MYER MYERS DESSERT SPOON: A MORE LIKELY HYPOTHESIS:
Matthias and his first cousin Rachel Gomez were married in 1765. Matthias was one of 9 men who founded a Religious Institution in New York City called Shearith Israel. Two 18th century minutes books have survived, and one has a signature of the 9 trustees signed in 1774. The first person to sign was Matthias Gomez, a wealthy mercantile family who had roots in Spain and the West Indies before arriving in New York City. Myer Myers (along with his younger brother Asher Myers) served on this board alongside Matthias Gomez.
Myers activities as a silversmith and entrepreneur came to an abrupt halt during the summer of 1776, when New York became a battleground. In 1775 both Myer Myers and his brother Asher Myers attended the last meeting of their Religious Institution Shearith Israel to be recorded before war broke out. On April 13th, 1776, George Washington arrived in New York, making the city his headquarters. As the British advanced, Myers family made plans to flee and moved to Norwalk, Connecticut, by April 26th, 1776.
The first appearance of Barquist Mark 7 (which the MM hallmark appears to be) is dated by Barquist to CIRCA 1776, so this spoon could have been made in that period of time when both Myer Myers and Matthias Gomez were serving in the Religious Institution Shearith Israel (circa 1774-1776). Most of the Barquist Mark 7 hallmarks are attributed to Myers' exile in Norwalk, Connecticut, and his return to New York city, anytime in-between CIRCA 1776-1795.
However, if the marriage is that of Matthias and Rachel Gomez, as is our hypothesis, we must take into account that Rachel Gomez died in 1776. This gives us additional evidence that this spoon was made circa 1774-1776. Consequently, it follows that we have found one of the earliest examples of Barquist Mark 7 which was actually used just before the summer of 1776 while both Myer Myers and Matthias Gomez were still in New York City. Many members of the 9 men were actually related and had very close relationships with each other, so it makes sense that Myer Myers could have made a set of dessert spoons for the wealthy merchant Matthias Gomez and his wife (and first cousin) Rachel Gomez.
Myers is known to have made silver for other wealthy Jewish families, most notably the Gratz family, but none has been linked to the Gomez family. Apparently much of the Gomez family married and re-located to the West Indies, and given that this spoon was bought from an estate in Florida, perhaps a will can be located which shows the distribution of the property of Matthias Gomez upon his death in May 5th 1786 in Philadelphia.
The "Old English" style of this spoon seems consistent with a manufacture date of 1774-1776. The "Old English" style had been seen for decades already in England. In the 1750s, when the upturned Hanoverian serving spoons were seen to be awkward to use, the Old English pattern ushered in a different style and determined the end of the spoons were to turn down not up. The 3 Dessert Spoons from Harvard Art Museum have almost the exact same weight at this spoon, compare 30 grams at Harvard to 30.4 grams here, and we could get a more accurate weight of the 3 Harvard spoons when the staff is allowed to return to the Art Museum. I requested a picture of the bottom of the Harvard Dessert Spoons because I would like to see the size of the drop, it could be another clue when analyzing the form of Myer Myers' dessert spoons. Why is the drop so large on my spoon? Do the Harvard examples have similarly large drops? Hopefully I will receive these pics soon and a comparison can be made. The request has been added to the queue, and hopefully we can see a pic of the bottoms of the dessert spoons here soon. The 3 Dessert Spoons from Harvard Art Museum hallmarked with Barquist Mark 9 are dated 1788-1795 based on the Marriage of Edward Livingston and Mary McEvers in 1788. We are dating this spoon 1774-1776 based on the death of Rachel Gomez in 1776.