George Adams' journeymen

Friends, I have here a King’s Pattern teaspoon by George Adams. Please see first pic. Length: 14,8 cm Weight: 35 g. Lion passant, Victoria duty mark, London assay, “T” year mark for 1854.
The second picture shows an extra mark which I interpret to be a tally mark made by some journeyman. It looks to be a capital “I”.

The compiling of lists of journeymen who have been in the employ of silversmith firms and companies and who have made their tally marks on silver utensils for so many years has been an area of research that has seemingly not been given the attention it deserves.

In the case of George Adams (the firm of Chawner & Co) it is known he employed many journeymen silversmiths on a per-piece basis, including specialist spoonmakers, plus a host of apprentices, chasers, engravers, metal polishers and employees carrying out the less skilled jobs like filing, stamping, drawing, casting etc.

I have read that Edward John Carter was one such Journeyman spoonmaker). He had been apprenticed to the firm of George William Adams (Chawner & Co.), and when out of his time he had been kept on as a journeyman. He had been in their employ altogether about eighteen years. It is not known what his tally mark looked like.

One spoon by GA I have seen has a journeyman’s mark that looks to be two circular indentations next to each other.

Might those on the silver collector’s forum be able to expand on this question of the GA journeymen?

I hope my contribution, by presenting this GA spoon in the picture showing the mark “I”, might help (albeit in a very small way) to expand our knowledge of these hitherto unsung ‘silversmiths’.


An interesting spoon, I have an almost identical one in silver plate made by Elkington with a date letter “A” indicating 1912. The bowl has been engraved “Snettisham Civilian Rifle Club” (Snettisham is in Norfolk) about whom I can find out little other than that they were still affiliated to the National Rifle Association in 1934.


Thank you, exmpa. In time you might find out more.

I have four George Adams spoons with 4 different journeyman’s marks:
jam, 1845
jam spoon 1845
salt, 1851

condiment, 1852
condiment spoon 1852
basting, 1873
basting spoon 1873

Dan, that’s a valuable contribution. Perhaps one of these days some enterprising collector with the right contacts will dive into a project researching these journeymen according to their marks! Way to go!

Thanks! Yes, hopefully someone will be able to make sense of them :slight_smile: