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B.M. Chamberlain & Son Gorham Tipt Sugar Spoon

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Silver Spoons239 of 308Sterling Spoon collection Salem Witch,North Church BostonAnother spoon in a nice old box
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Posted 5 years ago


(470 items)

B.M. Chamberlain & Son spoon logo mark is hard to read it has 3 stamps as shown, Handle has a K maybe on top, so beautiful i did clean this


  1. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago

    This beautiful sterling silver serving spoon in the Aesthetic Movement style was made by Gorham circa 1870 or 1871. The “PAT 71” (Or does it read instead “77”?) mark indicates that a patent was filed, processed, or granted in 71/77. The pattern is called “New Tip’t” or “New Tipt”, and it was designed by George Wilkinson. I think that hallmarks on the back of the bowl are for Gorham, not for the jeweler who retailed this item. The jeweler’s name was BENJAMIN MOORE? or MOOERS?/ "CHAMBERLAIN & SON” / “CHAMBERLAIN & SON” of Salem (MA). The hallmark I found is rendered thusly: "B. M. CHAMBERLAIN & SON". (Link to info below.) I think that the “K(?)” that filmnet sees on the tip of the face is a monogram, not a hallmark. This very same Show and Tell item was posted under another Show and Tell entry 5 days ago. If you haven’t followed this earlier thread but would like to, I provide a link to same below.

    Follows a link to Gorham hallmarks. I cannot discern a single letter or symbol in the photograph of the spoon reverse. You might be able to discern the markings.

    Follows a link to the Show and Tell on this same item that was posted on CW five days ago.

    We still need someone to inspect both the hardware on the case and the case, and provide us with information on those two aspects. Thank you!
  2. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    Beautiful photos, filmnet!!

    Oops. Should have said that the 'Gorham' hallmarks are on the reverse, at the join between bowl and stem.
  3. filmnet filmnet, 5 years ago
    I found on image goggle with this sugar spoon which look just like this one
  4. filmnet filmnet, 5 years ago
    WOW he was work with John Ford Smith in Salem I have a large coin spoon with J. F. Smith's name on back i will look for it
  5. filmnet filmnet, 5 years ago
    Mikko, i did send this file to him here is his answer nice!
    Always nice to see a piece in its original package. The retailer was Benjamin Mooers Chamberlain& Sons, the leading jewelers in Salem at the time.

    Wm Voss
  6. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    Hi, filmnet! Great job!!!!!

    I think that Replacements perhaps has a Gorham company brochure/catalogue/ad for this pattern. Gorham brochures/catalogues are much easier to come by than the Knowles & Ladd company catalogue/brochure is! I rechecked my Turner, and he does not have a Gorham lobed serving spoon in this shape. That doesn’t mean that Replacement’s ID of the function of this serving spoon is incorrect. It just means that Turner doesn’t have it. One time I went on Replacements and couldn't open photo links. (FYI, I'll be taking the laptop in for repairs this week.) It would perhaps be worth your while to ask Replacements their grounds for identifying this spoon as a sugar spoon. If they have a brochure/etc., you might ask them if there are any other serving pieces with this lobed bowl. FYI, Gorham kept good records, so if you have time to email them directly, and ask that your email be forwarded to their archivist, you might also find out that way. Now, let me bring something very interesting to your attention.
    Let’s go back to your listing of 6 days ago – link directly below. Enlarge Photo 4, which is a photo of the REVERSE (BACK) of the spoon.

    Look closely at the ‘floral’ tip of the design. You will see that the ‘flower’ on the stem is an attenuated elliptical oval with horizontal ‘stripes’. Now go back to your Replacements sugar spoon link:

    This is also an image of the REVERSE/BACK of the spoon. Now look at the ‘flower’ on the stem. It is very different! It features a laterally bisected ‘floral’ on the stem/stalk.

    Now go to back to Photo 2 of your listing of six days ago. Enlarge it. This is the image on the FACE/FRONT of the spoon, not the back of the spoon.

    What’s going on? In your spoon, the image on FACE/FRONT is different from the image on the BACK/REVERSE! Whereas, on the Replacements spoon, the same image will most likely appear on both front and back. You will recall from my longer account of this spoon that I indicated that I had failed to find a “match” to your pattern after combing through Turner three times. That was because I was using the only clear photo I had of the design on your spoon (i.e., Photo 4) and comparing it to Turner’s patterns. Yours was very, very close to one, but not a precise match. I wondered if Turner’s illustration, not being a photo, was a bit different from the item in the real (as represented in a photo). Certainly your Photo 4 image was very, very close to Turner’s! It had to be the same. It wasn’t until I was combing eBay looking for antique Gorham spoons to compare to yours that I discovered that Gorham had a piece/s in this pattern with one design on the face, and a slightly different design on the reverse/back. (The Seller had provided very clear photographs of both the front and back of his item.) Armed with this knowledge, I went back to Turner, looked at the enlarged Photo 2, and judged that it was a definite match. I think that it would be fun to email Gorham’s archivist and ask him about this peculiarity. It is fascinating.

    About your response from William Voss! That was very kind of you! to email him the photo/s, and also very kind of him to supply us with that marvelous information, unknown to me! So, BMC was the leading jeweler in Salem at the time, or one of the leading jewelers in Salem at the time? I can’t tell from your posting whether Voss said that BMC&S was one of the leading jewelerS (plural) of the time in Salem, or that he was THE leading jeweler (singular) of the time in Salem. Now, I had intended to email Voss today or tomorrow and ask him about his spelling of “MOOERS”. Yesterday, I saw a most reputable and scholarly silver vendor render BMC’s middle name as “MOORE”, and I wondered if perhaps Voss could confirm that “MOOERS” is the accurate rendering. Also, you said “Sons”. I see only “SON” (singular) in the trade name. Perhaps you’d like to verify these things, just for your records. Yes, I think that it would be better for you to email him than for me to do it.

    I am also thrilled that Voss shares my opinion that the box is original to the spoon. You had indicated earlier in one of your ladle threads that you didn’t know if your box was original to your item. I had thought it very probable that this box was original to this spoon. It would be nice, though, if one of our CW confreres could provide some statment to the effect that the hardware on this box is consistent with hardware of the spoon's age.

    I see that Voss also pointed out that BMC was once partnered with John Ford Smith of Salem. Here’s the text I provided yesterday on the earlier show and tell entry for this spoon:

    “From circa 1845 to 1870, he [BMC] was a partner of John Ford Smith of Salem (MA).

    They operated as SMITH & CHAMBERLAIN, and were located at 291 Essex Street, per the 1846 city directory. I note that I have seen no indication that Smith produced goods; however, I undertook only a cursory search here.”

    RE the PAT date on the reverse of the spoon, I can see from your new photos/new listing that the date is “71” and not “77”. This is the date that the pattern was first ‘patented’, not the date that your particular spoon was issued, by the way.

    That still leaves unread the hallmarks on the back of the spoon, at the join of bowl and stem. As I said, I think that these are probably Gorham hallmarks, but I can’t discern a single mark/letter/symbol in this 3-unit hallmark. Here’s the link again to Gorham’s hallmarks.

    Filmnet, thank you so much for your courtesy and enthusiasm! It was delightful to work on this beautiful item! Regards, miKKo
  7. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    Hi, filmnet! FYI, my Comment No. 7 above is incorrect. I meant to say "vertically bisected", not "laterally bisected"! The corrected text would read: "This is also an image of the REVERSE/BACK of the spoon. Now look at the ‘flower’ on the stem. It is very different! It features a vertically bisected ‘floral’ on the stem/stalk." Sorry, I'm exhausted.

  8. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    Hi, filmnet! I heard from two more persons who have a spoon similar to yours. They both told me that they had no idea what it was for, and they sell silver. I also just received an email from one of the most respected dealers of antique sterling flatware in the United States. She thinks that this show and tell is resolved. Finally, I am accustomed to encountering antique sterling sugar SERVING spoons in books. There is a genre of 'fancy' sugar serving spoons referred to as "sugar shells". I just did a quick search of Gorham "sugar shell" spoons on ebay and found a number of spoons with elliptical oval bowls that had lobes or bowl ridges. As I said, you could contact Gorham directly for information if you wanted to be exactly sure of the precise function your spoon served. Anyway, here's a link to the eBay Gorham sugar shells.

  9. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    Hi, filmnet. Update. Mr. William Voss has very kindly given his opinion on the correct spelling of the middle name for "Benjamin Mooers Chamberlain". Mr. Voss reported that Chamberlain's middlename is given variously, but that he thinks that "Mooers" is correct, and "Moore" is incorrect, because the Mooers and the Chamberlains had enjoyed many business and marriage connections in the Haverhill/Salem area during the 18th and 19th centuries.

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