Snuff Spoon

PHOTOS REQUIRED - marks + item
dcolter
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Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2021 5:04 pm

Snuff Spoon

Postby dcolter » Sun Jan 31, 2021 10:19 am

I am told this was a snuff spoon used by my great, great grandfather James Ross (b. 1794 d. 1875), who was the first chemist in Tain and that it was made in the early 1800s.
There are not many details other than the RR on the shaft. Can you share any further info about this spoon, its maker, and time period?

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dcolter
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2021 5:04 pm

Re: Snuff Spoon

Postby dcolter » Sun Jan 31, 2021 10:21 am

... also, the spoon is 5 inches long and the bowl is 5/8 inches wide

user701
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Location: UK

Re: Snuff Spoon

Postby user701 » Mon Feb 01, 2021 3:42 am

These are known as salt shovels, I have a couple myself, but happy to be corrected if I am wrong.

AG2012
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Re: Snuff Spoon

Postby AG2012 » Mon Feb 01, 2021 5:22 am

Hi,
I think many salt spoons are described as snuff spoons for a good reason; they are rare and more lucrative to be sold that way.
But what are snuff spoons ?
Let me quote Geoffrey Wills, in his book ``Silver:For pleasure and investment``:
"Early eighteenth century SALT examples are miniatures of ordinary spoons. They were followed by some in the shape of a ladle and others with a bowl in the form of a shovel. Miniatures of ordinary spoons were made during the eighteenth century for keeping inside a box to assist in taking SNUFF " (130).
For comparison, snuff spoons are a bit smaller than tea spoons. They were probably used with much bigger table snuff boxes, not with small pocket snuff boxes. And it was very reasonable to have a spoon available within table snuff box in order to fill personal pocket snuff boxes (usually enough quantity for one day use).It appears that sound definition of snuff spoon is justified if found together with table snuff box and by the same maker, which is really very rare situation.



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Regards

Aguest
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Re: Snuff Spoon

Postby Aguest » Mon Feb 01, 2021 8:18 am

Yes snuff spoons are exceedingly rare and often people mistake smaller spoons for snuff spoons. ::::

Any ideas on who the maker is? That's interesting to have Tain provenance attached to an item. Is the silversmith a Tain silversmith?

Aguest
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Re: Snuff Spoon

Postby Aguest » Mon Feb 01, 2021 8:21 am

Is the maker "Robert Robertson" of Cupar?

"active c. 1815-1857 (born 1793 - died 1877). In 1857 he opened with his son George Brunton Robertson a partnership known as R.&G.B. Robertson"

There seems to be another obscured hallmark there to the right, I might be wrong about that, but there is a leaf-type symbol for Cupar and perhaps that is what that obscured hallmark is, very heavily worn, it's difficult to tell with pics sometimes. ::::

dcolter
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2021 5:04 pm

Re: Snuff Spoon

Postby dcolter » Mon Feb 01, 2021 3:20 pm

Thank you for the info provided. I had my doubts about it being a snuff spoon. Although I have never used snuff, this spoon would seem to be an awkward tool for that purpose. Many of my ancestors are from Rothesay, but in this case, Tain.

I am providing an additional image of the stamp, but beyond scratches, I see no other marks than the RR.

FYI, there are many free magnifier apps one can download. I use a great one called Magnifying Glass & Flashlight by RV AppStudios. It can magnify 5x and has a camera feature. Also great to use for reading any fine print. :-)

cheers, doug

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dcolter
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Re: Snuff Spoon

Postby dcolter » Mon Feb 01, 2021 3:24 pm

After looking at the close-up image, there appears to be the top part of the letters TA further to the right of the RR. Perhaps the start of TAIN? It would seem the secret is safe with the spoon.

Aguest
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Re: Snuff Spoon

Postby Aguest » Mon Feb 01, 2021 4:03 pm

I think I see the last "N" in "TAIN" ::::: An unknown silversmith from Tain? ::::: There's no way this is "Hugh Ross" or one of the other "Ross" family silversmiths from Tain? ::::: I see the "TAIN" hallmark on the work of Hugh Ross and it is quite similar to this spoon, at least as far as I can see. :::::


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