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American Silversmiths

Richard Bruff
(1670-bef 1730)
Rachel Earle
(abt 1680-1720)
James Earle Bruff
(abt 1711-abt 1780)
Mrs. James Earle Bruff
(-)
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Charles Oliver Bruff
(1735-1817)

 

Family Links

Spouses/Children:

Mary Letellier

Charles Oliver Bruff

  • Born: 1735, Easton MD
  • Marriage: Mary Letellier on 19 Oct 1763 in New York City NY
  • Died: 27 Jan 1817, Liverpool Queens Nova Scotia Canda

  General notes:

Silversmith and jeweler

  Events in his life were:


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  • Alternate Mark
  • He worked from circa 1760 to 1763 as a silversmith in Elizabeth NJ 4

picture
  • Sugar bowl, c 1763
    Museum of the City of New York
    h: 4 1/16"
    d: 2 7/16" (of base)
    wt: 9.95 oz
    Engraved E * R on inside of base for Elizabeth Rutgers.
  • He worked from 1763 to 1782 as a silversmith and jeweler in New York City NY 4
  • Advertised in the The New-York Mercury (New York City NY), 3 Jan 1763,
    "Charles Oliver Bruff, Goldsmith and jeweller, at the sign of the Tea-pot and tankard, in Maiden-Lane, near the Fly-market, Having employed a jeweller from London, who understands making or mending any kind of diamond or enamel'd work in the jewellery way. Also makes and mends all manner of stone buckles, stone rings, ear-rings, broaches seals, solitairs, hair jewels, lockets, enamel'd. Makes all manner of sleeve buttons, mourning rings of all sorts, trinkets for Ladies, plats hair in a curious manner in true lovers knots, for buttons, rings or lockets, plain or enamel'd; gold necklaces or stone of all sorts. Said Bruff makes all sorts of silver smiths work, mends old work in that way, and has put himself to a great expense in sending to London for diamonds and all manner of precious stones, and he hopes for the encouragement of the gentlemen and ladies of this City, as he will study to use them well."

picture
  • Sugar tongs, c 1765
    Winterthur Library
    l: 5"
    wt: 1 oz, 4/.5 dwt
  • Advertised in the The New-York Mercury (New York City NY), 20 Jan 1766,
    "Charles Oliver Bruff, goldsmith and jeweller, at the sign of the Tea-pot and Tankard, in Maiden Lane, near the Fly Market, having employed a Jeweller from London who under-stands making or mending any kind of diamond or enamell'd work in the jewelry way. Also makes and mends all manner of stone buckles, stone rings, earrings, broaches, seals, solitairs, hair jewels, lockets, enamell'd. Makes all manner of sleeve buttons, mourning rings of all sorts, trinkets for ladies, plats hair in a curious manner in true lovers' knots for buttons, rings or lockets, plain or enamell'd, gold necklaces or stone of all sorts. Said Bruff makes all sorts of silversmiths' work, mends old work in that way, and has put himself to a great expense in sending to London for diamonds and all manner of precious stones, and he hopes for the encouragement of the Gentlemen and Ladies of this City, as he will study to use them well."
  • Advertised in the The New-York Mercury (New York City NY), 20 Apr 1767,
    "Whereas the said Bruff, has had his work undervalued by three different Silver-smiths of this city, by one I lost three pounds for workmanship, out of eleven pounds five shillings, workmanship; and by another I lost six shillings, on making a set of table-spoons; and the third tried to undervalue a piece of work of two pounds eight shillings, to one pound fifteen shillings, whereby I have hurted myself by keeping up the prices, which I know no reason I should hurt myself for others. He hopes for the encouragement of the Gentlemen and Ladies of this city and country, as he will study to use them well. Since those Gentlemen of the trade has brought the prices so low, I therefore give notice, that I will work for the following prices, viz.
    For making silver tankard 3 s. per ounce. For making a silver tea-pot, £ 4. For making a Sugar-pot, 35 s. For making a milk-pot, 24 s. For making a Soop-spoon 20 s. For making six table-spoons 21 s. For making six tea-spoons 10 s. For making tea-tongs, bows or others, 10 s. For making a pair of carved silver buckles, 8 s. I design to put the stamp of my name, in full, on all my works; and will work as cheap as any in the city.
    "
  • Advertised in the The New-York Gazette and the Weekly Mercury (New York City NY), 25 May 1772,
    "Charles Oliver Bruff at the sign of the Tea-Pot, Tankard and Ear-ring, between Maiden Lane and Crown Street, near Fly Market, makes and mends all kinds of diamond or enamelled work in the jewellery way; also all manner of stone buckles, solitaires, hair jewels, lockets, enamelled sleeve buttons, mourning rings of all sorts, trinkets for ladies, rings and lockets, plain or enamelled; gold necklaces and stones of all sorts. Like-wise makes and mends all sorts of silversmith's work; also ladies' fans neatly mended. He gives the highest price for old gold silver and jewels; buys rough coral, handsome pebbles and black cornelian, fit for seal stones. He has fitted a lapidary mill up where he cuts all sorts of stones, engraves all sorts of coins, crests, cyphers, heads and fancies, in the neatest manner and greatest expedition, with the heads of Lord Chat-ham, Shakespeare, Milton, Newton, Pope, Homer, Socrates, Hannibal, Marc Anthony, Caesar, Plato, Jupiter, Apollo, Neptune, Mars, Cleopatra, Diana, Flora, Venus, Marcelania, Masons arms, with all emblems of Liberty; Cupid fancies, hearts and doves neatly engraved for ladies' trinkets ; likewise silver and steel seals. He also plaits hair in the neatest manner. N. B. Takes likenesses off in hair as natural as possible, as to the form of visages, works hair in sprigs, birds, figures, cyphers, crests and cupid fancies."
  • Advertised in the The New-York Gazette and The Weekly Mercury (New York City NY), 19 Jun 1775,
    "Those Gentlemen who are forming themselves into Companies, in Defence of their Liberties, and others, that are not provided with Swords, May be suited therewith by applying to Charles Oliver Bruff, in Maiden-Lane, near the Fly-Market. Small Swords Silver mounted, Cut-and-thrust and Cutteau De Chase, mounted with beautiful green Grips; and, Broad Swords with the Heads of Lord Chatham, and John Wilkes, Esq; with Shells pierced and ornamented with Mottoes,—for Pitt's Head, Magna Charta and Freedom, whatever Form Gentlemen may fancy, being a Collection of the most elegant Swords ever made in America, all manufactured by said Bruff. N.B. Best Small Arm and Pistol Oyl Flints"
  • He worked after 1783 as a silversmith in Shelburne, Nova Scotia 4
  • 1786: United Empire Loyalist
    Enquiry into the Losses and Services in Consequence of Their Loyalty

    Evidence on the Claim of Charles Oliver Bruff, late of New York.

    Claimant Sworn.
    He is a native of America & was born in Talbot County, Maryland. In 1775 he resided at New York. A silversmith & jeweler.
    Says he was in inclination a friend to Gt. Britain, but did duty in the City Watch of N. York with the Rebels. But as he was a good sword cutter &. worked for them he was excused turning out in the Militia. He was always pd. by the Rebels for his work.
    He left New York when the British landed on Long Island. He went to Terrytown, but joined the British army soon after & remained in N. York until the Evacuation. He now resides here & carry on his trade.
    Produces certificate from D. Mathews, Mayor of N. York, to Claimant having suffered for his attacmt. to Govmt.
    Property—he has no papers.
    A Place at Elizabethtown in N. Jersey, two acres of Land, with a House, 2 Store houses.
    His Father Jamas Earl Bruff gave him this by Deed of Gift in 1765. He lent him about £143 Jersey Cury. upon it.
    He thinks this Place would have sold for £1200 Jersey Cury.
    He rented it to a School Master, James Long. He paid £6 per an. Jersey Cury. He lived in it in 1766; afterwards one Moirle hired it. Claimt's Father bought this Property from John Delaney, who was son & executor to the Will of And. Delaney. By that Will this Property was left to Andr. Blanchard Delaney, gd. son to And. Cable, to pay his debts. Claimt. says his Father bought it from the executor.
    Jonathan Moirle bought it from Andr. Blanchard Delaney & is now in Possession. If there had been no War thinks he would have been in Possession.
    Moirle lived in it from 1766 to the time the War broke out uninterrupted by the Claimt.
    One Sixth of Iron Works in Morris County given to him by his Father in 1775. He had a Deed of Gift from his Father.
    He never got any advantage from it. His Father used to get some Iron annually from it.
    Proprietors' names:
    Samuel Woodruff,
    Thos. Ford,
    Alderman Radley,
    Garret Ropelgre,
    Steven Crane,
    James Bruff,
    Colonel Ford.
    Says there were 16 owners; his father held one 16th. His share has been sold as his Property.
    He values this at £500 Jersey Cury. He was offered that sum by Garret Ropelgre.
    3000 acrea in Talbot, in Maryland. It was his Father's, who died in 1779 or '80 Without a Will $ left Children—Charles Oliver Bruff, Claimt., Peter Schuyler Bruff in England, James Bruff in Maryland, Margt. in Maryland.
    By the Laws of Maryland the oldest son succeeds to Landed Property.
    He believes it has been sold under Confiscatn. as his Property, after his father's death.
    He does not know the value. He claims Maryland Cury. for this, viz. £48,000.
    He was told by a gentleman from Maryland that it was worth that.
    The Clause in the Act excluding fraudulent Claimants from Compensation being read.
    He claims £4000 Maryland Cury. for this, which he thinks the value of it.
    300 Acres in Queen Ann's County, Maryland. They were his father's & he is the oldest son.
    They were improved. He had three houses on it & was worth £8 Maryland Cury. per acre. Believes it has been sold as his Property £2400. M.C.
    1/4 of 100 acres with Silver & Lead mines at Wyoming in Pen-silvania. His father bought it & he claims it as his Father's oldest son. His Father had some ore from it. The People of Vermont claimed this property & drove the Proprietors from it in 1775.
    He values this at £200 Pen. Cury. He never reapt any advantage from it.
    A Crop of Wheat & Rye destroied by the Rebels at Greenwich, near Md. He leased the Land, 9 acres, from James Delaney. He estimates the damage done at £100, York Cury.
    Arms taken by the Rebels £30 Cury.
    _ _ _ _ _ _

    It requires noting that his father did in fact leave a will, which was probated on 7 April 1780 in Queen Anne's County MD. It left all his property to his son James, without mention of either of his Tory sons.

    .

Charles married Mary Letellier on 19 Oct 1763 in New York City NY.




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