My last blog post looked quickly at electro plating in America during the late 1830’s. While searching the patent office I noticed that out of the first 150 there are 7 spoon design patents. I thought these might be interesting to collect, so I did a little research.
I understand the patent office lost the earlier records in 1835 due to a fire. The first design patent registered, is from Nov. 9 1842 for “Printing Type”. The first design patent for spoons etc. is No. 26 issued on Dec. 4th 1844 to Michael Gibney. The next six flatware related patents are shown here as well, in thinking they would begin to create a museum worthy collection. Patent number 150 and the year 1847 (remember “1847”) seem to be appropriate cut off points for some reason or another. Below are the first seven, grouped by designers: Michael Gibney, John C. Moore and William Gale & Nathaniel Hayden. I’ve included a very brief note on each.
Michael Gibney was active in New York City 1836-1860. From what I understand, in 1869-70, Whiting acquired the flatware dies of Michael Gibney and Henry Hebbard. Michael Gibney obtained the first flatware design patent in December 1844, for a pattern sold through Ball, Tompkins and Black and its successor, Ball, Black and Company. His Tuscan pattern, patented in 1846, was developed at the request of shipping magnate Edward K. Collins for the dining room of a new transatlantic steamer. (From the book: Art and the Empire City: New York, 1825-1861 edited by Catherine Hoover Voorsanger, John K. Howat)
John C. Moore, born about 1803, died September 28, 1874. I read that he began producing silverware in 1821. “In 1851 the company (Tiffany) signed an agreement with leading New York silversmith John C. Moore to make hollowware pieces. Moore was instructed to follow the standard for English sterling-925 parts per 1,000 parts silver-which was the standard eventually adopted by the United States. Tiffany later merged operations with Moore, who soon enlisted the help of his son, Edward. The younger Moore would become the guiding force behind Tiffany’s silverware business for the next forty years.” (From: http://press.tiffany.com/ViewBackgrounder.aspx?backgrounderId=5 )
William Gale, New York, NY was born 1799 and died 1867; active c. 1822-1862, usually in a partnership. “William Gale Sr. , was one of the most innovative silversmiths working in America during the first half of the nineteenth century. On December 7, 1826 he patented a process by which a silver blank could be run through a roller die and emerge as a piece of flatware complete with decoration on both sides. (From: http://www.zoominfo.com/p/William-Gale/89972968
Nathaniel Hayden, born November 28, 1805 in Hayden (Windsor), Connecticut and died there on February 23, 1875. He was a partner from 1846 to 1850 with William Gale in New York City as Gale & Hayden at 116 Fulton Street.
Following are the seven individual design patents in chronological order:
I think this is an original, the rest are black & white copies.
This must be the Tuscan pattern mentioned above.
This would be a tough grouping to find…especially without monograms.