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S. Kirk "King" 1825 Assay Mark Silver Place Spoon

S. Kirk "King" 1825 Assay Mark Silver Place Spoon
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This 7" long, very heavy at nearly 1.7 T. oz., place, aka oval soup or dessert, spoon, is a fine example of Samuel Kirk's earliest work, in his first line pattern, "Kings."

It bears a Baltimore assay mark of a "Maryland shield and the letter C" that was used 1825-30, along with "S. Kirk" in script.

The assay standard for this time was established by law at 11 parts out of 12, or 91.7% silver (vs. 92.5% for sterling and 90% for coin), commentary in the Baltimore Museum of Art volume "Maryland Silver" indicates this level was commonly exceeded.

The discussion notes that of nine pieces of the period tested for silver content, "the highest was 95.5%; in fact, five of the nine tested were above sterling standard and two others were only very slightly below 92.5%. The remaining two pieces also averaged at least the Assay Office Standard of 91.7% silver."

The above suggests this item may have a silver content that far exceeds that of other similar work of the period.

It has a feathered script "HH" monogram and a thumb drop on the otherwise plain, save for the marks, backside and is in exceptionally fine condition.

There is scant polishing wear, with the shell and leaf detail of the pattern remaining well-defined. The bowl remains well-shaped and is free of tip wear or dents. There is one shallow pinprick dimple in the base. The finish is warm and even.

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