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Site: 18CV60 Angelica Knoll
Context: N/A (See Site Summary)
Context Date Range: c. 1650-1770
Maker’s Mark: “IR” in an oval cartouche; The heavily-worn maker’s mark (seen at right under microscopy) appears on the side of the bodkin opposite the inscribed initials. Like the initials of the owner, it is difficult to make a definitive assessment of the manufacturer, even with the mark. Similar “IR” cartouches were known to be used by several silversmiths including Jan Rooseboom of Amsterdam who was active from 1730-1773 (Sullivan 2004:212), Johann Reutgers of Koeln, Germany whose work dates from 1700-1744 (Wyler 1937:354), and Joseph Richardson Sr. and Joseph Richardson Jr. of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who used similar marks between 1711 and 1773 (Ensko 1948:197; Fennimore 1984:442). Dates are no help in narrowing down the maker’s name either, since the possible manufacturers all worked in the early-mid 18th century, which well matches the c. 1680-1770 date of Angelica Knoll, even accounting for many years of use-wear on the bodkin.
Description: Unusual double-ended bodkin with a long eye and a small hole at each end.
Inscription: “M.I.”; Because of the time period, the “I” could indicate a name whose first letter is either “I” or “J”. In 1674, a Merdedith Jones was a tenant on Elizabetha, the tract of land adjoining Angelica, but it seems unlikely that a tenant could afford such a high-end bodkin. It is more likely that the bodkin belonged to a member of Richard Johns’ family who resided at the site by 1717. Unfortunately, the names of the female members of the Johns family are not known.