• Saving Vermont History, One Silver Spoon At a Time Compared to their Colonial neighbors, Vermont silversmiths got a late start. That’s because the first permanent non-Native American settlement in Vermont (Bennington) was not established until 1761, about 140 years after Europeans settled the surrounding areas. Prior to the founding of Bennington, Vermont was the home and hunting ground of the Abenaki, as well as a buffer zone between the French i…
  • Janine Skerry Shows Off the Silver Collection at Colonial Williamsburg My interest in silver started when I was a child. One of my earliest memories was opening either my mother or father’s jewelry box and using a magnifying glass to look at all the little marks on the pieces inside. There were also a few pieces of metalwork in our family: a copper coffeepot and a small silver saucepan. My great, great, great grandfather in Sweden made the coffeepot, and my grandfath…
  • The Kalo Shop, a Mecca for Arts and Crafts Sterling Silver How did I get started collecting Arts and Crafts silver? My wife and I had been collecting Arts and Crafts items as far back as I can remember, mostly furniture and tiles. One day many years ago I got bit by the silver bug. We lived in California and I’d visit antique dealers and one of them showed me a silver serving spoon by Chicago silver maker Falick Novick. It was beautifully made, the shape …
  • Small But Useful American Silver Part I: “Stole at Flatbush on Long-Island, One Silver Tankerd, a piece of Money in the Led of King Charles II, and the Led all engraved, a Coat of Arms, before (in it Man on a Waggon with two Horses) mark'd on the Handle, L P A. One Silver Tankerd plain, with a Piece of Money in the Led, mark'd on the Handle A P or A L. One Cup with two twisted Ears chas'd with Skutchens, marked L P A. One Tumb…
  • The Huguenot Silversmiths, 18th Century Refugees To those countries that afford asylum to the victims, national persecutions frequently reward the befrienders to a far greater degree than was anticipated. America was largely colonized by people fleeing from religious, economic, or political oppression, and in the latter part of the 17th Century, England absorbed several thousand Huguenot refugees and soon left her neighbor, who cast them out, fa…
  • The Silver of Captain Tobias Lear of Portsmouth It is a matter of general observation that in this country family possessions tend to become scattered in the course of a few generations. Division through inheritance and the normal rate of disposal and loss have their share in this rapid dispersion but more is due to the American habit of shifting domiciles with a frequency greater than in any other part of the world. Hence it is a rare event wh…
  • The Drowne Silversmiths of Portsmouth Undoubtedly the name of Samuel Drowne is as well known as that of any of the early silversmiths of Portsmouth, N. H., but locally, at least, it is more generally remembered because of the prominent part its owner played in the affairs of his community during the period of the American Revolution and in the years immediately thereafter. Like many other American silversmiths of the time, he w…
  • The Burts, Boston Silversmiths According to present-day standards, 18th-Century Boston was never more than a good-sized village. In 1700, it had an estimated population of 7,000; by 1800 it had multiplied only a little over three and a half times. But accomplishment and importance are not necessarily measured by mass population, as this thriving commercial center on the Massachusetts Bay proved. Many books have been writ…
  • Silver in the World of Washington Irving In 1800 when Washington Irving, son of a Scottish born New York merchant, made his first trip up the Hudson he found that fertile river valley a land teeming with twilight superstitions, old Dutch legends and lore. Ichabod Crane, Katrina Van Tassel, Brom Bones and other legendary characters had had their prototypes in colorful tales passed on by word of mouth through the river skipper, the innkeep…
  • Paul Revere, His Craftsmanship and Time A special exhibition, "The Work and Environment of Paul Revere," has just opened at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. American Collector readers will notice the coincidence with the appearance of Esther Forbes' best selling book, Paul Revere & The World He Lived In — a graphic story of Boston during the Revolution and the early Republic. Like the book, the museum's exhibition is far more…
  • Virginia Families and Their Silver The exhibition of silver owned by families of Virginia, made prior to 1800, recently held at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, throws factual light on the silver owned by these families and provides a wealth of definite information for collectors. The particular interest in arranging the exhibition was to bring to light and place on record those beautiful and important pieces owne…
  • William Cario, Father and Son, Silversmiths Although the work of the early American silversmith William Cairo had been well and favorably known to collectors for over half a century, nothing was known of the gentleman himself until comparatively recently. Even his place of residence was a matter of uncertainty, and perhaps a greater conflict of authorities existed concerning it than about that of any other fellow craftsman of the period. No…
  • William Gilbert, Silversmith of New York When Gerrit Cosine, or Cozyn as the name was spelled on the old Dutch records, died in 1769, he bequeathed to his daughter Catherine "his Mahogany Dining Table, his Mahogany Card Table, his Looking Glass," and a carefully itemized list of articles which included "a silver tankard, marked G C, and a silver teapot, silver sugar box and cover of silver, 6 silver table spoons, 6 tea spoons, silver tea…
  • Peter Quintard, Silversmith of New York and Norwalk Today if a bored passenger on a Boston-bound express happens to glance out of the car window as his train thunders past South Norwalk and across the bridge which spans the harbor, he will see a drab cluster of 1880 business buildings and manufacturing plants. These give no clue to an earlier scene when examples of American craftsmanship, now highly prized by collectors, were made on that same site…