Voortrekker monument spoon set

Good day once again, friends.
I was fortunate to acquire a set of six sterling silver teaspoons plus one matching jam spoon, produced to commemorate the inauguration of the Voortrekker Museum in 1949, also to use the funds raised by selling the sets, to help fray the 350,000 pounds the monument cost to erect. It is a quite famous monument in Pretoria, South Africa.
The Sheffield silversmith PG (each letter within a round shield) was commissioned to make and deliver the sets, but it seems the sources I have consulted cannot identify this maker as to his first name and surname. Please see two pics I attach.


I apologize for the fuzziness of the second pic. The year letter is a capital G, for 1949. Why, since this is a quite recent set of spoons, are the sources not forthcoming with a sure and certain ID of this smith?
Regards
Jan

It’s a mysterious guy, have a mark, but no name :sweat_smile: :rofl: :rofl:

https://www.silvermakersmarks.co.uk/Makers/Sheffield-T.html

You could contact the Sheffield Assay Office directly: Contact | Sheffield Assay Office.

If you do (and get an answer) it would be good to know the result.

Phil

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They can identify, but there is a charge of £10.00 plus VAT for the identification of a hallmark.

I read in site:

Friends, I have done two things: I have contacted the Sheffield assay people by e-mail as advised and await their reply. I have also written to the Voortrekker Monument people and asked them what their records/archives indicate as to the name and address of the Sheffield maker they had contacted to make the spoons as per design. I assume they must have the records, as 1949 is not all that ancient, and they must have ordered many hundreds of spoon sets of at least two different designs that I know of, plus other individuals spoons. I will be sure to let you know the outcome.
Regards
Jan

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Good luck, Jan. I hope that for such an interesting query SAO would waive any fee.

Dear Phil and apcmetal, I can now give some feedback. I contacted the Sheffield assay office and was kindly advised that my enquiry will be attended to as soon as the librarian and curator is back at the office on Friday. I was pleasantly surprised at the professionality of the handling of my enquiry. I’ll keep you informed.
The other enquiry I sent was received and handled by the kind staff of the Voortrekker Monument. There WAS in fact two versions of the spoon set plus “jam” spoon in sterling silver, yet the “jam” spoon was designed to be a sugar spoon. Be advised! :slight_smile: :slight_smile: Also, the finial design of my spoon set (see pic above) consists of two antelope heads, namely those of the sable antelope, in Afrikaans known as the swartwitpens. There are tree branches around a rising sun behind a typical kopje of the veld. The other design abounds in internet searches, namely a wagon wheel with knopkierie/club, shield and two powder horns. These sets came out in EPNS and sterling silver. The latter cost 6 pounds seven-and-six at the time. The EPNS set cost 32 shillings (and sixpence). The design of both versions was by the well-known artist W H Coetzer, and the task of producing said sets had been given to silversmith Tom Gilpin, Sheffield.
So there!
Regards
Jan

That’s really interesting, Jan. Many thanks for posting the update. Armed with the name I found the following in a 1952 telephone directory:

Screenshot 2024-05-28 141336

There was a Thomas Gilpin registered in 1730, the T and G were similar and it was in a rounded lozenge, but without the dips in the middle and with “bat ear” shapes above and below?

Otherwise the only TG I could find was Thomas Goode & Co from Sheffield, who was in business in 1929?
629INGLESE

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Hi SilverRob. If it’s a rounded lozenge, it’s not the right Tom Gilpin. The one on the Voortrekker spoons have the “dips in the middle”, like you rightly state. That mark points to Tom Gilpin Ltd, Universe Works, Mary Street, Sheffield, like Phil has showed above. They were contractors to H M Govt. Telephone: Sheffield 24640. Tom Gilpin died on 28 May 1967, aged 86. I believe he registered the “dips in the middle” mark in 1946 and used it till 1949. It was in this latter year that the Voortrekker spoon sets were delivered.

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Friends, as you know I have contacted the Sheffield assay office concerning the identification of the silversmith TG and they have kindly undertaken to go through the paper records for me, “as the identification has not yet been digitalized”. I am expecting an answer very soon.
However, I decided at the spur of the moment that I would take a last look at the existing information under TG on the internet where previously TG remained undisclosed as to what the initials meant. Now it is stated there, that it is in fact Tom Gilpin. This looks like work is steadily going on as the paper records are being captured. I expect I will get a notice soon confirming what has been found. He is the one who was active at Universe Works, Mary Street, Sheffield during 1946 through to 1949.
Regards
Jan

I have received word from the assay office in Sheffield, as follows: “This is the makers mark of Tom Gilpin Ltd, registered to Kenilworth Works, Denby Street, Sheffield. They registered with Sheffield Assay office on the 28th Feb 1947.”
I thanked them for their attention to my request for info.
Regards
Jan.

Thanks, Jan. That confirms what we were pretty sure about anyway. The registration date is useful to me as a little extra information.

Phil