York tongs

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York tongs

Postby rat-tail » Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:45 pm

Hi all - another posting lost in the crash. Here a pair of open work tongs by acclaimed York silversmiths John Hampston and John Prince c1780. Trev noted that it was one of their scarser marks where the letters had been transposed and were separated with a mullet rather than a pellet. - Thanks Frank


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Re: York tongs

Postby dognose » Tue Dec 27, 2011 2:28 pm

Hi Frank,

Many thanks for taking the time to replace this important post.

Both of the marks that are struck on your tongs are rare. The makers mark is thought to have been used during the period 1776-1784 and was a forerunner of Hampston and Prince's more well known cruciform mark that was used during the period 1784-1796. Michael Baggott in his book An Illustrated Guide to York Hallmarks 1776-1858 describes this mark as No.6 1776-84 (a variation with the 'P' and 'H' transposed and a mullet rather than a pellet) found on two pairs of early cast tongs and a serving spoon with early c.1776-9 style marking cat no. 242, 283 and 284.

The Lion Passant mark is equally rare, described as Mark Type II. 1779-84 (found only on two pairs of early cast sugar tongs).
It's a great find Frank, well done.

Regards Trev.

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