Tongs with offset arms by Jacob Merchant, Dumfries, VA
A rare form for sugar tongs, the arms at a 90-degree angle with the bend. Dual wrigglework decorative lines on both sides of arms and around bend, the decorative work carried through on the spoon nips. Never engraved, 5-1/2" long. Excellent condition. Until recently, Merchant was said to have worked in NYC, c1795. Now, Hollan's tome on VA silversmiths clearly identifies him as working in Dumfries. Equally telling, VonKhrum's compilation of NYC silversmiths and allied artisans does not include the name Merchant. Merchant worked in Dumfries, then a backwater town, for only a short time, from 1809-16.