William T. Eaves medallion Pattern Silver Spoon.

Currency:USD Category:Western Americana Start Price:200.00 USD Estimated At:400.00 - 1,000.00 USD
William T. Eaves medallion Pattern Silver Spoon.
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New Discovery
William T. Eaves medallion Pattern Silver Spoon. Circa 1868-1870.

Offered here are two tea spoons in Medallion pattern, one marked "W.T. Eaves Virg. Nev." And the other "M.M. Frederick Virg. Nev."

Several years ago we sold a fine collection of nearly 50 pieces of M.M. Frederick silver in Medallion and Gorham patterns. It was the largest such collection sold then, and even today. The collection took about 35 years to assemble. Along the way, we became aware of a single Nye & Co. piece, which we were never able to procure. Today, the Nye & Co. silver pieces remain excessively rare (I only know of one).

While going through the Reno Banker Gordon Harris Estate, I spotted two medallion pattern silver spoons and quickly took a look. One was the classic M.M. Frederick, but the other is a completely new discovery, "W.T. Eaves Virg. Nev." The Eaves piece carries the initials of a member of the Barnes family, one of the early pioneer families who married into the Harris family, also pioneers. The patterns, as shown here in the photograph, are slightly different, possibly suggesting a different maker. Shultz & Fisher in San Francisco made the Frederick medallion, but the Eaves piece is different, and appears a bit more crude, thus perhaps was cheaper. Those of us who collect Nevada silver pieces have never seen the Eaves piece before. I wrote a lengthy paper on the Frederick pieces for that offering of silver years ago based upon the best information available, and in finding this piece, am now able to add more information, though still not complete. The following are from the various Virginia City directories. A thorough search of newspaper articles is warranted.
1862-3. Eaves & Nye, Corner C and Union.
1864. Same. J. Rothenbucher was a jeweler and William Halier was a watchmaker working for Eaves & Nye.
1868. Wm. T. Eaves, watch maker and jeweler, 34 S. C. Isaac Frederick, jeweler and watchmaker, 36 S. C. M.M. Frederick, watchmaker, jeweler and gilder (no address, probably working with Isaac). Hallier not in VC. Nye & Rothenbucher (Nye & Co.), jewelers, 36 S. C. All three of these had separate listings in the business directory. They were set up next to each other in competition. Eaves did not prominently display "silverware" in his ads, as did the other two.
1871. W.T. Eaves. 34 ½ S. C. Frederick at 36 S. C. E Nye listed as jeweler, no address (means he is working for someone). J Rothenbucher had the old shop on the corner of C and Union. Hallier not in VC.
1875. Eaves, watchmaker, north side of Union. MM Frederick, manufacturing watchmaker and jeweler 36-38 S. C. Nye listed as above, with no associated company. Rothenbucher - jeweler, C at Taylor. Major fire in Virginia City, October, 1875.
1878. Eaves is absent the 1878 Directory. (Left VC). Rothenbucher, manufacturing jeweler, 3x S. C (misprint in the directory for the address). Nye absent the directory (gone) It is clear that the Eaves and Nye partnership broke apart in the mid 1860's, with Eaves moving out on his own. His business appears not to have survived the fire of October, 1875. John Rothenbucher, who had been working for Eaves & Nye, became Nye's partner about 1865-1867. Frederick, also a separate store, may have hired Nye, but Nye was not a partner. It is still unclear who Nye worked for after the Rothenbucher partnership ceased.City: Virginia CityCounty: StoreyState: NVDate: