Richard Crossley was a London maker and part of the Chawner company. He entered his first mark as a spoon-maker in partnership with William Sumner I on 1st May 1775 and his first mark on his own on 5th April 1782. So he had worked for his first seven years in partnership with William Sumner I. He then worked alone until 9th April 1807, when he entered a mark in partnership with George Smith IV. He was alone again when he entered his next mark on 2nd January 1812 and died in April 1815. Richard Crossley is a very well known maker and he produced a lot of flatware so we would expect to see quite a few silver sugar tongs with his mark.

The chronology is therefore:

Richard Crossley & William Sumner I         1st May 1775 to 4th April 1782
Richard Crossley                                          5th April 1782 to 8th April 1807
Richard Crossley & George Smith IV         9th April 1807 to 1st January 1812
Richard Crossley                                          2nd January 1812 to April 1815

Some people might confuse Randall Chatterton with Richard Crossley, but in fact it should be fairly east to differentiate between the two as Randall Chatterton did not register his first mark until 1825 and Richard Crossley had died by 1815. Having said that, given that Randall Chatterton was free from 1809, there may well be work with his mark dated between 1809 & 1825, even if in theory there shouldn't be! We also have the slight added complication of Richard Crossley's various partnerships. Between 1807 and 1812 he was working with George Smith, but he did register another mark alone in 1812 which was presumably used until he died in 1815. My view would be that only items dated between 1812 & 1815 could cause confusion although I would be very interested in seeing any sugar tongs dated between 1807 and 1812, marked just "RC" because in theory these cannot be attributed to either of them!!

Click here to see some tongs by Randall Chatterton,
Click here to see tongs by Richard Crossley & George Smith,
Click here to see tongs by William Sumner I & Richard Crossley.

Click on a picture for more details

The first sugar tongs we show here are marked with the Lion Passant and maker's mark only. These three pairs of tongs can therefore be quite accurately dated. i.e. they must be dated between 5th April 1782 and 1st December 1784, (when the incuse duty mark was introduced). All three of these sugar tongs are marked in the bowls. This was common at this time.

We move on to look at a pair of sugar tongs with the incuse duty mark. These sugar tongs must be dated between 1st December 1784 and 29th May 1786 when the cameo duty mark was introduced. These sugar tongs are now marked on the inside of the arms as was normal and they are very much the more standard style of bright cut sugar tongs.

After 1786 the duty mark was added in cameo form. Here we have some sugar tongs from the period up to 1791, when the date letter was also added.