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J&J H(?)all spoons

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Posted 5 years ago


(2 items)

I found these two spoons while going through my Great Aunt's home after she passed away. I have tried to search J&J Hall but haven't had any luck. I'm starting to wonder if the back says Kall instead. There are no other markings on the back of the spoons other than "J&J Hall".

Regardless, I'm hoping someone can give me more information on these spoons since they don't have a patter for me to identify either.

My guess is that, because of their simplicity, they are fairly old - meaning made some time in the 1800s.

Anyone with some more information is asked to reach out. Thank you!

Unsolved Mystery

Help us close this case. Add your knowledge below.


  1. BHock45 BHock45, 5 years ago
    WONDERFUL FIND! I am a collector of colonial American Coin silver spoons. This is exactly what you have found. When the settlers came over from Europe (mainly England) they brought along their old monies from other countries. In American, of course, this moned had no value, but whatever the silver was worth. Oftentimes, the person or family would take the coins to a local silversmith and have a set of spoons made from the old coins. Hence, the name Coin Silver. The silversmith would stamp the name on the back. So here you have J.J. Kall or Hall, whichever I am not sure, but I will be sure to do the research to help you! Excellent!!!
  2. ABsHelper, 5 years ago
    Wow, that is really interesting, BHock45, thank you! This has been a lot of fun to research and I'm looking forward to finding out more!
  3. BHock45 BHock45, 5 years ago
    Looks like a rare one....I consulted a few sites for researching coin silver....let's hope mikkochristmas11 joins this conversation!!!

    I have already referenced the following site:

    Looks to be mid-century 1800's with those shoulders. Every so often you find one from a lesser known silversmith. Maybe someone else known of J&J Hall.
  4. BHock45 BHock45, 5 years ago
    Sorry about all the type-o's I am in a little rush. Be back in a few hours!!!
  5. ABsHelper, 5 years ago
    No problem, I appreciate the help and hope mikko joins too! :)
  6. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    Hi, all! Beautiful spoons ? I?m so very glad that you have these to remember your Great Aunt by.

    Also a very good mystery for us. I see that BHock45, who has an enviable collection of old American coin silver spoons!, has made a thorough search. Great job, as per usual, BHock45!

    I found no Kall/Kalls who were silversmiths, jewelers, watchmakers/clockmakers, pewtersmiths, or Britannia metal works. So, I moved to Hall/Halls.

    Now, there are a lot of variables in this search, and it will be tedious to list them all right now. However, I wanted to let you know right now that I am working on this tedious assessment of Halls! ABsHelper, could you get a sharper photo of the makers' mark, please? Also, have you tested these spoons for silver content? I.e., are these solid coin silver, silverplated, pewter, or base metal? Please get some silver polish and see if they clean up with the silver polish. : ) If the brown won't come off, then I think that these will be silver plated Britannia metal. I did find one Hall who worked in Britannia metal.

    I have perhaps 10 Halls that I'll be presenting the team with. I'm halfway through, and the cross-indexing has got me dizzy. I've got to rest, and then I'll finish late tonight and post the list. When we get the better photo of hallmark, and know if these spoons are solid coin silver, silver plated, pewter, or base metal, then we'll work through the list of possible "Halls".

    So glad you posted these! Thanks a lot for remembering me, BHock45! Later! : )
  7. ABsHelper, 5 years ago
    miKKo - Exciting news! I went to get the spoons, a silver cloth and my camera to see what happened ... I don't have any silver polish right now so I thought I'd give the cloth a try. And with success!! The spoons look great!

    I got a better picture of the spoons and of the mark from the maker. It is definitely Hall.

    This is really exciting!

    One thing I can't figure out though... how do I post new photos??
  8. ABsHelper, 5 years ago
    Ok, never mind on the posting :)
  9. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    Oh! Very exciting!!! BHock45 and I will have to toss coins to see who gets these spoons now!!! (Just joking. : )

    You can do the photos two ways. You can go into Edit mode and delete photos, or you can open up a new show and tell item and call it J&J Hall Spoons Part II. Yippee! : )
  10. ABsHelper, 5 years ago
    New photos posted above.... I think they look great!
  11. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    Hi, ABsHelper! Great photos!!! Thank you!!! Now for a question. There appears to be some discoloration OR wear on spoons. Did all the brown come off? If so, these might well be silverplate. Thanks! I'll sign off now for a bit, then be back late tonight and post all the Hall combos that I've identified. Exciting! : )
  12. BHock45 BHock45, 5 years ago
    Hey ABsHelper and mikkochristmas11. Glad to see you found this!!! AbsHelper...can you weight these on a kitchen or postage scale and tell us the weight of one of the spoons??
  13. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    Great idea, BHock45!!! I completely forgot about weight. : )


    You can find all the “Halls” I treat in the “Names List” link found in the link below. Hope I haven’t made a mistake, but it is possible with all the cross-indexing!

    When I moved on to “HALL”, I looked for two persons related to one another, both of whose names began with a “J”. I found “father” Jonas Hall (1792 - ??) and “son” Jonas Galutia Hall (1822-aft 1889). Son is identified as a “jeweler and watchmaker”, and a maker of tools. There is no information provided on what the senior Hall produced. Father born in Sutton MA; no locale listed for his place of business. However, his wife, who was a native of Calais, Vermont, died in Calais in 1864. Son born in Calais, VT and worked almost entire life in Calais, Vermont. I note also that son worked for a period in Boston, MA. No image of a hallmark or mention of a joint operation in the online database. Good possibility.

    Now there’s a Jacob Hall (1801-??) who was a spoon maker in Wallingford, CT (source 1850 census). His father was Benajah Hall (1762-??) of Meriden, CT. Had the first initial of the makers’ mark been a “B.” instead of a “J”, then this team would have been a very good possibility! Now that I can read the first letter though…..

    We have a John Hall of New Haven, CT, but he is a much earlier colonial-age silversmith – 1703-1760. Also, he had no issue whose name began with a “J.”, or any known association with a “J”.

    We have a silversmith John Hall, who was born 1642 in Salisbury, MA; and died before 1691 in London, England. He was trained in America, but spent his working career in England. He is too early, anyway.

    Hall, John H. (1810-1860) was a jeweler – born Wrentham, MA, died Attleboro, MA. His son, the jeweler John Norman Hall, was born in 1834 in Attleboro, and was still active in Attleboro as of 1880. Good possibility.

    John Hancock Hall (1786-1815) worked as a jeweler in Sutton, MA. His father, Joseph Hall (1751-1840) lived in Sutton MA, too. Father’s occupation not listed in his individual ancestry record on Good possibility.

    We have another Joseph Hall (1746-1821), born Redding, CT and died Cambridge, NY. Worked in Albany, NY and New York City. Possibly also Cambridge, NY. Important silversmith. Four marks for him. Two in cursive, two in block letters. The two in block letters use the “I” for the “J”; one of the cursive marks does also; possibly the other cursive mark uses the “I”, also. He had a brother named Joshua Hall (1739-circa 1781), associated with Redding and Stratford, CT. No indication of his profession. Now their father, Joshua Hall (1708-1789), is a bit early. He worked in Fairfield, Stratford, and Redding, CT. A possibility; however, the substitution of "I" for "J", in my opinion, makes this combo very unlikely.

    We have a Josiah Edward Hall (1830-1880 or later). He was a pewtersmith in Wallingford, CT, and both the 1870 and the 1880 census for Wallingford listed him as a worker in Britannia metal. I didn’t find an association with another Hall whose name began with J.

    We have a John Milton Hall (1830-1913) of Wallingford CT who worked as a “Spoon maker”. I don’t see another “J. Hall” in his life. Too bad.

    John Hubbard Hall (1788-1867) of Meriden, CT, Middletown, CT, and Fayetteville, NC was a pewtersmith. No known “Hall” associates.
  14. ABsHelper, 5 years ago
    miKKo and BHock - Thank you for all your hard work here!

    I will have to locate a scale to weigh one of the spoons on. This might take me a day or so... don't think I've forgotten!

    It did seem as though the dark color wore off of the spoons when I cleaned them which would lead me to think they are worn.

    I'm still amazed at how well they cleaned up!

    My family came from New York so I thought maybe the family of Hall's from New York might have been a winner but the use of I, instead of a J made that a non-starter.

    I'll keep digging and will get back to you with spoon weight soonest!
  15. filmnet filmnet, 5 years ago
    here it is for sale
  16. filmnet filmnet, 5 years ago
    Very dirty coin silver.
  17. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    Great job, filmnet! I googled the firm’s name last night too and didn’t get a hit. Wonder why. Very tired last night. I’m sure BHock45 did too….Anyway, great work, filmnet!!!!!

    From Cowan’s Auctions, we find evidence of a “J. & J. Hall (possibly Louisville, KY ca 1848)”, with an ID of coin silver. (More on coin silver below.)

    Cowan’s is excellent, so this is an excellent possibility here – indeed, it is very probable that this is the correct identification of this mark!!! Some things to note, however….

    Cowan’s ID is hypothetical: “J. & J. Hall (possibly Louisville, KY ca 1848)”. I recommend that Cowan’s be asked about this hypothetical ID.

    J & J Hall doesn’t yet appear in the Ancestry database. I would email the database author about J & J Hall, and tell him all that you’ve discovered. Ask his assistance. He is constantly seeking to improve his database. He might know of the J & J Hall mark, but not have solid evidence that the mark corresponds to a particular person or firm. I would point out that his database is being used as a primary resource by many of the experts. Cautious !!!elation!!! is my response to filmnet’s finding of today. The Ancestry database author might also very much like to have a good photo of your hallmark. He does search for new hallmarks!

    I recommend below some resources on Kentucky Silversmiths.

    Marquis E. Boultinghouse, "The Silversmiths, Jewelers, Clock and Watchmakers of Kentucky 1785-1900" (Chicago, 1980). This is apparently an excellent resource – recommends it. IF THESE WERE MY SPOONS, THIS WOULD BE MY FIRST “BOOK” SEARCH. I was not able to find it in an online searchable form during my quick search this morning. It might not be available as an online searchable resource.

    I consulted the entry “Silversmiths” (p. 821) in the “Kentucky Encyclopedia”, by John E. Kleber. There was no mention of J & J Hall therein. [Contained some things of interest, however, namely. 1.) By 1830, handles were spatula shaped and known as fiddle-backed. 2. “…Flanged, fiddleback flatware handles remained in vogue into the 1870s….” 3.) Coin silver forks appeared in KY circa 1830. 4.) The individual silversmith ‘firms’ were vanquished by the Civil War and mass production. PLEASE NOTE THAT IF THIS IS A KENTUCKY COIN SILVER SPOON, IT WILL HAVE GOOD VALUE. KENTUCKY VALUES ITS EARLY ARTISANS.]

    I found a searchable online copy of “The silversmiths of Kentucky: together with [some (Note that some entries insert the word “some” in this place.)] watchmakers and jewelers, 1785-1850”, by Nobel W. Hiatt. Hiatt did not list J & J Hall.

    The following link contains information on Kentucky historical associations. I would check with state and Louisville associations. ESPECIALLY, I WOULD CONSULT A REFERENCE LIBRARIAN in the Louisville Public Library. Call her/him and ask her/him to consult Boultinghouse for J & J Hall. Then I would ask her/him for further suggestions.

    And this organization’s online database:

    There were 325 returns for the search string “J & J Hall silver”. I started on page 1 and didn’t find a hit in the first page. You are welcome to go through all 325!

    Questions and comments may be directed to or by calling 502.634.2967

    Louisville’s Speed Art Museum. The Curator of the exhibit ”Silver in Kentucky, 1800-1860” might well be able to help you.

    Now, I cannot read the maker’s mark on the J & J Hall spoon on Cowan. Can anyone else read it?

    I can’t yet solidly affirm that this is coin silver. The photographs lead me to wonder if this could be silverplate on base metal. What I am perceiving as ‘possible wear’ in a spoon here seems more consistent with the wear to a plated metal, in my very humble opinion, but of course, if the spoon is very carefully cleaned and photographed it might look very different. Some of these early colonial forms were produced in silverplate, and it can be hard to distinguish between coin silver and silverplate by sight. Wear pattern, I submit, is a good initial gauge. Filmnet could be correct that it’s still very dirty. Of course one could conduct a simple test for silver, since it is most probably silver, but that wouldn’t tell us if it were coin or plated. To get enough silver to do that could injure the spoon. BHock45’s suggestion to weigh the spoon is excellent!!!

    Well, I think that BHock45 and filmnet have done a great job! I’m finished for now. Gorgeous spoons!!! So glad that you posted these and let us play with them. : ) Regards, miKKo
  18. BHock45 BHock45, 5 years ago
    Mikkochristmas11 a thorough investigation as usual!
  19. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    Thank you very much, BHock45!!! I was able to traverse a bit since you had conducted a very thorough research using the intial photos. I also had the advantage of having the new, and very clear, image of the maker's mark. Always a pleasure to work with you, sir!!! I always learn something, too. Take care. : )
  20. BHock45 BHock45, 5 years ago
    I can verify the finding because when I did my first search I did see, and actually wrote but erased, a J & J Hall from Louisville, KY. Great job filmnet and mikkochristmas11!!!
  21. BHock45 BHock45, 5 years ago
    mikkochristmas11...can you write a quick list of all of the silver reference books you use??? I just found one for a is called:


    I need a few more texts especially one that refs. coin silver. Thanks!!!
  22. BHock45 BHock45, 5 years ago
    ABsHelper, if you are looking for a silver polish please consider 3M Tarnish Shield. This is, imo, the best silver polish on the market. It is very mildly abrasive and works very very well with only a little bit. Sometimes you need something a little stronger, but please use this resource before polishing any silver. The list below is created by a silversmith who posts his work here on CW.

  23. Poop Poop, 5 years ago
    Dont polish it!!
  24. ABsHelper, 5 years ago
    Thanks everyone for all your help! I cant see the J&J Hall mark on the Cowan spoons at all. I'll see about reaching out to them.

    Once I weigh the spoons, I'll post that info here too.
  25. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    Hi, BHock45! Did you find the Cowan's auction item on your internet search, or 0 on some other online site? I found a lot of Halls, but no J & J Hall. Hmmm. (So! You had it, after all. : ) ) If you found another resource online, would love to know it.

    Re the Wyler book: great find! Some of the older books have info that gets left out of the more recent works. They also appreciate the value of silver -- I don't mean monetary value, but the significance that it held for the person owning it.

    Our Ancestry database has a list of sources that is quite excellent. Almost all reference works that I use are on that list. Follows a link to the list. Some will be prohibitively expensive, and some will be rare books. The nearest big city to me has some of these, but very few of them. Thank goodness you live in New York City and have access to superb public libraries.

    Note here for ABsHelper, BHock45, and filmnet: The Boultinghouse Kentucky work is on the sources list of the database, so it might not have J & J Hall.

    I note that the following good works are not on this list: Noel D. Turner's "American Silver Flatware 1837-1910", Dorothy Rainwater's work on silver plate, Kovel's latest silver guide, "Collecting American 19th Century Silver" by Katharine Morrison McClinton (New York, Scribner, 1968). The BELDEN Winterthur book. There are a number of regional silver references available, but I have no competence to assess their quality or identify all of them. I understand that John R. McGrew has a work that contains valuable information on American pseudo hallmarks: "Manufacturers' Marks on American Coin Silver". I've not been privileged to examine it. Yale, The Brooklyn Museum in NY, Bayou Bend in Houston, The Boston Museum of Art and the Cleveland Museum have published some great works on coin silver. The great book that Charles Venable published on American Gilded Age silver was published by a Dallas art museum. It's on's list. I love it! However, it's more a work on the history of the transformation of silver in America than a master look-up resource for silversmiths. “Marks of American Silversmiths Revised: 1650-1900”, by Robert Alan Green (White Plains, NY: Murphy Printing Co., Inc., 1984) is very good too, and not on the list.

    Filmnet, remember the first silver piece I worked on for you? You had a xeroxed page of a work that featured many colonial maker's marks. What is the name of that reference work, please? (Thanks!!!) ....See ya! : )

  26. filmnet filmnet, 5 years ago
    This page
  27. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    Thanks much, filmnet!! No, I mean that when I first looked at your show and tell posting. The last photo you had was a xeroxed or photographed image of a reference work that contained some American coin silver maker's marks. I was excited about it at the time, and asked you about it, but in all the excitement the question didn't get answered. It is a book that would probably help BHock45 if he could afford it. Thanks!!! : )
  28. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    Hi, all! I return to the scene of the crime. Trying to figure out how my google search went awry. I get interesting results from manipulating variables, but haven't figured out yet how I missed Cowan's. Last night I was so exhausted, and got pages of stuff on British silversmiths. This morning, still getting a lot of British stuff, but Cowan's comes up loud and clear. The string also pulls Imperial Half Bushel's site. They once had one lot of six "J. Hall" coin silver spoons, circa 1830. I think that the lot number was probably 1472-23. Certainly that's the number in the far right corner. Here's a link.

    Most remarkable of all is that I found that someone named Harold Tinker last year had a spoon marked "J. and J. Hall" (thus per Tinker), and he queried 'Richmond Huntley'???, author of "Flashback: Silver Spoons" (CW republication of a July 1941! "American Collector" article) or 'CW' ??? about this spoon. Tinker said that the spoon had a tag on it dating it to 1798. There was no CW/author response posted online, but the lead is worth following up, surely. Here's a link. Notice Harold Tinker's Question/Comment No. 4.
  29. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    FYI, This morning I wrote to William Erik Voss, creator of the American silversmith database on I forwarded two of ABsHelper's photos and the Cowan link. I look forward to hearing what this generous and careful scholar has to say....Later. : )
  30. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    @ filmnet: Good morning! Please take a look at the following link. The book I'm asking you about appears in the fourth photo. What was the title, or who was the author, please? Thanks a lot!! : )
  31. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    Wonderful news! William Erik Voss, the author of the 'SILVERSMITHS & RELATED CRAFTSMEN' database of American silversmiths and craftsmen on has responded to this morning's query with a scholarly opinion on this maker's mark. He does not find ground to substantiate Cowan's attribution. Here's his finding.


    I have seen the mark before, but do not know much of the partnership. It
    is not listed in Boultinghouse, and I find nothing else indicating a
    Kentucky origin. Winterthur has a teaspoon with the same mark and
    counterstamped by the retailer G. W. Mayo. In their online database,
    they give the location as Middlebury VT, though neither is listed there
    in Carlisle or Perrin. The same spoon is listed in Belden, noted as
    similar to a second marked "J. Hall" and "W & H" for Wood & Hughes, with
    a suggested location of New York state.


    Mr. Voss said he'd inform me if he received new information.

    FYI, I noticed something odd about our hallmark. It looks like it reads "J & J. HALL", not "J. & J. HALL" or "J & J HALL", and not "J. & J. Hall", as given in Cowan. Very odd that the first "J" has no period but the second "J" does. ABsHelper's photo no 4 looks very clear to me. Any comment on this odd hallmark?

    Also received word from CW that no one has responded to the question Harold Tinker posted under the following article:

    Best wishes!! miKKo
  32. BHock45 BHock45, 5 years ago deepest apologizes for abandoning you on the J & J. Hall case. I hope you understand that I work full time as a school teacher, part time for my own company when I get home from teaching, and full time as a daddy. Not only that, but I am an addicted collector, as you already know. Lately I have been really trying to help my friend with all of her WWII items, and in addition to the Ellner cup, I am about ready to collapse!

    Now, back on topic, mikkochristmas11 you never cease to amaze me. You are, as when we met months ago, such a dedicated worker, and a great collector buddy!

    I do agree that the mark reads: J & J. HALL....but I will make sure when I arrive home to "The Beast" (my computer with nice graphics). I think its great you contacted Mr. Voss. After all, the source does say possibly Louisville KY.

    I did find this statement:

    Abraham Bashara Hall
    Geneva, NY 1806-1841
    Was a partner with J. Hall in the firm of J. & A.B. Hall in 1813.
    Was in the firm of Hall & Elton c. 1841.

    Anyway, I am not trying to reopen this case, but I am trying to say that I looked at your work, and I appreciate you stepping in to help me. I did not mean to ask for your help, and then ditch you! Sorry it took so long!
  33. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    Hi, BHock! Thank you for your very kind message and the information. I am too exhausted now to respond properly to this Hall information, but will when I recover. I think it's great that you're helping your friend with her items! I, too, have many responsibilities and am exhausted. I am pretty much confined to my home these days because of illness, and never go out these days except for medical appointments and some necessary business that cannot be conducted via telephone, mail, or email. Please take care of yourself! Later!
  34. chrsycook, 5 years ago
    I have 5 spoons exactly like this in the fiddle pattern and all have the J & J Hall stamp. Thank you for all the information.
  35. relicredeemer, 2 years ago
    Found one of his spoons with the numbers 666 on them any ideas how old they r!?

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