London "IB" 1800 Sterling Asparagus Tongs
This pair of English, sterling silver asparagus tongs are fully marked for London, 1800. The maker's punch is "IB" for which there are several possibilities, the likeliest being John Blake. English asparagus tongs are of a type, and this pair follow along after the form. They measure 9 1/2" long and weigh a substantial 6.5 T. oz. There is a single crossbar that is secured into place with two silver screws. The grips are narrow and grooved so to hold the asparagus spears. One of the grips has a notched end. The pattern is a "Thread," with the only embellishment being an elaborate crest that appears on the 1 1/4" wide arch. It features a circle around which is inscribed the Latin phrase, "Pro Libertate Patriae" ("for the liberty of my country") and inside of which is the monogram "IHMD" in a feathered script. There is a raised arm holding a mace or axe above the circle. The piece is in outstanding condition. There is no visible wear, cracks or bends. The finish is lustrous.