Author Topic: silver chaser  (Read 336 times)

Offline Archeress

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silver chaser
« on: Thursday 02 May 19 01:05 BST (UK) »
hi all, new here.  Can anyone enlighten me as to what kind of work a silver chaser did in mid 1800's london?  I am aware the chaser did a kind of engraving or embossing on silverware but i wonder if there is any explanation on the process and any photos of finished work?  My 3rd great grandfather was employed as one and just trying to gain an understanding.  cheers..kelly.

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Offline AMBLY

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Re: silver chaser
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 02 May 19 04:39 BST (UK) »
Found this description on a forum online:

"A silver chaser basically puts designs or decorative work onto silverware. For instance if you had a spun silver bowl, the chaser would first raise areas from the inside of the bowl with special metal stakes. The bowl would then be filled with pitch and left to cool. The pitch would then support the shape of the bowl while the design or pattern was applied to the outside of the bowl using punches and small hammers. This would result in a 3D, sculptured effect to the design. The pitch would then be melted out of the bowl. Basically the design is applied to an item by using a selection of punches together with a hammer. Not to be confused with engraving where the design is cut into metal (i.e. engraving - metal is actually removed to create the design)."

Cheers
AMBLY
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Offline bbart

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Re: silver chaser
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 02 May 19 04:40 BST (UK) »
Hello, and welcome to Rootschat!

I must admit I have never heard of that occupation before, so I've been browsing the old newspapers for silver chasers, and hopefully the following tidbits help to get a sense of the trade.
There were ads wanting apprentices as well as journeymen. The lowest age I saw for starting an apprenticeship was a "full 14".   Some ads seem to be specific, in "knowledge of drawing essential", or "good with hollow ware".  Some wanted a silver chaser as well as an embosser, so apparently two distinct trades, although I did run across a few fellows that did both.

There were numerous ads for tools of their trade; one ad was specific in tools for silver and metal chasers, for "matting, freezing punches, and his own speciality of white grain punches in round, square and oval dots" as well as chasers' regular punches.  There was the occasional ad for estate sales of chasers, and the number of chaser tools seemed to be somewhat consistently around 200.  (That's a lot of punches, and who knows what else!)

In 1924 there was an article lamenting the decline in silver and gold chasers.  Apparently too many had gone to America as there had been no chasers there, and the big companies in New York were skirting the immigration system to get them there.  This article mentions how a journeyman could make a good wage (referring to the UK) working for someone, and even more if they worked for themselves.   The article said that at any one time, there was never more than 200 chasers in London.

Offline bbart

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Re: silver chaser
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 02 May 19 05:26 BST (UK) »

Offline chempat

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Offline youngtug

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Re: silver chaser
« Reply #5 on: Thursday 02 May 19 07:26 BST (UK) »
https://youtu.be/C_C7myNE06I Old film showing a silverchaser at work
.http://www.rootschat.com/links/05q2/   
  WILSON;-Wiltshire.
 SOUL;-Gloucestershire.
 SANSUM;-Berkshire-Wiltshire
 BASSON-BASTON;- Berkshire,- Oxfordshire.
 BRIDGES;- Wiltshire.
 DOWDESWELL;-Wiltshire,Gloucestershire
 JORDAN;- Berkshire.
 COX;- Berkshire.
 GOUDY;- Suffolk.
 CHATFIELD;-Sussex-- London
 MORGAN;-Blaenavon-Abersychan
 FISHER;- Berkshire.
 BLOMFIELD-BLOOMFIELD-BLUMFIELD;-Suffolk.
DOVE. Essex-London
YOUNG-Berkshire
ARDEN.
PINEGAR-COLLIER-HUGHES-JEFFERIES-HUNT-MOSS-FRY

Offline Archeress

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Re: silver chaser
« Reply #6 on: Thursday 02 May 19 14:30 BST (UK) »
Thankyou everyone.  i am a lot clearer now and you hve given me ideas on where to look.  novice at all of this.  sometimes the apple dont fall far from the tree.  Now i know why i like engraving and metal work.  THE FILM IS AMAZING.   Apparently in January of 1844 my relative stole silver dust and filings from his employer and went down for 6 months.  He seemed to have recovered when he got out as he went on to get married and have like 7 kids. 

Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: silver chaser
« Reply #7 on: Thursday 02 May 19 18:45 BST (UK) »
Did he work at the same occupation after his release?

Offline Archeress

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Re: silver chaser
« Reply #8 on: Friday 03 May 19 01:01 BST (UK) »
Did he work at the same occupation after his release?

This i am yet to discover.  Its hard work delving into some family history.  so many gaps.