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You, Thomas
Place Made:
Date Made:
LOA: 9″
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: Large silver spoon with engraved border around handle.

INSCRIPTION: Engraved with initials “TT” on face of handle.

MARK: Struck twice on reverse of handle with intaglio “TY” mark in rectangle reserve.

MAKER: Thomas You (b.c.1730-d.c.1785) was born in South Carolina of Huguenot descent, most likely the son of Jacques (James/John) You (b.c.1690–d.1749) and Marie (Mary) Paitreau You (b.c.1690–d.1753) and younger brother of Charleston silversmith Daniel You (b.c.1715-1750). Thomas apprenticed with the Charleston jeweler and silversmith John Paul Grimke and first advertised his own Charleston silversmith shop in 1756. Advertisements for his shop appeared frequently afterward, alerting customers to his own work and products “just imported from London.” You’s advertisement in the South Carolina Gazette of 1 October 1764 sheds light on another of his talents: “Thomas You, At the Sign of the GOLDEN-CUP, in the Market-Square, HAS JUST IMPORTED… A Copper-plate view of St. Michael’s Church, Charles-Town, drawn by himself, and neatly engrav’d in London, which he well sell for CASH ONLY, and at a very moderate advance.” The following year he noted that he had finished engraving a plate of the “West Prospect of St. Philip’s Church. He further advertised that he would repair without cost any piece of silver made by him should it break. Thomas You’s silversmith’s shop may not have survived the American Revolution. Most documentation for him after 1775 points to various investments in land and property. See Gary Albert, “Scratching the Surface: Thomas You, Charleston Silversmith, Engraver, and Patriot,” MESDA Journal, Vol. 33 (2012), online: (accessed 5 June 2017) and E. Milby Burton, “South Carolina Silversmiths 1690-1860” (Charleston, SC: Charleston Museum, 1967).

FORM: Larger serving spoons such as this one began to supplement ordinary tablespoons during the eighteenth century. 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 and/or eating custard or ice cream (teaspoons).

Credit Line:
Gift of Frank L. Horton