Provincial Unknown Maker

PHOTOS REQUIRED - marks + item
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Provincial Unknown Maker

Postby Aguest » Thu Nov 17, 2016 7:22 am

:::: This pair of tongs at first seemed like the "JF" of John Faux, but there is no match and this is an unknown provincial maker ::::

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WesternPA
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Re: Provincial Unknown Maker

Postby WesternPA » Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:06 pm

The last letter appears to be an "s".

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Re: Provincial Unknown Maker

Postby agphile » Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:16 am

I agree. Script IS or JS. The silversugartongs.com site is a little tentative about attributing script IS marks because there is more than one candidate. I am not the person to try and second guess that site but it would be worth a look to see what you think of its suggestions..

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Re: Provincial Unknown Maker

Postby agphile » Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:20 am

PS Are you sure those are not London hallmarks? They do not look provincial to me (but I do not necessarily trust my eyes when looking at the computer screen).

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Re: Provincial Unknown Maker

Postby agphile » Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:28 am

PPS I see that this post appears in both the provincial and the Exeter forums. The script JS marks listed in Miles Harrison's Exeter and West Country book all seem too early for these tongs.

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Re: Provincial Unknown Maker

Postby Aguest » Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:28 am

Yes it did occur to me that the lion was one of those distinctive "Lions Of Exeter" hallmarks, I believe I recall reading an article about the distinctive "Lion Passant" hallmarks of Exeter. This particular lion looks like a cartoon lion which accidentally stuck his tail into an electrical socket, I don't know if that makes any sense, but it might help narrow down this particular lion stamp, its tail is quite angular.

Also, the Head Of King George might be the rare "Incuse Head Of King George" but it is difficult to tell.

Most of the English Silver in this particular collection which I found was Provincial, from places such as Dundee and Cork, which I could identify, but two of the sugar tongs were a complete mystery...

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Re: Provincial Unknown Maker

Postby Granmaa » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:20 am

Hmm! That's not an Exeter lion, and I don't think it's Newcastle either. That really leaves Chester and York, and I'd be inclined to choose the latter. However, I can't find a candidate matching those initials.

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Re: Provincial Unknown Maker

Postby Aguest » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:17 pm

Trying To Enlarge The Lion (and the King's Head is quite unusual as well)

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Re: Provincial Unknown Maker

Postby Granmaa » Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:16 am

That's the incuse duty head - 1784-86.

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Re: Provincial Unknown Maker

Postby Aguest » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:33 pm

The Sugar Tong expert "tong-twister" chimed in and unfortunately we cannot solve the mystery.....

I always believed it was the Incuse Duty Head as well, there is something intriguing about that stamp as well....

It is interesting that we have discovered a new Georgian Silver Makers Mark, this must not happen very often at all, at this point in history at least....

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Re: Provincial Unknown Maker

Postby Aguest » Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:16 am

The one thing tong twister mentioned is that the form of the tongs, when all the design and artistry is taken into account, seems Irish to him.

I have never heard of an Irish Provincial Silversmith who moved to England, though....

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Re: Provincial Unknown Maker

Postby Aguest » Sat Nov 24, 2018 8:56 pm

I have these sugar tongs in my possession again ::: I have no idea how to find the maker from York, but I am willing to try and solve this mystery once and for all :: It seems like there are such few makers from York and to find an unrecorded makers mark from York is quite an uncommon event indeed :

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Re: Provincial Unknown Maker

Postby Aguest » Sat Nov 24, 2018 9:16 pm

This thread could be moved into the York section, the lion passant does seem most similar to the York lion (slightly rubbed) ::::

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Re: Provincial Unknown Maker

Postby Aguest » Mon Nov 26, 2018 4:01 am

I have a comparison of the Lion on the sugar tongs to the Lion listed in the reference books ::

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I think I see the two notches at the top of the Sugar Tong Lion, I think it is similar to the Reference York Lion :

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Re: Provincial Unknown Maker

Postby silvermakersmarks » Mon Nov 26, 2018 6:56 am

That looks like the lion passant from my York date letters pages. It is not meant to be an accurate representation of the York lion - for one thing I have used the same lion from 1779 right through until 1858 when the York office closed. It's just intended to show that it is a lion passant gardant.

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Re: Provincial Unknown Maker

Postby Aguest » Mon Nov 26, 2018 4:53 pm

If the Tongs Lion cannot be linked to a York Lion, we might have hit a dead end.

If the makers mark has been erased on a piece from Exeter, can an analysis of the "Exeter Lion" still provide enough evidence to link a piece to Exeter (see above post by Granmas which implies this).

I just don't know how to proceed in this case.
York was suggested, so I am trying to follow up that lead.

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Re: Provincial Unknown Maker

Postby Aguest » Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:17 pm

Could we be seeing the first two letters of "John and Samuel Nicholson" of Cork Ireland? Is there a third letter "N" that is obscured?

If that was a possibility, however remote, surely TongTwister would have made the connection to the "JS" of John and Samuel Nicholson.

Besides, the usual Irish hallmarks are not present on the sugar tongs.

I might have to just accept that there is no answer.

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Re: Provincial Unknown Maker

Postby Aguest » Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:00 am

I will just save these Tongs because once I had a cup from Scotland which I thought was John Main and then 5 months later I got this response:

"Hi there

Please see Silver Studies, 2006, the article by Rodney Dietert: the JM in a shaped punch has been definitively re-ascribed to James Mitchelson (active 1706-1757). According to our records, John Main emigrated to Cadiz in August 1734, so the piece cannot be by him.

Best wishes

Elspeth

Archivist, Incorporation of Goldsmiths of the City of Edinburgh"

It is possible that many months will go by before a mystery is solved although this one seems to have hit a dead-end for now at least...


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