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Group Title: Historic St. Augustine: B7-L12 Silversmith
Title: The William Sims silversmith shop
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00091339/00003
 Material Information
Title: The William Sims silversmith shop
Series Title: Historic St. Augustine: B7-L12 Silversmith
Physical Description: Brochure/pamphlet
Language: English
 Subjects
Subject: Saint Augustine (Fla.)
12 Charlotte Street (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Sims Silversmith Shop (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida -- Saint Johns -- Saint Augustine -- 12 Charlotte Street
Coordinates: 29.896045 x -81.312121
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00091339
Volume ID: VID00003
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution.
Resource Identifier: B7-L12

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Full Text


Lot 12, Block 7



Edwin C. Respress
12 Charlotte St.


5628 Memorial Drive
Stone Mountain, Ga.




The wuilliam sims
SILVERSMLITI-
SHOP


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This is a frame house-shop combination typical
of the kind built by English refugees from theAmeri-
can Revolution in the 1780's. A silversmith named
William Sims from Scotland apparently operated
such a shop in St. Augustine during the British era,
migrating with all his tools and possessions. The
exact location o f his establishment is unknown; this
building only reproduces the edifice.

*****^

Sims utilized the center area as a showroom and
reception room. The gateleg table is a late 18th
century antique. So is the pitcher. Against the east
wall is a 19th century copy of a Chippendale chair.

The small display case contains an assortment
of antique sterling sil ve r spoons from various
periods between 1750 and 1800, plus a heavy pewter
one from the early 1700's. The northeast wall case
contains on its upper shelf a pair of Georgian pewter
candlesticks, an 18 0 0 -model candle wick trimmer
(sometimes wrongly called a "snuffer") and tray of
silver plate, a cutwork sterling silver basket dated
1785 by its hallmarks, and a plated-silver ladle; the
lower she If displays a-modern reproduction of a
1790-model English tureen or serving dish, a mid-
19th century sterling silver copy of a 1760 "pipkin",
(used for pouring hot water or milk into a cup or
pot), a typical 17 8 5 -model English pewter "tea-
caddy" with bone-handled lid and a lock and key (to
keep servants from removing tea in the owner's ab-
sence), and a modern reproduction of a 1760 English
pewter pitcher.








The double case in the southeast corner contains
on its upper shelf an early 19th century silver-
plated desk set with two inkwells and a center holder
for a sealing-wax candle, a pewter double- lens
fish-oil reading lamp recorded from 1790, and a
17 8 0 antique cylindrical pewter one-pint measure;
below on the lower shelf stands a pair of antique sil-
ver "baluster" style candle-sticks (so called because
they a r e shaped like balusters on stairways in clas-
sical Georgian architecture), a brass ladle, and a
late 18th century pewter pitcher with hinged lid and
bearing an English hallmark on its bottom. Hanging
on the exterior of the showcase is an antique copper
cooking pan.

The western half of the large room served as the
silversmith's shop. The dozens of as s o rt ed iron
tools suchas the miniature vise-anvils and hammers
are antiques of the period. So is the accountant's
desk, on top of which sets an even older silver-
plated coffee pot with walnut handle and bone ro-
sette lid-knob. Likewise of early 19th century
manufacture are the keys and the brass scales on
the wall.

Other featured it e m s of furnishing are modern
reproductions made in our shop: the wire-reducer
for shaping silver wire as well as reducing its dia-
meter; the work-bench against the north wall, with
spaces for three apprentices to work, the huge bel-
lows beside the fireplace where casting is done; the
reed chairs, of a type probably made locally in the
18th century. On the railing between workshop and
reception area is a small display rack for exhibiting
different styles of spoons available to the customer.








Antiques of the period in the north wing of the
building are: the d r e s er, with its wig stand and
jewel box; the large "blanket chest", used princi-
pally to store clothing in an era without closets; the
Turkish rug on the floor, and the candle-holder on
the table.

Early 19th century p i e c e s are: the wash-stand
with mirror, pitcher, and bowl; the table in "Chinese
Chippendale" sty e; and the Hepplewhite lyre-back
armchair.

Modern reproductions of period items are the
bed, the reed chairs, the tab e items, and the two
wall decorations (soldier print and map of Florida).

The shop was a restoration project of the William
Lee Sims, II, family of Orlando, Florida, in 1966.



Owned by St. Augustine Restoration, Inc.

Operated by:

HISTORIC ST. AUGUSTINE
PRESERVATION BOARD
Division of Cultural Affairs
Department of State
Florida




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