Mt. Holly, New Jersey Coin Silver Teaspoon - Henry B. James c.1834-55
Offered is a good American coin silver teaspoon by New Jersey watchmaker, jeweler and silversmith Henry B. James, whose biographical information appears below. This teaspoon measures 6 3/16 inches in length and weighs about 16 grams. It has a nicely executed period script engraved monogram, and a rubbed but legible maker's mark. Condition overall is good, with some surface wear and signs of use and shallow dings to the bowl, but no splits or repairs. This spoon would almost certainly date to Mr. James' Mt. Holly years by style and by the use of the Philadelphia-style standard mark on the piece. It could be that Mr. James was retailing a spoon made in Philadelphia, as his focus was always on watches. However, he was an accomplished mechanic, and could have had the skill-set to have made flatware. All in all a nice New Jersey coin silver spoon!
Mr. James worked in Mt. Holly, NJ from about 1834-55, and opened a watch and jewelry store in Trenton in January 1855. This store was closed in 1863 as he moved his family to Boston to pursue the application of patents related to watches, but this venture was unsuccessful and Mr. James returned to Trenton soon after. His business faltered again in 1873, and he closed his shop in Trenton thereafter. Sometime after that, he and his wife began spending more time in Ocean Grove, NJ, where they had rental cottages. Source: “The Life of Mrs. Mary D. James” by Joseph H. James (1886). He is listed in the Ocean Grove Record as selling and repairing watches in 1884. He died in 1888 according to various genealogical sources.