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Columbus, OH Coin Silver Spoon with Rare Masonic Pseudo-Hallmark

Columbus, OH Coin Silver Spoon with Rare Masonic Pseudo-Hallmark
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Offered is a very rare example of masonic imagery being openly used by a silversmith or jeweler in the United States - in this case by George M. Herancourt, who is best known as one of the early brewers of Ohio (see bio below, from the "History of Cincinnati and Hamilton County"), but who for a time was also in the jewelry business in Columbus, Ohio. Mr. Herancourt's mark is uncommon. This is also the only example I've seen of an actual pseudo-hallmark that is obviously and directly masonic - unsurprising from Mr. Herancourt in that he was a 32nd Degree Mason. This piece measures about 5 9/16 inches in length, and weighs about 12 grams. It seems to be unengraved, and there is no obvious sign of erasure. The maker's or retailer's mark is clear, and the masonic hallmark is struck several times and clear in one instance. Condition overall is fair at best, with some wear, dents, and ripples to the handle, but no splits or repairs. Please scroll through all the pictures. All in all an interesting and rare example of a coin silver spoon with masonic imagery included!

GEORGE M. HERANCOURT, who was long known in Cincinnati as one of its principal producers, was of Huguenot stock, and was descended from John do Herancourt, who moved from France in 1685, after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, to Muehlhofen, Rhein Pfaltz, Bavaria, where the subject of this sketch was born July 4, 1807. The father, George Michael Herancourt, was a farmer in good circumstances, and put the son to school until he was fifteen years of age, when he was sent to learn the brewing and distilling business, for which the proprietor was paid eighty-eight florins. This he followed two years, then obtained employment in another establishment, where he remained one year; then traveled and worked his way through the cities of France, Germany and Switzerland for four years, after which he returned to his native place, thoroughly imbued with Republican principles, and with a desire to go to America. The monarchical government of Bavaria was soon made more obnoxious to him by his being drafted into the army before he had been home two weeks. His father, however, purchased a substitute for him, and would have established him in business, but being; bent on going to the great Republic of the West, to try his fortune, he preferred a passport to Havre, France, where on the thirteenth of June, 1830, be took passage in a sailing vessel, and crossing the ocean landed at New York, August 27. During the few days he was in that city, he ascertained that there were only four ale and porter breweries there. From New York he went to Philadelphia, where he was employed in the ale and porter brewery of Badenheimer & Drexel until the following spring, when the works were stopped, as the manufacture of those beverages was not carried on during the summer until several years after, by Reichert, of Philadelphia, and Lauer, of Reading, Penn. He then traveled through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana. Cincinnati he visited for the first time in 1833, during the prevalence of the Cholera, and found half of the stores on Main street, between Fifth street and the river, closed, some of the parties having died, and some removed to the country. The first day he was here no less than sixty five deaths occurred, the largest number of any one day during the epidemic. He then returned to Philadelphia for a few months, but again came west, this time to Columbus, where he engaged in the jewelry and music business, continuing in same from 1834 to 1844, when he sold out, as his health was suffering from confinement. Being one of the charter members of the Ohio Mutual Fire and Life Insurance Company, be was appointed its general agent, and served in that capacity about five years. In connection with a partner be also carried on brewing; in 1836 he formed another partnership, building the City Brewery, and this business connection he maintained some twenty-eight years, although he came to Cincinnati in 1847, and started a separate establishment. He was president of the board of trustees of St. Peter's Protestant Episcopal Church of Cincinnati, and a thirty-second degree Mason. Mr. Herancourt died June 29, 1880.

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