7/14/2013

Charles H. Bradford, silversmith

Charles H. Bradford (1821-1903) was a 19th Century American silversmith, jeweler and watchmaker from Westerly, Washington County, Rhode Island, who went west in his middle age. Bradford advertised his related trade crafts in the 1860 New Albany Directory, City Guide, and Business Mirror, in Indiana, where he settled for several decades.

Charles H. Bradford is also listed in the 1871-1872 edition of William's New Albany Directory at 93 Pearl Street, for watches and jewelry.

Bradford is documented online in William Erik Voss's American Silversmiths.

Surviving examples of Bradford's silversmith work seem to be sparse. A single silver teaspoon crafted by Bradford was donated as part of a memorial to his wife by prominent Cincinnati attorney Vincent H. Beckman to the duPont Winterthur Museum near Wilmington, Delaware.

This Bradford teaspoon was but one piece in a larger silver spoon collection donated by Beckman to the Winterthur Museum.

Other than that, there is hardly any mention of Bradford or his work online.

Here are two samples of Bradford's silversmith work: A berry spoon and a butter knife. Since these are family pieces from the general New Albany, Indiana area, I assume they were crafted by Bradford when had his shop there during and after the Civil War.


The hand-tooled decorative design on the butter knife is distinctive.


Bradford's mark. "CHAS. H. BRADFORD."