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Rare Set of Five Springfield, IL Teaspoons by General Isaac B. Curran

Rare Set of Five Springfield, IL Teaspoons by General Isaac B. Curran
click for more pictures for item 20230312-01

Offered is a rare set of five Illinois coin silver teaspoons bearing the maker's mark of Isaac B. Curran, jeweler to Mary Todd Lincoln and an associate of Stephen Douglas. See below for biographical information. These teaspoons are initialed in period script and have good clear maker's marks. These spoons measure about 6 inches in length and weigh a total of 79 grams. Condition overall is good, with most spoons having some tiny bumps in the bowl, and one spoon having a tiny crack in the bottom of the bowl (see pictures by clicking on the first picture). There are no other breaks or repairs. All in all a nice example of this rare mark, from the jeweler who is believed to have engraved Mary Todd Lincoln's wedding ring in 1842, when he was still working for G. W. Chatterton prior to launching his own shop!

Per the Historical Marker Database for Curran's Jewelry Shop: The Gregarious General Isaac B. Curran was a prominent citizen in Lincoln's Springfield. His store here on the south side of the square was a popular gathering place for Lincoln's political opponents. Curran arrived as a young silversmith from Ithaca, New York in 1840. He worked at Chatterton's for several years (where he supposedly engraved Mary's wedding ring), before setting up his own shop in competition with his former employers. Curran was only married a year when his young bride died. He did not remarry for twenty-five years, living much of that time in rooms above his store. He associated with Stephen Douglas and became his point man here at home whenever the famous Senator attended Congress. One Democratic governor appointed Curran Quartermaster General; another made him chief of staff. He lost his appointment as a federal pension official when Douglas had a falling out with President James Buchanan. Lincoln appointed Curran to a wartime diplomatic post in Germany. (However, the appointment never made it through the Senate.)

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