Late 19th Century Sterling Silver Tea Tongs or Sugar Nips.
A beautiful pair of tongs which I believe can be attributed to Francis Higgins II out of the London Assay Office. The marks are very faded and I can just make out the purity mark, along with the hallmark. The basic shape of the city mark, appears to be London. Generally, this style of tong would date earlier, but the hallmark, combined with the two part construction and monogram lead more to a late 19th century date. There is an additional mark, on the shell/tong portion of the nips, that I've been unable to decipher. Please see the last pic below.
There is a 2mm spot on the back that I've worked to remove, but only slightly lessened the appearance and some scratching to the monogrammed area on the front. I've priced them accordingly.
Weight 42 Grams
Purity Mark for Sterling and acid tested to verify.
Tongs measure 125mm or 4 7/8"
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