This is a superb pair of early
tongs by Nathaniel Smith & Co. of Sheffield. They are of a lovely
shape with crisp and clear bright cut engraving. they also have
beautiful clear hallmarks for Sheffield 1787. The question is - are
The tongs were sold to me by a
highly reputable dealer who was concerned that I would not want them because
of the damage. In fact if you look very closely, you can see that the
apparent damage are imperfections in the silver that have been there since
the day the tongs were made. They are actually not perfect, however I
would not class these tongs as damaged. They were originally made, and
sold, in this condition.
You could never state that these
tongs are in perfect condition, however I would argue that they are just as
good as an apparently undamaged pair of tongs - as they are not repaired and
in fact have not been damaged during their life-time. They were not
made to perfection - and perhaps a good quality control process might have
rejected them when they were made.
Should they be classed as
damaged? I don't think so.
Should they still be valued the
same as an "un-damaged" pair - well, perhaps not quite the same - but not
Do click on the pictures to get a
better, enlarged view of the marks.
Click on any picture to enlarge