An Unusual Picture Back Spoon

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dognose
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An Unusual Picture Back Spoon

Postby dognose » Thu Oct 02, 2008 6:10 am

Hi,

I thought I would post a photo of this Picture Back spoon as I have not come across one like this before.

Image

It is a design known as 'Grotesque Mask' and comes in a number of variations, it is thought to resemble a Chinese or Japanese nobleman.
It is 4 1/2" (11.5cm.) in length.

This spoon was probably made by William Tant in the late 1760's. Tant was a former apprentice of Benjamin Cartwright and became Free in February 1766, his mark is probably one of those in the missing register. Heal records him as working in Grub Street 1773-1784.

I am indebted to John Sutcliffe, an acknowledged authority on Picture Backs for much of the above information.

Trev.

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Postby Granmaa » Thu Oct 02, 2008 6:39 am

A very nice spoon, Trev.
What do you think about William Turner for the maker? (Grim 3353)

Miles

Image
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dognose
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Postby dognose » Thu Oct 02, 2008 6:49 am

Hi Miles,

I think you are spot on!

That little split at the bottom of the 'W' is exactly the same. It's Turner for sure!

Thank you.
Regards Trev.
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Postby Granmaa » Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:31 pm

You might find this interesting, Trev.
In a sale at Phillips on 31st January 1992, which included a large collection of picture-back spoons, lot 98 reads: "A set of four "Chinese masks within foliate scrolls" by William Sumner 1(?), circa 1785, and another by Henry Bickerton, circa 1780."

Lot 96 reads: "a pair of small "mask framed in a rocaille shell", by S. Eaton, circa 1745."

Miles
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buckler
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Postby buckler » Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:24 pm

The Henry Bickerton spoon at Phillips could either be c1780 and not by Bickerton, or Henry Bickerton and c1760.
Henry died in 1765, at age of 41.

His will was dated 20th February 1765 and proved in PCC 14th October 1765, by Ann Bickerton, his widow, John Bickerton his brother (born 1716 ) and his friend William Clare ???? (perhaps Clark ) of Bishopsgate Street , Coppersmith.
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dognose
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Postby dognose » Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:47 pm

Hi Miles and Clive,

Many thanks for the extra information.

Miles, does the catalogue show any pictures?

Regards Trev.
.

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Postby Granmaa » Fri Oct 24, 2008 3:11 pm

Hi Trev,

I got the information from an auction report in a copy of The Finial which did have some pictures but unfortunately not of these two lots.

I do think the dates they give are a little late: if the spoons were c.1785 they would surely have a date letter.

Miles
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Postby Granmaa » Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:00 pm

I came across another example of this picture-back today.
I have tentatively attributed it to Samuel Whitford I (Grimwade 2661), but it seems to have been overstamped.

Miles

Image Image
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buckler
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Postby buckler » Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:21 am

Samuel Whiford’s only mark in Grimwade ( No 2661) was that entered in 1764 as a smallworker.
I am almost certain the marks below, (all four from a pair of buckles with silver chapes dating from around 1770) are that mark.

Note that there appears to be a pellet after the W. And that the cut top left corner of the punch is less pronounced than that shown by Grimwade


Image

Samuel was from a silver bucklemaking family at St Martins le Grand and he is recorded as a bucklemaker in Kings Court there in the PR1773. He may well have had marks in the lost smallworkers register prior to 1756. Certainly his brother, Thomas, another silver bucklemaker was born around 1711. I’ve only seen Samuel’s mark on buckles once.

He died in 1778, his will being proved by his widow Mary Whitford (the main beneficiary) and his brother Thomas, on 13th November 1778.
Mary wasted no time, entering a bucklemaker mark on 6th November, a week before probate was granted.
One of the witnesses to the will was William Ballantine, who also wasted little time, entering a joint mark with Mary as bucklemakers on 12th January 1779. Noticeably the mark was as Mary Whitford and William Ballantine , indicating that Mary was the senior partner. I would suspect that William might have married her soon afterwards. William registered a sole mark as bucklemaker at another nearby address in 1788.
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