Lovely Decorated Coffin-End Teaspoon from Newport, Rhode Island c1800
Offered is a very fine early American coin silver tea spoon by Newport, Rhode Island silversmith John Allen Shaw, circa 1800. Mr. Shaw was born in Newport in 1775, and died in North Carolina in 1837. Although Shaw invested heavily in the ship cargoes associated with the West Indies trade, and suffered terrible reversals in the War of 1812, he stayed in Newport until around 1827, when he relocated to Tyrell/Currituck County, NC. At some point thereafter, he entered business there, not as a silversmith but rather in the lumber trade. Finding little success in this, he spent his last few years as a Baptist minister. This is a particularly finely decorated example of antique Newport coin silver, with a well-executed period script monogram of "LL" in an oval reserve, with trailing engraved decoration down the handle. This spoon measures about 5 1/2 inches in length and weighs about 14 grams. The maker's mark for Shaw is well struck and only slightly rubbed; this is his earliest known maker's mark. Condition is very good overall, with little wear and only a few small dings in the bowl; there are no splits or repairs. All in all a fine example of early Newport coin silver!