Antique Coin Silver Teaspoons on Dutch Wood Spoon Rack
Silversmiths Abraham Bashara Hall (1785-1872) and A.D. Elton were partners in Geneva, New York from circa 1840 to 1850. This group of five teaspoons all have their incuse mark of "HALL & ELTON," raised letters set in an impressed rectangular cartouche on the back of each spoon.* These spoons were made in the fiddleback pattern and each is 5 7/8 inches long. The total weight is 3 ounces (just over 85 grams). We've seen a quote that states "Some coin silver spoons are so thin they couldn't handle ice cream." That is a perfect description of these teaspoons, which are definitely made for tea. They're in good condition, used but not abused. There are no splits or breaks; one spoon has a slight ripple in its handle, one has a small dimple in the underside of its bowl (shown by the arrow in one of our photos) and all have a fine network of scratches. None of them have monograms and all display nicely.
Given that the first Dutch settlement in America, called New Netherland, was founded in New York state, the pairing of this Dutch spoon rack with coin silver spoons made in New York is a happy marriage. The large, handsome spoon rack was hand made of dark-stained oak. Fashioned with a 3/4 inch thick board 7 1/2 inches wide and 16 1/2 inches long, It is topped by a simple, two board peaked "roof," a typical Frisian decorative touch. It's attached with handmade nails that have been partially puttied over with a black substance. There is a metal triangle shaped hanger on the back at the peak of the roof, attached with a metal plate and two tiny round head brads. All of the metal is quite aged. The rack is two tiered, with cut out notches for 6 spoons. It weighs just under 2 pounds and is in very good condition.
*Interestingly, there was another firm---called Hall, Elton & Company--operating 1847-1865 in Wallingford, Connecticut. They made German silver, an alloy of copper, nickel and sometimes zinc. They're often confused with this Hall & Elton.