Thomas Purver was apprenticed to William Sumner I thus making him part of the Chawner company. He entered his first mark alone on 6th October 1814 as a spoon-maker. He then entered a second mark in partnership with Edward Furnice on 17th April 1815. Thomas Purver is assumed to have been dead by 23rd September 1817 when Sarah Purver entered her mark. Edward Furnice had been apprenticed to George Smith III, again part of the Chawner company. His first mark was the partnership with Thomas Purver and his second mark, (alone), was entered on 2nd August 1816. This means the partnership can only have lasted just over one year. It would seem likely that whatever illness Thomas Purver had, he had stopped work by August 1816. We don’t know why it took more than a year for his wife to enter her mark on her own.

These Thomas Purver & Edward Furnice silver sugar tongs are an absolute delight. They are an example of “miniature” tongs, just over 4 inches long and plain, old English style. The sugar tongs have the hallmark for the early part of 1815 which means that they must be dated between 29th May and 13th June 1815. It is highly unusual to be able to date a pair of sugar tongs to within a fortnight!

To see some tongs by Sarah Purver, click here

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