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Trefid Spoon Circa 1700, Barnstaple or Exeter, Possibly by John Smith

Trefid Spoon Circa 1700, Barnstaple or Exeter, Possibly by John Smith
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Offered is a fine late 17th Century or very early 18th Century trefid table spoon bearing the maker's mark "IS" struck four times as the only mark.

This mark appears in Figure 8 of the article "In Search of John Smith" (a well-known Taunton and Barnstaple silversmith) by Tim Kent, F.S.A., which appeared in the January/February 2005 edition of The Finial (Volume 15/03). The spoon in that article was an acanthus-back trefid, also struck four times with this exact mark. The spoon was shown with a nearly identical trefid with the Exeter town mark only, that had acanthus-back decoration from the the same die. As such, it is very probable that this spoon was made in the Devon region somewhere between Taunton, Barnstaple and Exeter, by John Smith or just possibly another silversmith with the same initials working in the same region at the same time. The mark also appears in "Barnstaple Silver and Its Makers", in the same context with the Exeter spoon (see Fig. 80).

This spoon measures about 7 15/16 inches in length and weighs about 44 grams. Condition appears to be very good overall, with typical wear from normal use and a few small dings and dimples, but no major dents and no splits or apparent repairs. All in all a fine example of an early West Country spoon!

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