Silver Spoon

Silver spoon
Made by Henry White
Fredericksburg, Virginia
ca. 1800-1810
Gift of Mrs. Wilford Gregory, 1983
Prior to the Revolution, most Virginia silversmiths made simple, utilitarian wares such as flat ware, while more ornamental items were purchased from England. On October 27, 1768, James Geddy, a gold and silversmith in Williamsburg, put the following advertisement in the Virginia Gazette:


"Just imported in the last ship from London, and to be sold at low advance…A neat assortment of Jewelry, consisting of the following articles…stone and paste shoe, knee, and stock buckles, stone and plain gold broaches, hair sprigs, pins, crescents, and earrings, stone sleave buttons and rings of all sorts, silver ladles, thimbles, plated spurs, silver and steel watch chains and seals"

With the growing tensions with England resulting in non-importation agreements, Virginia gold and silversmiths began manufacturing their own trinkets. Less than a year later, on September 21, 1769, Geddy again advertises he has "a neat assortment of country [Virginia] made gold and silverwork"

Spoon with initials of Jessie NalleThis spoon is marked with the initials of its owner, Jesse Nalle (1773-1834) who married Ann Potts and lived in Culpeper County and Fredericksburg.Henry White maker's mark Its maker, Henry White, was an orphan who became an apprentice at age 10 to silversmith James Brown to "learn the art, trade, and mystery of silversmith." He practiced his trade in Fredericksburg for fifty years, first in partnership with James Brown from 1788-1791, then on his own until 1818 when, with his son William, he created the firm "H. White and Son". Henry White died in 1827, while his son continued in the silver trade off and on until his death.