Set of Three Scarce Washington, PA Dessert Spoons by Jacob Schaffer
Offered is a very scarce set of three early American coin silver dessert spoons by little-known Washington, Pennsylvania silversmith Jacob Schaffer (1756-1852). Mr. Schaffer's biographical information appears following a description of the spoons. These three spoons, like most of Schaffer's silver, are characterized by an eccentric style and unusual proportions. They measure about 6 5/8 inches in length, on average, and they weigh about 58 grams altogether. Although under 7 inches in length, they are definitely dessert spoons. Each spoon has large pointed shoulders and a decorated roulette-work style pointed drop. By style, these spoons should date to the 1805-20 timeframe. The spoons do not have a monogram, and there is no obvious sign of erasure. Each spoon bears a mark of JS in script in a circle; this is one of two known marks for Mr. Schaffer, the other being his first initial and full surname. Silver-hilted swords with each of these marks are known. Condition overall is fair to good on these spoons; some have more dings than others, though none have any splits or repairs. All in all a fine example of Western Pennsylvania coin silver!
Jacob Schaffer, born 1756, originated in Lancaster or York county and served in the American Revolution. By 1793, he had moved to Washington. John Patterson was his apprentice before running away in 1797. Mr. Schaffer was taxed as a silversmith through 1850, at which time he seems to have retired. He died in 1852.