Rare Southern Coin Silver Decorated Turned Handle Spreader Ca. 1860s
Offered is a very good and scarce example of an American coin silver turned handle butter knife or spreader, bearing the maker's or retailer's mark of Augustus Shmedtie of Washington, D.C. This pieces measures about 7 1/8 inches in length and weighs about 30 grams. In addition to the clear, well-struck mark for Shmedtie, it is engraved with decoration to one side of the blade and to the handle, and bears a period script monogram. This knife would most likely date to Shmedtie's early period (see below), not later than about 1869. This piece is in very good condition, with modest wear from normal use but no dents, splits or repairs. All in all a fine example of a rare form in American coin silver, especially in Southern coin silver!
Augustus Shmedtie was working out of 447 7th St., N. W. by 1865, and worked for several years on his own before being joined by his brother Henry. By 1870, the brothers were working at 704 7th St., N.W. under the name Shmedtie Brothers. The partnership was dissolved in July 1878 according to the July 9, 1878 edition of the D.C. "Evening Star" newspaper, and Augustus Shmedtie continued to operate alone under the old name of Shmedtie Bros.