Collecting By Design: Austin F. Jackson

I know, I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again.  There are many different kinds of silver collectors out there.  Some collect anything with a squirrel on it, some are looking for salt spoons, others search for obscure backstamps, and some collect by a certain designer.  And if they collect Austin F. Jackson designs, they have a lot to choose from. In the mid and latter part of the 1800’s, Reed & Barton was looking to hire talented individuals to build up their company.  And not only were they searching within the United States, they were also looking abroad.  They hired an English designer, Austin Frederick Jackson, whose designs are the subject of this post. I’m not certain exactly when they hired Mr. Jackson, but the first U.S. patent I can find for him is in 1883, the pattern was named “Parisian” by Reed & Barton.

1883 13860 Parisian

“Parisian” Patent Specification

In his patent specifications for “Parisian”, Austin Frederick Jackson states that he is “a subject of the Queen of Great Britain”.

1883-1886 Patents 1880s

Some Patents 1883-1886

Another Austin Jackson design patented in 1883 and assigned to Reed & Barton was called “Russian”.  This might be my favorite of all of Mr. Jackson’s designs.  The hammered finish and squarish top with flowers and insect (“a common housefly” as described in the patent specification) is so unusual and lovely.


Dust Jacket of Noel Turner’s “American Silver Flatware 1837-1910”

I’m not alone in my admiration of the “Russian” pattern.  Noel Turner selected that design for the dust jacket  of his book “American Silver Flatware 1837-1910”.  An image of the well worn dust jacket of my copy of that book is shown above.

1890 20429

1890 Patent for Back of Brushes, Mirrors

Austin Jackson designed hollowware in addition to flatware. An example of his design for the back of brushes and mirrors is shown above.

1891-92 Harlequin 1891-92

1891-92 “Harlequin” Series

His “Harlequin” series of floral designs for coffee and teaspoons was so successful that Reed & Barton has reissued it over the years.

1893 Jewelers Circular Feb pg21

“Harlequin” Ad from February 1893 Jewelers Circular

Austin Jackson was a man of varied talents and interests.  Not all of his patents involved decorative designs for flatware and hollowware.1891 Patent No. 463991 It says at the top of the patent shown above “Device for Ornamenting Metals”. What more can I say? And the following design looks even more involved!

1891 454592

1891 Patent No. 454592

1891 was the “Year of the Souvenir”; there was a craze going on my friends.  And Reed & Barton / Austin Jackson jumped right on the bandwagon with the following designs.

1891 Souvenir Spoons

1891 Patents for Souvenir Spoons

A. F. Jackson designed some lovely tea / coffee pots; following is one of them:

1892 21291

1892 “Patent No. 21291

And another follows:

1892 21297

1892 Patent No. 21297

A. F. Jackson was ahead of his time; he was on the cutting edge of trends.  In 1894 there was an orange craze going on.  There were quite a few different crazes associated with eating utensils happening in the latter part of the 19th Century.  The orange craze was a BIG one.  Austin Jackson must have known it was coming (or maybe the following patent made it happen) as he designed an orange spoon two years earlier than the orange frenzy started. You can read all about the orange craze in my post in this blog “The Eating of the Orange”.

1892 Orange Spoon

1892 Orange Spoon Patent

Austin Jackson was born in Birmingham, England in 1850 and died in 1906 in Taunton, Massachusetts.  One of his later patents is the following:

1902 36153

1902 Patent No. 36153

I’m sure you will agree, Austin F. Jackson was a very talented man indeed. I’ve written other posts on Austin Jackson’s “Italian” and “Renaissance” patterns.  Search “Austin Jackson” in the upper right hand corner of this blog and you will find them.      

This entry was posted in Austin F. Jackson, Reed & Barton, Renaissance Pattern, Russian Pattern, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Collecting By Design: Austin F. Jackson

  1. KerryCan says:

    He packed a lot of living into 56 years of life! What a flair he had for designing beautiful things. I can’t quite imagine a market for spoons depicting houseflies now, though . . .

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