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All That Glitters Is Not Real ~ Suspected Counterfeit Marks Applied To Once-Unmarked Antique Silver Nutmeg Graters.

In the 1970's, Martha Gandy Fales, the renowned silver expert, author and museum curator, published that "American silver nutmeg graters are very rare." At present, advanced collectors agree that marked silver nutmeg graters from Scotland, Ireland, France, China and Russia can also be rare.

Quoting sources as early as 1938, Fales advised that some "American goldsmiths' . . . work has been faked . . .", and as one contemporary Michigan silver dealer observed, "Rare silver commands high prices; and high prices give way to fakes . . . this is to be expected." Given rarity and high market prices ~ with good reason, modern collectors need be suspicious regarding maker's marks on antique silver nutmeg graters.

Starting about the late 1990's, there appeared to be a surprising increase in the number of purported "American" silver nutmeg graters marketed for sale, with most seemingly retailed from New York City and its vicinity. To the collector's eye, these maker's marks looked to match published examples ~ in a quality that would fool an expert. Sadly, it now seems that some once-unmarked antique silver nutmeg graters have appeared with historically significant maker's marks newly applied. Regarding antique silver in general, this discovery seems only the tip of a much larger iceberg.

             Fake Marks on Silver Nutmeg Graters

This section of the website attempts to alert collectors and sellers to potential fraud. Among the dubious maker's marks are names, such as: "Sayre & Richards", "S. Kirk", "T. Fletcher", "Joseph Richardson Sr.", "Joseph Richardson Jr.", "Eoff & Shepard", "A. E. Warner", "Ball, Tompkins & Black", "Melville & Co." and others. And, to complicate this problem even more, some of these silversmiths actually produced small numbers of high quality nutmeg graters, making it difficult to sort the genuinely marked nutmeg graters from the faked.  NutmegGraters.Com will introduce these problem maker's marks to our readers, one at a time, across future editions.    

A special offer of thanks is given to fellow collectors and silver dealers, who loaned and made available for study, some of these nutmeg graters which appear to have dubious maker's marks. Utilizing the combination of scientific analysis methods with historical evidence, these examples are presented here for public scrutiny. This website aims to present "fact based evidence", allowing reader's to make their own judgement regarding authenticity.      
                                                                                                                                                        [KLOPFER article © September 2014 & September 2016]

We continue to painstakingly investigate this concern. If you believe that you have been the victim of such fraud, please feel free to contact this site. Thanks!

                                                            Fleuron

Fake JoshTreen Nutmeg Grater with Coin Silver CapsInvestigation Profile # 1. :

This nutmeg grater was selected for examination in an attempt to definitively attribute its maker's mark.  Characterized as a bulbous treen nutmeg grater with silver end caps, it measures 1.6 inches tall by 1.7 inches in diameter  (41mm X 43 mm).  Its total weight measures 40.9 grams (the silver lids being 22.4 grams).  This artifact is unique in design.

This maker's mark is depicted in Roman styled initials, contained inside a rectangular outline with rounded corners.  As a defining characteristic, notice that the right descending leg on the letter "R" is shorter than its left leg.  Following study, it appears that this maker's mark is a twentieth century counterfeit mark purported as Joseph Richardson Sr., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. See Full Profile . . .

                                                                             Fleuron

Fake Joseph Richardson Investigation Profile # 2 Full Profile Investigation Profile # 1 Full Profile Treen Nutmeg Grater with Coin Silver Caps Investigation Profile # 2 Full Profile Investigation Profile # 1 Full Profile Investigation Profile # 2. :

The purpose to examine this nutmeg grater is to corroborate its maker's mark in relationship to all general features and characteristics. The form with this silver nutmeg grater is generally known as a domed cylinder nutmeg grater, with double lids. It measures 1.2 inches tall by .9/10 inches in diameter  (30.43mm X 22.16mm).  Its total weight is 10.7 grams. This artifact displays some uniqueness in its design.

Contained inside a rectangular mark with rounded corners, the maker's mark is styled using Roman font capital letters separated by a centered Pellet. Under magnification, the mark's outlining edge is jagged and a double strike mark is evident. Following careful study, this maker's mark is a twentieth century counterfeit mark purported as Joseph Richardson Jr., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. See Full Profile . . .

                                                                             Fleuron

Fake Joseph Richardson Jr Investigation Profile #3 Joseph Richardson Jr. Investigation Profile # 3 Full Profile Cantered Cornered Box Silver Nutmeg Grater Investigation Profile # 3 Full Profile Investigation Profile # 1 Full Profile Investigation Profile # 3. :

The purpose for examining this nutmeg grater is to contrast the general features and characteristics of its maker's mark in comparison against authenticated marks (including those by Joseph Richardson, Jr.).  The form of this silver nutmeg grater is generally known as a canted cornered box nutmeg grater, with double lids and is typical in design to confirmed examples dating Circa 1780 through Circa 1825. First made available for public inspection at one major international auction house previewed as "An American Silver Nutmeg Grater, Joseph Richardson Jr., Circa 1795" then withdrawn; later reappearing at a second auction house as "Impressed 'I. R.' on inside, for Joseph Richarson, Citca 1795...".  Contained inside a rectangular mark with rounded corners, the maker's mark is styled using Roman font capital letters. Under magnification, the mark does not conform to the well documented maker's marks by Joseph Richardson Sr. or Joseph Richardson Jr. of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
         See Full Profile . . .

                                                                             Fleuron

Investigation Profile # 4 Full Profile Investigation Profile # 4 Full Profile cylindar type and barrel Silver Nutmeg Grater Faked maker's mark for Eoff & Shepard Investigation Profile # 4 Full Profile Investigation Profile # 4. :

It appears that nutmeg graters bearing a maker's marks attributed to silversmiths EOFF & SHEPARD of New York City began appearing for sale about 2004.  This investigation inquires into three such examples [two pictured here], noting that these nutmeg graters seem to be in forms generally recognized as constructed between Circa 1750 to 1825. 
         See Full Profile . . .

                                                                             Fleuron

Fake Thomas Fletcher maker's mark Investigation Profile # 4 Full Profile Faked Thomas Fletcher maker's marks on three silver nutmeg grater Investigation Profile # 5 Full Profile Investigation Profile # 5. :

Silver nutmeg graters bearing a maker's marks attributed to the silversmith Thomas Fletcher of Philadelphia began appearing for sale in 2001.  This study inquires into three examples marked T.FLETCHER.  Unmarked examples in these forms of graters are known well before 1790, after which all British silver nutmeg graters required full hallmarks.
         See Full Profile . . .

                                                                             Fleuron

Fake Samuel Kirk maker's mark Investigation Profile # 6 Full Profile S. Kirk Investigation Profile # 6 Full Profile S Kirk  Faked maker's mark for Thomas Flecther Investigation Profile # 4 Full Profile Investigation of fake Samuel Kirk Maker's Mark Spurious S. Kirk Maker's Mark Profie #6 Faked Thomas Fletcher maker's marks on three silver nutmeg grater Investigation Profile # 5 Full Profile Investigation Profile # 6. :

NutmegGraters.Com discovered its first nutmeg grater bearing a problematic American maker's mark attributed to "S. Kirk" "10•15" in 2010 and confirmed this finding with help in analysis by world recognized experts.  At this time, NutmegGraters.Com is aware of five identical examples having this spurious "S. Kirk" "10•15" mark (four of which are presented within Profile #6). 
         See Full Profile . . .

                                                                        Fleuron

Fake Andrew E. Warner maker's mark Spurious mark for Andrew E. Warner Investigation Profile # 6 Full Profile S Kirk  Faked maker's mark for Thomas Flecther Investigation Profile # 4 Full Profile Investigation of fake Andrew E. Warner Maker's Mark two nutmeg graters with questionable maker's marks Investigation Profile # 7. :

NutmegGraters.Com plans to publish Profile #7 within the coming weeks. 

Come back for a visit to:


         See Full Profile . . .

 

 

 


Fleuron

       We continue to painstakingly investigate this concern. If you believe that you have been the victim of such fraud,
       please feel free to contact this site. Thanks!