Please visit our other websites: Ganoksin Jewelry Making Resource | Orchid Jewelry Making Forums | International Gem Society | IGS Gemstone and Gemology Forums

Silver Collector Forums

Georgian sugar tongs maker's mark?

Greetings –

I am trying to find out who’s these initials are on a pair of Georgian sugar tongs. They are marked as S.B
Is it likely to be Susanna Barker?
The only other mark on these tongs is for the lion passant.
I have a number of sugar tongs and I find that quite often the date letter and the assay office mark is often missing rather than rubbed out. Is that fairly normal? Would I be right to assume that if the assay office mark is missing that it probably indicates it was made in London?

In anticipation of your help – Best wishes – Tony Hunter.
PS – photos attached.
P1010878.JPG
P1010879.JPG

This could be Susannah Barker; her second mark (entered 1789) matches this one.

Tongs did not have date letters until about 1790. Many smaller items of silver in the Georgian period lacked town marks so it is not absolutely certain that these tongs are London. However I would suggest that on balance of probabilities these tongs are by Susannah Barker and c1789.

Many thanks for your help- Tony Hunter

Not that I know anything, but the S looks like a 5 to me…

I have to agree with you on that. However that was highly magnified.I have just looked at the initials again with a 4x magnification glass and it looks more realistically like an s.

I believe that the mark on your tongs is that of Susannah Barker, as registered 26 August 1789, with a pellet between the initials. However, the mark appears to be an overstrike on another maker mark. This makes sense in that Barker is not known as a tong maker. (Her specialty was wine labels.) However, she sold tongs at her business at 29 Gutter Lane. I believe she obtained her tongs from another shop for resale, most likely Hester Bateman’s business. The Batemans who were prolific tong makers and known to sell their wares to other silversmiths for resale with overstrike marks. Check the site silvesugartongs.com, by Graham Hodges, which shows a pair of tongs by Hester Bateman that look very much like the ones you have. Also, the site shows a pair of tongs by Susannah Barker with her mark over that of another maker.