INSCRIPTION: Engraved with the initials “MJH” in the central cartouche.
MAKER: Traugott Leinbach (1796-1863) was born in Salem, North Carolina and at age fifteen was apprenticed to the town’s silversmith and watchmaker John Volger (1783-1881). In March 1820 Leinbach requested permission to travel to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania–presumably to work as a journeyman silversmith–and begin his own shop upon returning to Salem. A year later Leinbach did return to North Carolina and opened his silversmith’s business in Salem. Only two months later, in March 1821, he was back in Pennsylvania where he married Maria Theresia Lange (1799-1860) of Bethlehem. The couple settled in Salem where Leinbach continually operated his shop over the next forty years. For a time in the 1850s he formed a partnership (T. Leinbach & Son) with one of his sons, Nathaniel Augustine Leinbach (1832-1877). In 1860 he moved with his wife back to her hometown of Bethlehem, where Leinbach died on 30 April 1863. He used marks with two spellings of his last name, “Leinbach” and “Linebach,” throughout his career. See See John Bivins and Paula Welshimer, “Moravian Decorative Arts in North Carolina: An Introduction to the Old Salem Collection” (Winston-Salem, NC: Old Salem, 1981) and George Barton Cutten and Mary Reynolds Peacock, “Silversmiths of North Carolina, 1696-1860”, 2nd rev. ed. (Raleigh: North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, Division of Archives and History, 1984).
FORM: Fancy goods such as silver thimbles, buckles, napkin rings, spectacles, and combs were common items found on the shelves of a silversmith’s or jeweler’s shop.