Double HD mark on German/Prussian Captains spoon.

PHOTOS REQUIRED - marks + item
Essexboy Fisher
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Double HD mark on German/Prussian Captains spoon.

Postby Essexboy Fisher » Mon Apr 01, 2013 3:28 pm

Hello. I just thought I would jump “ship” from one forum topic I knew little about to another one I knew even less about.
I have a “serving size” spoon with a possible 12 loth mark on. Hopefully below there is a composite picture of the marks, the spoon and maybe some history of the spoon.
My assumption is that this is a “German” spoon as it has the “12” mark and because it has that “zigzagging” or "Tremolierstich” on its stem apparently used to assay the silver with. ( Konigsberg is also a clue.)
Image
The spoon shape is not obviously “British” but is it typical of any country, area or period? Also why has the spoon been double marked with “HD”? I assume “HD” is the maker’s mark but has the maker struck “HD” again because he is also the Guild Assayer? Can any one identify which Town Guild the spoon was made at? I have seen “HD” and Carl Heinrich Dengel listed in a post that I viewed but the image seemed unavailable to me.
I assume the spoon was made around the date 1852 that is engraved on it. From one of this forum’s other posts I read about the "kaptajnskeer” spoons that maybe this spoon is. This spoon has both the port of “Konigsberg” and “Ships Chandler” (a translation by a friend) on. I hope some of my thoughts about the spoon are correct but please put me right and tell me anything else you can about the spoon.
Fishless.
As a postscript, case a person with naval interest finds this post, the spoon has the monogram “WBR” on. It came to me unknowingly, from an auction not far from the North Sea port of Newcastle.
Image https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-RlwP ... MP+SPN.jpg

Scotrab
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Re: Double HD mark on German/Prussian Captains spoon.

Postby Scotrab » Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:08 am

Hello Essexboy,
I found your post only today. Your spoon is indeed a "Captain's Spoon", given to a skipper who had delivered or taken wares to/from/through the firm of Gustav Moeller (or Möller) in Königsberg in 1852. The maker is most likely Carl Heinrich Dengel (W. Scheffler, Die Goldschmiede Ostpreussens, p. 222, no. 357). Note that the *complete* maker's mark for Dengel is HDENGEL or DENGEL, i.e. he didn't use C, and he is the only recorded silversmith in Königsberg at that time with the initials HD in the name. There is no city mark and the fineness is 12 Lot, or 0.750 fine silver. It has also no date letter but it is safe to assume that it was made at the time when it was given to the captain or a little earlier. H. Dengel seems to have been Gustav Moeller's favourite supplier of spoons: I have seen several made by him for Moeller in the years from 1846. Very little is known about Gustav Moeller, apart that he appears to have been an important ship's chandler. There must have been records of his business, but maybe they were lost during the heavy bombardments in the last period of WW2.
Regarding the WBR initials, if it can be assumed that the original owner himself had them engraved on his spoon, perhaps he can be identified. There is the Lloyd's Captains Register with the list of all the captains from 1869 to 1911, going back to 1851 for those captains still sailing in 1869. It is in the Guildhall Library in London and *not* online (at least the letter R is not). You'll have to go there yourself, but you would then be able to find also the name of his ship(s) and his voyages.
I hope this was of some help. You can always send me a PM if you would like to know more.

Theoderich
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Re: Double HD mark on German/Prussian Captains spoon.

Postby Theoderich » Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:02 pm

Scotrab wrote:Hello Essexboy,
... The maker is most likely Carl Heinrich Dengel (W. Scheffler, Die Goldschmiede Ostpreussens, p. 222, no. 357). ...


correct

Image

Essexboy Fisher
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Re: Double HD mark on German/Prussian Captains spoon.

Postby Essexboy Fisher » Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:32 pm

Thank you Scotrab and Theoderich for the in depth comments and photos relating to my Captain’s spoon. I am very pleased that I was correct in some of my thoughts. I still wonder why this particular spoon had been double marked with Carl Heinrich Dengel’s “HD” mark. Is this common?
Thanks
Fishless

Scotrab
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Re: Double HD mark on German/Prussian Captains spoon.

Postby Scotrab » Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:37 am

Hello Fishless,
The markings on your spoon are quite common. You can find two maker's marks, one maker's mark, and then a variety of combinations of town mark, date letter and assayer's scratching. It seems that there's a greater "flexibility" in the marking... You find the same on Scottish provincial markings, but also sometime on Edinburgh and Glasgow markings. I have not been able to find a deep significance in it. In Scottish provincial markings it has to do with the fact that the silversmiths did not want to incur the costs of transporting their wares to Edinburgh/Glasgow to be marked, but I don't quite think that this applies to a Königsberg silversmith in Königsberg.

Bahner
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Re: Double HD mark on German/Prussian Captains spoon.

Postby Bahner » Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:15 am

Hello, some afterthoughts.
If I get this right there is no Koenigsberg city mark on this spoon (nor date letter) and the presumed maker's mark HD so far is unrecorded for Koenigsberg.
A maker's mark struck twice, often in combination with the assayer's zigzag line and a 12 for the fineness is quite typical for a different European region, that of Sönderjylland / Schleswig, a region that today embraces parts of southwestern Danmark and northwestern Germany. Here we often have (in the 19th century) a maker's mark struck twice, an assayers's line but no city mark (and so far I have not heard of a convincing explanation why this is so).
There is a silversmith in that region whose working dates fit the dating of the engraving on this particular spoon: Hans F. Detlefsen, b. 1820, d. 1884. One of his marks is a "HD" and this looks a lot like the HD here. I rather believe that he is the maker of this spoon. That the engraving points at Koenigsberg is no contradiction. Spoons - as ships - may travel widely.

Best wishes, Bahner

("Schiffs-Mäckler", in modern German: Schiffs-Makler, is a dispatcher, not a chandler)

Theoderich
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Re: Double HD mark on German/Prussian Captains spoon.

Postby Theoderich » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:40 am

Bahner wrote:Hello, some afterthoughts.
If I get this right there is no Koenigsberg city mark on this spoon (nor date letter) and the presumed maker's mark HD so far is unrecorded for Koenigsberg.
A maker's mark struck twice, often in combination with the assayer's zigzag line and a 12 for the fineness is quite typical for a different European region, that of Sönderjylland / Schleswig, a region that today embraces parts of southwestern Danmark and northwestern Germany. Here we often have (in the 19th century) a maker's mark struck twice, an assayers's line but no city mark (and so far I have not heard of a convincing explanation why this is so).
There is a silversmith in that region whose working dates fit the dating of the engraving on this particular spoon: Hans F. Detlefsen, b. 1820, d. 1884. One of his marks is a "HD" and this looks a lot like the HD here. I rather believe that he is the maker of this spoon. That the engraving points at Koenigsberg is no contradiction. Spoons - as ships - may travel widely.

Best wishes, Bahner

("Schiffs-Mäckler", in modern German: Schiffs-Makler, is a dispatcher, not a chandler)


Hallo Bahner
it is Königsberg
compare the makersmark - kompare the 12-mark - it is identical

Scotrab
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Re: Double HD mark on German/Prussian Captains spoon.

Postby Scotrab » Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:49 pm

Gentlemen,
Theoderich anticipated exactly what I intended to point out. The HD and the fineness mark 12 are identical in the photograph of the OP's spoon and Theoderich's photo. Furthermore, I think I have seen perhaps a dozen spoons from Gustav Möller and quite a few are with the sequence of marks like those on the OP's spoon. There are of course also spoons with the complete set of assayer's scratch, maker's mark as HD or DENGEL or HDENGEL, town mark for Königsberg and date letter - and spoons with various other kinds of an incomplete set of marks like here.
I would also like to point out a set of circumstantial evidence for Königsberg. In 1849 it is very unlikely that someone, not necessarily a silversmith, in Königsberg would procure spoons for a merchant in Königsberg to give away to his captains from a silversmith in Denmark: the additional expenses and time that the person would have incurred for what even then was a relatively simple item would probably have made the whole business totally commercially unprofitable. I have no idea why H. Dengel had such a variety of marks and, as Bahner pointed out, HD is not recorded in Scheffler. I cannot check easily in von Czihak: I have to go to London for that. I accept entirely that this is speculation from my part and I have no evidence for it: the demonstrable hard facts are those pointed out by Theoderich - and it is certainly so that spoons travel widely: the OP's spoon came from an auction around Newcastle and was made in Königsberg!


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