Charles Hougham

Charles Hougham was born in 1749 and died in 1793. He registered his first mark in 1769 and another 10 similar over the next few years. Perhaps he was very busy and the stamps kept wearing out !! Two of those illustrated below have noticeable flaws. There are 3 pairs of cast tongs on this page. The first two bear the Incuse Duty Mark the third have no duty mark so must be earlier.


Makers Mark             Stamped in the bowl

These tongs are fascinating as they mark the transition from cast and pierced tongs to the bright cut style. They are cast in 3 pieces (2 arms and the bow) but instead of the delicate and fragile pierced open work the arms are interestingly shaped and  are decorated with bright cut engraving. They are easy to date as they carry the Incuse Duty Mark only used between 1 Dec 1784 and 29th May 1786. Both the duty and sterling marks are in one bowl and the makers mark in the other. The bowls are long slim and elegant. There are no repairs and no damage. They have no monogram or emblem on the bow though there is an empty cartouche.
Weight 1 1/8oz Length 5 1/2 ins

Sterling mark and Incuse Duty mark in the bowl


Makers Mark                   flaw in top right of punch

These tongs also carry the Incuse Duty Mark so were made in the same year as those above. They also have bright cut engraving but only to the bow section, the arms are in the open work style more usually associated with cast tongs. They have had a substantial repair to one arm but this is not visible from the outside. They have no monogram or emblem on the bow though there is an empty cartouche.
Weight 1 oz                Length 5 1/2 ins


Sterling and Incuse Duty Marks




Makers Mark                      Flaw to bottom left of punch

These tongs are more conventional cast tongs in many ways, but the bowls have an unusual shape and design being  longer and more elegant than is usual. The bow has a had a slight bend in the wrong place but there are no repairs or flaws to the arms of these tongs. They are lighter and slightly shorter than those above. The cartouche on the bow has the monogram MB which may be contemporary with the tongs. There is no Duty mark.
Weight 7/8oz     Length 5  ins



Monogram to Bow                                                           Sterling Mark