The Mystery of the Earl of Carrick's Silverware
Home ] Up ] Photo Galleries ] Town Guides ] Notables ] Community ] News ] Places ] History ] Search ] Contact Us ]

I am seeking information about some sterling flatware that I my father bought in the 1950's, at an auction house in New York City. The 209 pieces of sterling flatware are stored in a big wooden case with the name The Earl of Carrick on the outside. There are three hallmarks on the pieces but the only one I can recognize looks like the fish part of the Clan Kennedy Badge. The fork is 67.9 penny weight and the spoon 61.4 penny weight and we have been told that the silver is French Silver 95.8% pure. On a couple of the pieces is the hall mark H. Fres & Co. which indicates that the pieces were made by a Parisian maker of that period, Henin Freres (Henin brothers) The jeweler told me she hasn't seen silver like this outside a museum. George Wright. If you can help us solve this mystery contact either George Wright or the webmaster. See other notes on this below. Click on the images below to view them full size. See latest photos and  updates here.

Click on the images to view them full size.

Exterior of the
 box of silver
Looking into the
box of silver
Various pieces
 in the box
Front side fork
and spoon
Back side of
 fork and spoon
Are these intials or just a fancy design? CLW, LM or LW? What do you think? Click on the image for a full size view.
Front of fork
 and spoon
Detail on front
 of fork and spoon
Detail on back
 of fork and spoon
Close-up of back Close-up of fork and spoon back side
Back of fork with hall mark slightly visible Back of spoon with hall mark slightly visible Hall mark on
back side of fork
Hall marks on fork
 right side up
Close-up hall mark
 fork right side up

Hall mark on right side of one of the spoons

Close-up of
spoon hallmark

Hall mark on spoon right side up Another hall mark on right side of spoon Hall mark on back
 side of the spoon
Full view of knife Handle of the knife Knife blade with
name Boin Taruret
Knife handle with
 two hallmarks
Enlargement of one of the hallmarks
H. Fres & Co on fork H. Fres & Co on spoon Bigorne mark on fork Bigorne mark on spoon Bigorne mark closeup

The following additional notes are based on research George Wright has done as of July 2002.

Letter from  Sotheby's - Paris, France:

Dear Sir,

Your flatware set looks very nice. It was made in Paris , probably around 1900 or a bit earlier. It is sterling flatware, 950/1.000 and was made by a good Parisian maker of that period, Henin Freres (Henin brothers). The counter mark is call bigorne in French. In fact ,there are large bands of insects. That is the bigorne on the back of the pieces. The pattern is called "modèle filet à agrafes feuillagées" which could be translated in: Thread and foliage pattern. The brass label on the case should read Boin Taburet. 


Best regards,

Thierry de Lachaise,

Directeur du Department Orfevrerie


Information regardng the New York Trust Company.

New York Trust Company was in operation from 1934-1950.

Then it merged into Chemical Bank New York Trust Co.9/8/59.

Then Chemical Bank New York Trust Co. reorganized as Chemical New York Corp.2/17/69.

Name change to Chemical Banking Corp.4/29/88.

Name change to Chase Manhattan Corp.3/31/96.

The Historical Dept. of New York City states that the Rockefeller Plaza was in the old location in1934 and then moved in 1935 and afterward it was called The Rockefeller Center.


Information regarding a possilbe connection to the Tullis family.

I found the following information on the website: regarding a family named "TULLIS" The family is from New Orleans Louisiana. See Generation Number 5. From here to Eli Tullis Watson, read the whole story down to:


1912 Eli Tullis Watson and George Elliot Williams ,then during 1930's he moved to New York City where he engaged investment banking. After retirement ,he lived for six months a year in Europe and divided his time in the US between New York and a home in Hickory NC. He died at a age of 87.


The silver that I have here might belong to his family, because I spoke to my father again just the other day about the flatware and he said that he bought it in Pinehurst NC. which is about 50 miles apart. I called Albert Bruce Crutcher and talked to him and he is going to speak to his mother and her brother about if they know any thing about the silver . He called  me back the other day and told me that his mother is on vacation and won't be back until two months from now.


It is strange every time I type in the New York Trust Company 1930's, it keeps popping up about this Tullis family on the website. The sign on the box of silver is Rockefeller Plaza,


Other notes

1.The name Rockefeller Plaza only used in 1934.

2.The initials on the silver is L. and M.Which could be Robert Lee Tullis married a Maggie Josephine Texada. this might been there's. And it was passed down through the family.

3.The family moved to New York in 1930's.

4.Robert Tullis lives in hickory NC. I spoke to his Grandson Albert Bruce Crutcher and he said that Robert had died on a boat coming from Florida in the late 1950's.

5. This might belong to his Estate from NC.

6. Many things really adds up to this family.

The silverware may have belonged to the Tullis family which may have a connection to the ancestors of The Earl of Carrick.


Other Notes: The present Earl of Carrick is Prince Charles. The title is given to the heir to the throne at birth and it appears that this may be the case for as far back as 700 years when it moved into the Royal Family with Robert the Bruce.  We have found information that there are apparently  four Carrick earldom titles. These latest facts add a bit more to this puzzle. Research is also being done to trace the item through auction house records and New York Trust Company which once held this in safekeeping. We have the following comments from an expert as follows.  It is very common for engravings, crests, and the like to be put on silver well after manufacture and sometime many years later. 1838 was the date that the Minerva head mark was introduced on all French silver. It could be many years later. The strange mark is probably a Bigorne (countermarks)--- this is true if the mark is directly opposite (on the other side) one of the other marks. Is there a connection to the Roman goddess Minerva here?

The worn red sticker on the outside of the box is from the Cunard Shipping Lines which had routes from the UK to the USA. Another possible explanation for the name on the box is that it is associated not with a royal title but with a steam ship of that name. We have found a reference to a steam ship called the Earl of Carrick which sank on 23rd of September 1878 as well as another reference to a ship by that name involved in a rescue at sea only the date given in this case is 1909. Can any of our visitors help us with this?

Copyright 1999-2015