Sometime ago I purchased at auction one of the old Borough of Margate silver spoons belonging to the civic collection. Like all “official” artifacts as I like to call them I knew some of the background to the collection and being a former Margate Charter Trustee and knowing where my loyalties are I returned the spoon back to the collection.
This spoon was of an old English pattern and was one of 100 hundred purchased in 1966 with a 1965 Sheffield Hallmark and was presented as gifts by the Mayor of Margate to local citizens and dignitaries for achievement or whatever. In discussion with Mick Twyman I was later to find out that this tradition was an old one and had been practice before 1966, therefore it was obvious there must have been other issues.
I was always intrigued by the design of the Margate coat of arms on the stem as it was not a traditional design as the shape of the shield was longer and more pointed. So I set about to research even further into the spoons, and I set to try and obtain more spoons of which I knew the the odds were going to be stacked against me. Eventually my patience and persistence was to pay off.
A few months back while working on my data base of Margate of Margate artifacts I was to come across one of the spoons on eBay of which I recognized immediately. The only difference was this spoon was hallmarked Sheffield 1932 and the design almost similar but engraved, so I purchased it for £11.99. On examination the 1932 spoon was almost identical had the same maker’s mark as the 1965 spoon manufactured by the English silversmith James Dixon & Sons of Sheffield established in 1806. The spoon was manufactured at their Cornish Place workshop in the old English pattern weighing 13.5 grams sterling silver. However, it was this engraved design of the coat of arms that I found interesting and I was soon to realize that the 1932 spoon was an Art Deco influenced design and the 1965 design was influenced by the 1932 design, which explains why the 1965 design was not traditional. All I needed was a 1965 spoon for further comparison.
To cut a long story short, I came across another silver spoon in pristine condition, this time it was a 1965 issue making an offer the seller could not refuse. In the same pattern as the 1932 issue this spoon was manufactured by the same manufacturer James Dixon & Sons of Sheffield, the stem was broader and slightly thicker and the weight was 14.7 grams of sterling silver. As for the design it was a deeper engraving of the 1932 issue.
Above I have posted the ad for the 1932 spoon as sold on ebay. The hallmark is 1932 and and the James Dixon & Sons makers mark is authentic. The town crest is the 1965 design and differs from the design on the 1932 I have, so the research continues.