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Pair of Teaspoons

Spear, Thomas Simpson
Place Made:
Columbus Georgia United States of America
Date Made:
LOA: 6″
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: Pair of silver teaspoons with pointed oval bowls and die-struck outlining of face and reverse of handles. Tapered handle ends turn slightly upward.

INSCRIPTION: Engraved on face of handle with script intials “R H H B” for Roberta Hanson Harrison Browne (1841-1932).

MARK: Struck with an incuse “T. S. Spear” mark on reverse of handle.

MAKER: Thomas Simpson Spear was born in 1825 in New Jersey and died in 1895 in Columbus, Georgia. He worked from circa 1845 to 1857 as a silversmith, jeweler, and watchmaker in Bloomfield, New Jersey. He moved to Columbus, Georgia in 1858 and worked there until 1880 as a silversmith, jeweler, and watchmaker. He advertised in the Columbus Enquirer of 26 June 1858 that he was the “. . . succeessor to S. B. Purple, Purple’s Old Stand, Jones Building… .”

FORM: By the nineteenth century, spoons were crafted for such specific purposes as serving salt and sugar (salt spoons), food items (serving spoons), punch and soup (ladles), and for stirring tea or coffee and/or eating custard or ice cream (teaspoons).

Engraved for Roberta Hanson Harrison Browne (1841-1932); probably received as a wedding gift in 1858. Roberta Hanson Harrison Browne was the great-granddaughter of Robert Hanson Harrison, whose portrait miniature is in the MESDA collection (Acc. 4468.1). These two spoons are part of a set of four (the other two were gifted to the Georgia Museum of Art in 2015).
Credit Line:
Gift of Sandy Strother Hudson