The carved initials likely stand for Margaret Haring (1688-1749) and Claes Van Houten (1684-1744) who were married in Tappan, New York. No other couples are recorded in the region with the same matching initials. For additional information see Wallace Nutting, “Carved Spoon Racks,” Magazine Antiques, June 1925, pp. 312-5; Roderic H. Blackburn, “Dutch arts and culture in colonial America,” Magazine Antiques, vol. 130, no. 1, July 1986, p. 143, fig. 4; and Roderic H. Blackburn and Ruth Piwonka, Remembrance of Patria: Dutch Arts and Culture in Colonial America, 1609-1776, (Albany, NY: Albany Institute of History and Art, 1988), pp. 159-61.
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