This issue now takes me into my second year of editing The Finial and I would like to give a big hearty thanks to all those who have encouraged and supported me through my trials and tribulations of taking on such a task; there have been so many notes and letters of endorsement, which really have been appreciated especially during the agonising and frustrating times. I thought I realised what I was doing but in hindsight I really had no idea what was involved. And now at this point I would like to apologise to those good-natured members who have been waiting patiently for their back issues, truly I have not forgotten you.

For the longer standing members who may have wondered what ever happened to Mary & Terry Haines (the previous proprietors), they are still enjoying life in Cornwall and take pleasure in receiving The Finial, knowing their 'baby' is still being published. Terry never being one who can sit idly for any length of time has started a website 'Silvermark of Cornwall', so if you are sitting at your computer wondering where to surf, have a look at his site at

On a completely different note, which I want to clarify, two members have commented quite strongly that the postal auction should not be incorporated into The Finial as I am told that it has no relevance to the rest of the magazine and that it detracts from the academic message! I now feel that I have to justify it. My points are: firstly, I do not agree that it has no relevance due to the number of replies that I receive referring to the makers and their hallmarks and for example in this issue there are four separate lots from the last auction that have received feedback about their dates, makers and styles; Secondly, most collectors keep auction catalogues for the purpose of research, as they are generally well illustrated with close-up of hallmarks, and I feel the postal auction does fulfils this criteria and would be a shame to separate it; Thirdly, The Finial has many new members who are just starting out in the world of silver spoon collecting, and the marks that maybe of little interest to the rest of us will be of significance to them, we were all beginners once; Finally and probably the most relevant, as I stated in the February/March '03 issue, the cost of printing would make it completely prohibitive to have the postal auction separately printed, unless of course you wish to go back to having it photocopied. Another suggestion was that if the postal auction came in the middle of the magazine it could be pulled out and discarded, this would, I feel, change the look and feel of The Finial and again more importantly this would be difficult to produce as the number of pages of the postal auction would have to be divisible by four pages, otherwise the desired affect would not work. Now that I have opened this can of worms, if you wish to respond, please do, even though I may not agree to all criticisms, I happy to receive them and give them thought.

On a lighter note Macmillan Cancer Relief 'World's Biggest Coffee Morning' in Burlington Arcade would like to thank all those who attended and contributed to the charity. Martin Clunes who gave a poignant talk opened the morning event, which was attended by hundreds of visitors. Over 10,000 was raised in the Arcade and with all the other coffee mornings held that morning throughout the United Kingdom, Macmillan are on their way to reaching their target of 3.5 million to support people who are living with cancer.

In this current postal Auction there are many good lots with very sensible reserves, but one worth a mention is lot 104, a rare Irish Onslow pattern soup ladle, circa 1765 by David Peter of Dublin, which would be a good acquisition for any collection. And could I just remind all bidders to put their name, address and telephone number on all submissions, especially those that are sent by email, as it will save me heaps of time looking them up and that all bids are in pounds, i.e. no pence, please.


The Finial, October/November 2003

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