6 Silver Dessert Spoons, 1759 by Coker & Hannam
Dessert Spoons (6) - Old English pattern - London 1759 by Ebenezer Coker & Thomas Hannam - 16.9cm long; 212g combined weight- FR/2236
These are a great set of early George III silver dessert spoons and were made by one of the most important spoonmakers of the 18th century. They are very early and original examples of the Old English Pattern and benefit from having no personalised engravings. The condition is excellent with good thick bowl tips and no dings nor dents. The hallmarks are bottom-struck and typically pinched and whilst the date letters are not all clear, the maker's marks are very good and equally confirm the date as 1759.
The ascription of the script "EC" maker's mark on silver flatware of the 1750's has been much debated between two candidates: Ebenezer Coker and Elias Cachart. The one-year long partnership in 1759 between Ebenezer Coker and Thomas Hannam has always provided proof that candlesticks and salvers were part of his repertoire - Thomas Hannam was apprenticed to the specialist candlestick maker John Cafe and was particularly well known for the fine quality trays and salvers made in partnership with John Crouch during the later years of the century and in to the next. It was therefore often considered that Cachart must have been the spoonmaker.
However, the "EC" over "TH" maker's mark which can be clearly seen on these spoons, is proof that Coker must have run a substantial workshop and that flatware constituted a large percentage of his output. In fact, Coker was apprenticed to the specialist spoonmaker Joseph Smith and so it was from this maker that the important dynasty of spoonmakers was spawned that continued in to the 20th century and included such makers as George Smith, Eley & Fearn and Chawner & Company. It would seem therefore that both men brought their own skills in to the partnership, with Coker being the flatware specialist, but continuing to make or buy-in candlesticks and salvers. The Coker and Hannam partnership exemplifies the close working relationships between all aspects of the silver trade during the Georgian period.