Jump to content

Silver Knife Identification


19liam99
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello, I have a old knife that I have been trying to find out about. I have managed to figure out that it is made by John Yeamoans Cowlishaw, it is silver and made in Sheffield but I'm struggling to figure out its exact age. I will attach the best photos I can get till tomorrow so hopefully someone can help!! Cheers Liam

image.jpg

image.jpg

image.jpg

image.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

John Yeomans Cowlishaw blew his head off with a shotgun in the water-closet of his home, Tapton Cliffe, Fulwood Road on 23rd January 1895 aged about 65.  He had been depressed following the death of his wife two years previously.  He was a nephew of John Newton Mappin and continued with Mappin's pearl business in Norfolk Street, subsequently moving to Bakers Hill and the Arundel Street, where he was a pearl cutter and manufacturer of silver fruit knives, For 22 years he was a director of the Sheffield and Hallamshire Bank, Chairman for the final 10 years. He was also Chairman of Mappins Brewery in Rotherham, and a director of Newton Chambers and Company, and a shareholder in Joseph Rodgers and Sons, Norfolk Street.  He was involved in the establishment of the Mappin Art Gallery, which was based on John Newton Mappin's art collection. His uncle, J.N Mappin bequeathed him his shooting lodge at Moscar, which explains the presence of guns at his home.  He left 3 sons, John (Arundel Street works), Frederick (Rotherham brewery) and Frank (in London)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

To me it looks like 1899 and it's a fruit knife as the acids in fruit will not corrode silver, it was always used before the invention of Stainless Steel. If you want an accurate year ask the Assay Office.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello, I was looking to upload a little bit about another Mother of Pearl handled fruit knife that I saw at an auction view. I did not have enough hands when I when I took the maker’s marks on the blade of the knife and was unable to stop a shake. Thus you will see later my improvisation but I think the ploy will help and confirm Liam’s knife dating.

1188749391_Yeommansfruitkni.jpg.93a5912fc4a6d6ce27de47af16d17c3d.jpg

The duplicate mark was on a spoon. No confusion 1908 and agrees with the recorded dates for the maker. There is another post and 2 more fruit knives from “Cowlishaw” at the reference below.

https://www.sheffieldhistory.co.uk/forums/topic/3761-john-y-cowlishaw/

Thinking now, about to the knife at the auction, it was made slightly earlier and by another silversmith.

1309908670_AWStaniforthSheffield1899.jpg.b2f0fd1863dfc738159047c667669915.jpg

1468458969_AWStaniforthSheffield1899comp.jpg.eaad42ece87795e4db3196603df2f5a1.jpg

The blade maker is “AS” in an oval cartouche and that is  “Arthur Worral Staniforth” and I looked on the forum and could not find him referenced with “us”. The site “silvermakersmarks.co.uk” gives his silversmithing dates as 1890-1919 and mentions folding button-hook and fruit knife as products. The date letter on the blade is the stylised “g” giving the date 1899. I did view the blade with a lens before the tremors came. The unmoving Sheffield marks again came from a spoon.

“Arthur Worral Staniforth” appears to be referenced in the Sheffield Indexers at the turn of the 20th century as shown below.

Staniforth, Arthur W. (, silver fruit knife manufacturer).
     Address: 50 Holly Street h.39 Sarah Street, in 1905.
     Recorded in: Whites Directory of Sheffield & Rotherham.

Staniforth, Arthur W. (, Silver fruit knife manufacturer).
     Address: 50 Holly Street; h. 39 Sarah Street, in 1911.
     Recorded in: Whites Directory of Sheffield & Rotherham - 19
11.
 

I have just scratched the surface on "A.W.Staniforth" so there must be a little more to go with it. If anyone is interested the auction is 25.8.19 in the far NE of England and is normally on both the well known on line auction platforms. No I do not get cut of the sale price.

Kalfred

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello, I was recently browsing an on line auction catalogue and was interested by a Sheffield made silver mounted penknife. I hope the pictures shown below and the history could go well with this earlier post as it closely dates with "19liam9's" fruit knife.

993622514_Josephs.RodgersANSheff1898penknife(4).jpg.fa332cdb3ccae99f031d12ce6f66a726.jpg

1997357874_Josephs.RodgersANSheff1898penknife(2).jpg.fe2e2aab528eac857f4c2aaaaeab72ce.jpg

 

This penknife seems a 3 tool item but differs from the other knives of this post as it does not have silver blades, as suggested by the very obvious bit of rust. The tools appear to be the expected blade, a boot hook and a third tool. Its function is not totally clear to me but I feel this tool could have been used as a pipe smoker's bowl tamper. The auction catalogue mentioned "scissors".  What was more intriguing to me was the hallmarks on the penknife's silver side plates, although 1 of the sets of marks is well rubbed showing that the penknife has been well used. The sets of hallmarks are non identical though. This may a appear little strange but is the result of the British hallmarking system where if a silver item has a detachable part, all the parts need to be hallmarked in some way. Thus this penknife has both side plates with marks. Often the second set of marks are limited with maybe just the standing lion silver guarantee mark and a date letter. With very small items as the links of a pocket watch silver Albert chain just the lion is stamped on each one.
If we look at the 2 sets of marks on the side plates both have the J.R mark and the styled lower case "f" date letter. The rubbed hallmark set has a crown mark indicating silver assay by the Sheffield Silver Assay centre. One of the knife tools likely has  Rodgers written on it so we could have a guess that the "J.R" could be the silver mark of "Joseph Rodgers".  "J.R"  was a silver  makers  mark of  Joseph Rodgers (&Sons Ltd). This mark was registered with the Sheffield Silver Assay centre in 1843 and has been noted on silver items assayed 1891- 1920. The particular styled "f" was the date letter for Sheffield items assayed 1888, 10 years before "19liam99's" fruit knife . The interesting mark is the extra "A&N" mark on the penknife. Is this a retailer or wholesaler's mark? Thinking  turn of the 20th century, does anyone on the Forum have any suggestions for who "A&N" were? This "A&N" has been noted previously and seen on a 1899 assayed fruit knife. The mark is referenced as "not shown in the Sheffield Register. Seen with JYC mark of John Yeomans Cowlishaw". We know that name from the start of this post and  as "Edmund" states he was  a share holder in Joseph Rodgers.

I have added an image for anybody who may be interested, to illustrate the subject of double hallmarks. Here are 2 Sheffield assayed vesta cases.

1415652866_SheffieldVestasWH1895WilNeale1897.jpg.a70f39d99672595e151dc80a99ac194a.jpg

Many people will recognise the the well known W&H on a pennant flag of "Walker&Hall", however I had to chose my wording carefully for the "W.N" item, as this vesta was assayed for "William Neale & Son" whose address is given as "Warstone Lane, Birmingham". The "W&H" vesta carries the "c" for 1895 and the "W.H" has "e" for 1897.
An additional note about Joseph Rodgers (&Sons Ltd) maker's mark. The "J.R" with the dot/pellet was not "Rodgers" only mark. They had a "JR" without a pellet, a "JR" in an irregularly shaped cartouche and a simple "JR&S" mark (ref. silvermakersmarks.co.uk).                                                              
  
Kalfred  

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...