INSCRIPTION: Engraved with a script “L” on face of handle.
MARK: Struck twice on reverse of handle with intaglio “Bennett &Thomas” mark in a banner reserve.
MAKER: Bennett & Thomas initially was a Petersburg, Virginia partnership formed in 1812 between John Bennett (d.1828) and Ebenezer Thomas (1776-1833). Unfortunately the partners encountered financial difficulties sometime around 1819 when their store was robbed. The firm continued to operate but with a new partner, Ebenezer Thomas’s son, John W. Thomas (c.1798-1831). Ebenezer Thomas removed to Columbus, Ohio about 1823. The partnership with the younger Thomas lasted until John Bennett’s death in February 1828. See Catherine B. Hollan, “Virginia Silversmiths, Jewelers, Watch- and Clockmakers, 1607-1860: Their Lives and Marks” (McLean, VA: Hollan Press, 2010) and entry for Ebenezer Thomas on www.925-1000.com (online: http://www.925-1000.com/americansilver_T.html [accessed 26 May 2017]).
FORM: Large silver ladles were popular for serving punch or soup. Most had plain hemispherical bowls, others were round, and a few had scalloped or shaped bowls. Smaller ladles of silver were most often designated for serving sauces and gravy.