Mark Nevard replies to several queries: Richard Stagg asks (The Finial, Feb/Mar.'03, p.6) about an unusual duty head on two spoons by Richard Ferris of Exeter. If members would refer back to page 61, Oct/Nov 1999 issue of The Finial they will see that I raised the same point on two Ferris teaspoons. Like Richard, I suggested the 1797 double duty as the reason for the cut away punch. Regrettably, despite two attempts at asking for member's views the response was a deafening silence and later sold the spoons through the Club Auction. Here's hoping Richard will have better luck.

Regarding 'Pellets Galore' (The Finial, Feb/Mar '03, p.14) this arrangement of a pellet before the initial is not unknown. A spoonmaker of circa 1760, possibly Benjamin Brewood, has the mark oBoB

Turning to the queries on page 20, The Finial, Feb/Mar '03 the other American reference Thorn, also does not list 'J&W. MOIR' yet everything about the spoon from the light weight and shape to the initials inscription say American and I have no doubt that is the country of origin. The second spoon would seem a good candidate for West Indies and I think I have seen that 'duty head' before, ascribed to Jamaica.

On the final teaspoon query posed by Paul Holmes, I think one of the Scottish Provincial experts could help. In the absence of such expertise I would be thinking of William Clark, Greenock as a contender.


Peter Bentley has found the 'J&W. MOIR' mark illustrated in 'Marks of American Silversmiths in the Ineson-Bissell Collection (Winter Museum) by Louise Conway Beldon' which states the mark is for John & William Moir of New York, N.Y., which is in Directories 1839,John Moir; 1844-70, wm, j. Other marks known 'J&W. MOIR' in scalloped rectangle.


An American member Richard Weiss, DMD emails about 'J&W. MOIR': The 'J & W. Moir' punch is identified in The Darling Foundation's New York State Silversmiths book on page 127. It is listed as Moir, J. & W. working in New York City circa 1845. J. Moir was probably John Moir who was listed in the New York City Directory in 1839 also according to the Darling Foundation book. The reference book is from a limited edition of 500 published in 1964 as 'New York State Silversmiths' published by The Darling Foundation of New York State Early American Silversmiths and Silver.

The second spoon is also probably from a New York State maker around the second quarter of the 19th century. The marks are pseudo hallmarks used by many makers in New York State during this period in such centres as Utica, Albany, and New York City.

Though the province of Quebec is proximal in part to upper New York State, it is much more likely the spoon origin is New York State.

Charles Kewin writes: Roland Kirk asks about a mark - J&W. MOIR - on a Fiddle pattern teaspoon, which he suspects is American. I have a condiment or hard-sauce spoon, three - pointed, which is marked WM. MOIR (incuse). It is also marked STERLING and has C. 1900 decoration, curlicue double - struck stem edge, typical of American rococo, so I think it is American.


Gary Bottomley replies to 'Coffin-End Tablespoon - Or Is It?'(Finial, Feb/Mar.'03, p.5): We recently acquired four coffin-end teaspoons by Peter &William Bateman, London 1805. They appear to be original and unadulterated. We still have one left, which can be viewed on our website at (or at the pictures below - Ed.)



(My comment on this spoon is that it is by far better than the one illustrated in the last issue and that the facets of the coffin-end (Fig.2) are much crisper and straighter and if I were pushed would say that it is original. However if you look at figure 3, there seems to be the remains of a 'pip', which is certainly not centred, as one would expect to find by a confident silversmith. So maybe the Bateman's converted their own, Old English spoons - Ed.)


Tim Kent offers a note: In relation to 'Two Kings Not Worth A Crown'(The Finial, Feb/Mar.'03, p.3) otherwise known as 'The Head of a Fool on the Neck of an Ass', I fear that Ted Daw has gone a bit wrong! The coins were those of Charles III of Spain (or Spanish America), 8 reales (pieces of eight) and circulated widely. At the end of the 18th century Britain ran short of silver coin, so the Spanish pieces were countermarked: also in 1804 appeared the Bank of England Dollar, which was a full overstrike with a five shilling value.

Later, in 1811, numerous tokens, mainly of one-shilling value, were authorised, and some of these were issued by goldsmiths, e.g. Cattle and Barber of York and James Ferris of Poole (I have both these).


Ronald Grant comments on the article about Alexander Cameron (Finial Feb/Mar.'03, p.16): Some years ago, when researching quite a different subject, I was allowed to browse in the Edinburgh Assay Office records and found that a spoon I had, marked with both Edinburgh Assay Office marks, CAM over ERON and DUN over DEE. The assay master confirmed that the assay office marks were genuine (Cameron was not above a little forgery) but the date letter was for a year when Cameron did not offer any silver for assay.

I concluded that he must have bought them in ready marked and applied his marks at each end of the Edinburgh marks, one of them obliterating the original makers mark.

One of these days I am going to sort out my collection and hope to find this particular spoon and photograph the marks so that I will be able to send the evidence to anyone interested.


David Whitbread replies to Paul Holmes's request for help (The Finial, Feb/Mar.'03, p.20): I feel rather diffident about offering anything on marks since I am so inexpert in this area, but might I venture a long shot in respect of the enquiry from Paul Holmes about 'WC' and two anchors? "Cape Silver and Silversmiths" by Stephan Welz lists a Willem Godfried Combrink as a silversmith and watchmaker at 51 Dorp Street, Cape Town, in 1838. He is subsequently apparently recorded as just a watchmaker at various addresses up to 1866. Welz does not record any marks for him. His father, Johannes Combrink (1781-1853), was a working silversmith in Cape Town recorded at other addresses in Dorp Street from 1814 to the year of his death. He used a variety of marks including IC and two anchors. This suggests the possibility that the son might have used 'WC' and two anchors. Just a thought.

Identification Appeal

John Jarvis is requesting help to discover where this pair of Old English tablespoons are from and made by whom. They are 22cm in length and weigh 131g.



Who is 'WH'

A member has asked for help identifying the maker of this fiddle pattern teaspoon, length 14cm. All suggestions welcome.


.20. / .21. / .22.
The Finial, April/May 2003

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