William Worthington registered his first mark as a small-worker on 14th May 1771 and another in 1772. He is recorded as a goldsmith and gilder and he appears in the 1773 parliamentary report as a goldworker. He entered a mark as a goldworker in 1776.

Because he is known as a gold-worker it seems unlikely that he made silver sugar tongs. However the only other London maker with the initials "WW" is William Withers. He registered a mark as a small-worker in 1762 but nothing more is known about him. These tongs could well be by him rather than William Worthington.

The other question is whether the lion is actually a London hallmark. The mark is rubbed so it is very difficult to tell. An option would be that it is an Exeter hallmark and the tongs be by William Welch. I don't actually think this is the case because the makers mark is a little different to that of William Welch, the hallmark doesn't really look like an Exeter mark and the style of the tongs is much more London than Exeter. I have dated these tongs at around 1775-80.

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