These tongs issue a bit of a challenge. The maker's mark is very clear, and appears to be that of Richard Mills. This would then suggest that the latest date for these tongs is 1767 (if Grimwade is correct). Standard "bow" style tongs this early are rare - does this constitute evidence that they were being made this early? They are a delightful, simple feather edge design with circular bowls and swirling engraved pattern. The little swirl at the top of the bowls is very similar to that seen on the Sheffield, Richard Morton tongs.

(I really don't think these are Richard Morton tongs - Sheffield always punched the date letter, and there is no record of a script "RM" maker's mark for Richard Morton).

Mind you, the Sheffield Assay office did not open until 1773. What was Richard Morton of Sheffield doing prior to that? Did he send work to London for Assay? Did he have a maker's mark registered, that was "RM" in script?

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