Attractive set of Georgian silver sugar tongs with nice filigree work by Richard Ferris, silversmith based in Exeter England.
Richard Ferris maker hallmark, .925 sterling silver hallmark, King George III duty hallmark
On wide end initials of owner ‘H. R. M.’
13.50 cm long, 3 cm wide, 1.3 cm tall
Richard Ferris is listed in the Freeman’s lists of 1784. He had been Thomas Eustace's apprentice. Richard Ferris was George Ferris I's brother. He died in 1812, just 53 years old. He left his tools to his brother. In fact Richard Ferris made more sugar tongs than any of the other Exeter makers.
George and Richar Ferris operated from a jeweller in the centre of Exeter, variously recorded as "The Close", "High Street", 166 Fore Street and 106 Fore Street, in that order chronologically.
Most of Richard Ferris’s tongs are a flared bright cut style, although I have seen just one flared plain pair of tongs and a few straight bright cut tongs. The engraving on his tongs is of a good quality and equally as good as most London makers. This range of Richard Ferris tongs gives a good picture of the changes to the Exeter hallmarks, helping to date items a little better.