will and pleasure, to supersede any warrant or warrants, appointment or appointments, by him or them given, or to be given or made, of or to any or either of the assay-masters; and, upon every such supersedeas, such assay-master shall forthwith destroy, or deliver over to some other assay-master, all and every the standard marks herein before mentioned, which he shall have or be possessed of, under the penalty of fifty pounds; and shall be, and he is hereby rendered from thenceforth, incapable of acting as an assay-master, unless he shall receiver another warrant for that purpose.

IX. And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, that it shall be lawful for the said assay-master or assay-masters, to make assay of all gold and silver may assay in bullion that shall be brought him or them to be assayed, and to demand and receive the aforesaid rates for each assay thereof; and the said assay-master or assay-masters shall, and he and they is and are hereby directed and required, under the penalty of ten pounds, to put the initial letters of his or their own name and names, and a plain mark, upon the said bullion, signifying the true quality and fineness of the fame, before he or they shall suffer it to go out of his or their custody or possession, in order that the value of such bullion may appear to all persons unto whom it may be offered for sale, provided always, that nothing in this act mentioned shall extend, or be construed to extend, to debar or restrain any person or persons whatsoever from selling, and exposing to sale, any plate or goldsmiths wares of gold or silver, that has the standard mark of Great Britain or Ireland, in like manner as this act had not been made ; anything herein before contained to the contrary in anywise notwithstanding.

X. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that if any person or persons, other than the said assay-masters, shall presume to mark any gold or silver wares with the alligator's head, or shall counterfeit the marks of sterling plate, such person or persons, and his and their accomplices, being thereof convicted, shall be adjudged guilty of felony, without the benefit of the clergy.

XI. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that all and every the fines, forfeitures, and penalties, mentioned in this act, and not directed how to be recovered and applied, shall be recovered in the supreme court or judicature of this island ; one moiety whereof shall be to our sovereign lord the king, his heirs and successors, for and towards the support of the government of this island, and the contingent charges thereof, and the other moiety to the informer, or him or them that shall sue for the same.


XII. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that this act shall continue and be in force for the term of three years from the passing thereof, and from thence to the end of the next session of assembly, and no longer. Providing always, That nothing in this act herein before mentioned shall be in force until such time as one assay-master, at least, shall be appointed ; and shall continue in full force and effect no longer than one such assay-master, at the least, shall continue in the actual exercise of the said office ; and, for such part of the said term of three years as there shall be no assay-master, this act, and every thing therein contained, shall be suspended ; and, upon the appointment of any other assay-master within the said term of three years, every thing herein contained shall be revived.

An addition was made under 28 Geo II VIII:

The above Act revived and made perpetual.

All species of plate brought to be assayed and marked must, as near as maybe, have all the pieces soldered or joined together and no plate is to have more solder than is necessary.

Does any member have an example of Jamaican silver of this period that they can post an example of?

Trev.
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dognose
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Postby dognose » Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:08 am

Some examples of the Hallmarks of Jamaica:

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On the left the mark of Charles Allan, centre the 'aligator's head' mark and on the right the mark of the Assay Master Charles Wood.

Charles Allan served his apprenticeship under Colin Campbell of Edinburgh.

Charles Wood was Assay Master from mid 1747 until late 1749 when he returned to England. He was an expert metallurgist and is perhaps best known as the introducer of platinum into Europe.
See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Wood_(scientist)


Image

Another example of the 'aligator's head' mark with, perhaps, another version of the Assay Master's mark of Charles Wood.


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This would be the mark of Anthony Danvers, who was another of the Jamaican Assay Masters. Danvers is thought to have died in 1772 at Kingston and may well originally come from Liverpool.

Other names noted as working in Jamaica:

William Duncan
George Hetherington
Abraham Kipp
Gerardus Stoutenburg
Joel Burroughs
......Bailie
David Manson, formerly of Dundee, who died in Jamaica 2nd July 1821.

I am indebted to Richard Turner (Scotprov) for the use of the photos, taken from his CD of 'A Directory of Scottish Provincial Silversmiths and Their Marks'.

Trev.
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Postby dognose » Wed May 26, 2010 8:16 am

Another name to add to the list:

Died, 20th January 1809, Mr William Imray, Jeweller of Kingston, Jamaica.

Source: The Scots magazine and Edinburgh literary miscellany - 1809

Trev.
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Postby dognose » Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:39 am

Charles Allan (Allen) appears to have working on the island of Antigua during the years 1736-1737. In the year 1736 there was a slave rebellion at Antigua, at the trial held during the following year, the following wittnesses were noted:

Charles Allen - Goldsmith
John Predeux - Silversmith
Patrick Wilson - Silversmith
Isaac Libert - Silversmith

Source: Bondsmen and Rebels - A Study of Master-Slave Relations in Antigua by David Barry Gaspar - 1985

Trev.
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Postby silverly » Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:42 pm

Another excellent contribution. Thank you Trev.
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Re: Official Hallmarking in Jamaica--1747

Postby dognose » Sat Jul 24, 2010 4:12 pm

I'm entering this post here, although it does not relate directly to Jamaica, it does concern the West Indies.

I came across mention of an Aberdeen silversmith by the name of John Smith. At the time of the 1745 Scottish rebellion, John Smith, a Jacobite sympathiser, joined the Duke of Perth's regiment and was captured at Carlisle. He was held prisoner at Carlisle, then at York. He was then transported via Liverpool to the Leeward Islands on board the Veteran (Master: John Ricky) on the 5th May 1747. During the voyage the Veteran was engaged by a French privateer and John Smith was liberated and landed on the French island of Martinique in June 1747.

The Incorporation of Edinburgh website has note of a John Smith as a Canongate silversmith, first mentioned in 1729, taking one James Hamilton as an apprentice in 1730 and probably later becoming a journeyman in Aberdeen.

Ian Finlay confirms some of the above detail in his Scottish Gold and Silver Work, stating that John Smith was admitted into the Canongate Hammermen's Incorporation on the 22nd July 1727 (the same day as another known Jacobite sympathiser, Colin Mitchell) and taking an apprentice, James Hamilton on the 9th April 1730 for six years.

I have little in the way of references for Aberdeen silversmiths, hopefully someone can add to this interesting story and of John Smith's working life, before and after the rebellion.

Trev.
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Re: Official Hallmarking in Jamaica--1747

Postby dognose » Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:12 pm

Some other silversmiths known to have been working in Jamaica

William Denham(e) Son of James Denham. Born 1741. Apprenticed to James McKenzie (1) on the 29th January 1755 at Edinburgh. Died in Jamaica 1769.

George Dick Apprenticed to John Welsh in 1744 at Edinburgh. Known to have emigrated to Jamaica.

Michael Hay Son of Thomas Hay. Apprenticed to Alexander Edmonstoun (1) on the 2nd November 1733 at Edinburgh. Known to have worked in Jamaica. Died 1762.

Trev.

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Re: Official Hallmarking in Jamaica--1747

Postby dognose » Fri Aug 13, 2010 1:07 pm

Some other silversmiths known to have been working in Jamaica:

Humphrey Colquhoun Born 5th July 1726 at Edinburgh. Apprenticed to James Campbell in 1744. Colquhoun emigrated to Jamaica, and worked there as a silversmith, he died in Jamaica in 1768.

Walter Buchanan Apprenticed to William Davie on the 9th June 1742. Emigrated to Jamaica and died there in 1755.

Archibald Campbell Apprenticed to his father, Colin Campbell on the 29th May 1734. Known to have worked in Jamaica as a goldsmith. His father, Colin Campbell had also been the Master of Charles Allen.

Trev.

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Re: Official Hallmarking in Jamaica--1747

Postby dognose » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:22 am

Another silversmith with a West Indian connection is George Fenwick 11.

Apprenticed to his father, George Fenwick 1, in 1812, George II was granted his Freedom on the 23rd May 1820. He set out for a new life in Tobago in early 1821, but died at Castara on the 4th September 1821, a few months after his arrival on the island.

Very occassionally silver with a Tobago mark does appear on the market, the wares, assayed in Edinburgh and bearing the maker's mark of George Fenwick 1, range in date from 1809 to 1818. The are struck with an extra mark; 'GF.TOBAGO' and a number, the numbers noted in the past include 15, 16, 24, 60, and 72.

Image
Photo courtesy of Michael Baggott

The origins of the extra marking are a bit of a grey area, thought by some to be secondhand stock taken to Tobago by GF11 and thought by others that these pieces were exported by GF 1 to Tobago were he is thought to have contacts, a perhaps much more likely scenario. As for the numbers, these perhaps relate to the customer who issued the order for silver given to Fenwick. They certainly do not relate to individual pieces, as a set of six dessert spoons have been noted, engraved with a stag's head, assayed at Edinburgh in 1810 and all struck with the mark '60'. Also a pair of tablespoons assayed at Edinburgh in 1816, both marked '24'. The '72' mark has been noted with the engraved crest of five crossed and tied arrows.

Other items noted with the 'GF.TOBAGO' mark, besides spoons, are a carving knife and fork set from 1813 and an entrée dish from 1817.

There has been an earlier post from 2008, that may, perhaps, feature an example of George Fenwick's export work. See:
viewtopic.php?p=31742

Trev.

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Re: Official Hallmarking in Jamaica--1747

Postby dognose » Sun Oct 31, 2010 7:55 am

An example of what may possibly be the work of George Hutchings of Bermuda. I say 'may possibly' as at this point it is unconfirmed and it would be great if someone could cast some light on this.

Table spoon 8 1/2" (21.5cm)

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Photos courtesy of Michael Baggott

George Hutchings was one of many silversmiths that worked in Bermuda, he was born in England in 1777 and died at Bermuda in 1856.

Somewhere around forty silversmiths are recorded as working in Bermuda during the 18th and 19th centuries, some names noted are as follows:

James Perot
William Perot
Thomas Savage Snr.
Thomas Savage II
Thomas Savage III
Samuel Lockwood
Peter Pallais
Joseph Gwynn
Benjamin Lusher Gwynn
George Hutchings
Samuel Canton
George Samuel Rankin
Thomas Blatchley
Philip Ball
William Bearn
John Cox
Zachary Bolitho
Thomas Bennett
Paul Hamilton
George Dixon

Trev.

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Re: West Indian and Bermudan Silver

Postby dognose » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:41 am

The most interesting of the above named silversmiths must surely be George Dixon. Born in Kirkoswell, Cumberland, England, he was the son of Thomas Dixon, a Millright. George was baptised at Kirkoswell on the 8th July 1748 and at the age of fifteen was apprenticed to the Newcastle silversmith John Langlands I, for a period of eight years as from the 15th October 1763.

But, in December 1767, the Company of Newcastle Goldsmiths minute book recorded the following regarding George Dixon, 'Deserted his Master's service on the 12th December 1767 so will be no way intitled to his freedom'. Oh, how wrong they were, for freedom and great adventure was the life that George was about to embark on.

George swiftly made his way to London, but his father, Thomas, was in hot pursuit and soon found his wayward son, but despite his impassioned pleas for George to return to Newcastle with him, they fell upon deaf ears, George had firmly made up his mind, there was no going back, nothing would stop him, he wanted a life at sea! Thomas, who must have been a kindly man, decided that the best he could do for his son was to back him and kitted him out ready for his new life.

Just when George went to sea is, I believe, unknown, there is a possibility that for a while he worked in the trade in London, but if so, it can not have been for long, for some years of training must have put in to his seamanship, as on the 16 April 1776 he was appointed as the Armourer, a warrant officer position, on board the 'H.M.S. Discovery' for the third voyage around the world by the famous Captain James Cook. The position of armourer reflects his training in metal work.

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Captain James Cook FRS RN

It was probably by making keepsakes for the crew's sweethearts that brought the attention of Captain Cook towards George Dixon. His work must have good, for Cook ordered George to make the gold rings that were to be given as gifts by Cook to the various Chiefs of the South Sea Islands that were visited by the 'Discovery'. Cook was noted as saying that 'he was not aware of having such a man along with him'.

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HMS Discovery

For much detail of the rest of George Dixon's interesting life and seafaring career including his possible appointment as a Captain in the Royal Navy, it's worth reading the articles in the links at the bottom of the post.

Our interest here, of course, is that of George Dixon's career in the silver trade, and it is to that life that he returned to in his later years. He arrived in Bermuda via New York along with his pregnant wife, Ann, and only daughter, Marianna, in February 1794 and was noted as advertising in 'The Bermuda Gazette' in April 1794 as 'George Dixon — Jeweller from London', a statement that perhaps infers that he did work in the capital.

But the following month George's world would fall apart when his wife Ann died in childbirth.

George Dixon died in Bermuda on the 11th November 1795, aged just 47 years but having fulfilled his dreams and finding a different 'freedom' than the one denied to him by by the Newcastle Goldsmiths Company.

Links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Dix ... vy_officer)
http://pages.quicksilver.net.nz/jcr/~cookmen32.html

Details of Cook's third voyage can be found here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Cook

Trev.

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Re: West Indian and Bermudan Silver

Postby dognose » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:43 am

Image
Mrs H G Recht - Hamilton - 1894

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Edward F. Roberts - Hamilton - 1894

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J Stimpson - Hamilton - 1894

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Whitter & Tuzo - Hamilton - 1894

Trev.

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Re: West Indian and Bermudan Silver

Postby dognose » Tue Nov 09, 2010 11:53 am

Peter Pallais

Some notes on Peter Pallais, one of the most prolific silversmiths of Bermuda.

French born Peter Pallais arrived in Bermuda via the United States in 1787. Initialy he was employed by, and then entered into partnership with, the English born and trained silversmith Thomas Batchley. Their business, in St Georges, the then capital of Bermuda, was styled 'Blatchley & Pallais'.

Upon Blatchley's death in 1792, Pallais took over the business, an advertisement in the 'Bermuda Gazette' of the 26th May 1792 that was placed by Pallais, states: 'Peter Pallais, Gold and Silversmith in St Georges, begs to acquaint the Ladies and Gentleman of Bermuda, that since the death of Mr Thos. B. Bletchly (sic), he carries on (at the same place) the above business in an extensive line. Particularly all kinds of coffee-pots, tankards, silver dishes, milk-pots, soup and punch ladles, spoons etc., and every kind of gold and silver work, in the neatest manner, on the most reasonable terms. Every article in the above neatly mended. Gold rings expeditiously made. Most money for old gold and silver.'

Pallais was an early convert to Methodism and his beliefs were to earn him a brief spell of imprisonment in 1800. He had allowed a visiting Methodist preacher to the island, the Rev. John Stephenson, to stay at his house and to use that place to preach the new religon. The laws of Bermuda, passed earlier that same year, forbade 'any Minister, (except of the Church of England,) to preach, lecture, or exhort, either by writing, or printing, or speaking to, or teaching in any wise, under the penalty of fifty pounds, and an imprisonment of six months, without bail or mainprize'. Pallais was released after nine days as his health during his confinement had deteriorated to such an extent that the authorities feared for his life, but his freedom was to be burdened with a long period of threats and persecution after this event in his life.

In 1809, Peter Pallais moved his business to, what was to become, the new capital of Bermuda, Hamilton. An advertisement in the 'Bermuda Gazette' of the 9th September 1809 records: 'Peter Pallias, Gold and Silversmith, returns his sincere thanks to his friends and the public in general of these islands for their custom for 22 years that he has been a resident. He continues carrying on his business in all its various branches and will be thankful for further encouragement. Second Street, Hamilton near the Custom House.'

Peter Pallais died in 1811, It is possible that his son continued the business, as he is also recorded as a silversmith, later in partnership with Benjamin Lusher Gwynn.


Trev.

dognose
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Re: West Indian and Bermudan Silver

Postby dognose » Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:23 pm

Some Trinidad advertisements from 1893:

Image
Alexander Décale Senr. - Port-of Spain - 1893

Image
Alexander Décale Junr. - Port-of Spain - 1893

Image
John A. Donnatien - Port-of-Spain - 1893

Trev.

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Re: Official Hallmarking in Jamaica--1747

Postby dognose » Sun Jan 09, 2011 3:09 pm

A newspaper report that may reveal the identity of another silversmith that perhaps worked in the West Indies, Benjamin Chaplin who died in Antigua in September 1754.

"Colnbrook, June 14, 1757.

The several Creditors of Benjamin Chaplin, late of Colnbrook in the County of Bucks. Silver Smith, who died in Antigua in September 1754, are desired to send an Account of their respective Demands to Ann Chaplin, his Widow an Executrix; at Colnbrook aforesaid, or to Mr. Philips Garden, Goldsmith, in St. Paul's Church Yard. London."


Chaplin's death on the West Indian island does not necessarily mean that he was working there, but does leave the door open for further research.

Source: The London Gazette. 21st June 1757

Trev.

Jamaicana
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Re: Official Hallmarking in Jamaica--1747

Postby Jamaicana » Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:28 pm

I handled a few peices of Jamaican silver when I was in the trade in Kingston during the 70's-2000. I may recover one of a pair of salts. I'll pass on images if I do.

Thanks for the data Dognose. Does anyone know how to get in touch with Robert Barker?

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Re: Official Hallmarking in Jamaica--1747

Postby silverly » Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:17 pm

I've said it before, and I don't mind saying it again, information like this is terrific.

dognose
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Re: Official Hallmarking in Jamaica--1747

Postby dognose » Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:37 pm

Hi Jamaicana,

Welcome to the Forum. As you spent so many years in the trade, I'm sure you will be a mine of information and hope that you will share your knowledge here.

Anything that you can show us would be most welcome.


Hi Pat,

Glad the above has been of interest.

Regards to you both.

Trev.

Jamaicana
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Re: Official Hallmarking in Jamaica--1747

Postby Jamaicana » Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:43 am

Thank's Dognose. My Jamaican silver file disappeared. I remember having a covered sugar bowl and the pair of salts mentioned, these were purchased from a collector abroad. A spoon was the only item found locally. If anything of interest turns up while I'm in Jamaica, I'll share with this forum.

My current interests are 18th Century Jamaican furniture and Taino stone artifacts.

Best.

dognose
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Re: Official Hallmarking in Jamaica--1747

Postby dognose » Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:34 pm

JAMES BRINKLOW

James Brinklow was recorded as a watchmaker working in Jamaica in 1789. He is likely to be the James Logie Brinklow who appeared in a Bankruptcy Notice in the Morning Chronicle of the 17th March 1779 as a Watchmaker and Silversmith of Bath (England).

Trev.


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