ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver         newsletter # 36 - April 2007
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ASCAS was born in March 2004 from an idea of Giorgio Busetto and the precious support of Raoul Verbist, President of the Silver Society of Belgium.
ASCAS web site was hosted in Giorgio Busetto's website ( and, at first, contained only some articles written by Raoul Verbist and Giorgio Busetto.
In July 2004 ASCAS had its own website transferring to
The first Newsletter was published in May 2004, and the web site began to be known by people interested to silver attaining 100 members in November 2004.
Two new articles began to be published every month thanks to the support of generous new and old members available to share their knowledge by supplying their articles to ASCAS.
New columns were added, "Members' window", "A page per month" and "A word per month" and the Question and Replies section was remarkably enlarged.
Now the ASCAS web site, with its 80 articles, 36 "Members' windows", 36 Newsletters and many thousands of images, is, possibly, the widest resource on the web freely available to whomever is interested in silver and its history.
ASCAS has now 300 members in 30 countries throughout the world.

These are the "Lights"... and now the "Shadows".

ASCAS' survival continues to depend on the support of ASCAS members. Not financial support, as your Secretary continues to afford its (minimum) costs and his work is highly rewarded by your esteem and appreciation, but members' help in articles, information, photos and any other written material suitable to be published in the ASCAS web site.
I have faith that I will not be left alone and ASCAS members will continue to support me in this "adventure" (this edition of ASCAS newsletter benefits from 28 contributors!!), but I have no other article available for May newsletter and without the help of ... Dorothea, Fred, Giovanni, Kari, Karin, Jayne, José Luis, Martine, Pierre, Pascal, Raoul, Willand ... and many others, new and old authors (I apologize but it is impossible to cite all), ASCAS, in spite of my continued profound dedication will be led to an inevitable reduction.
Giorgio Busetto
ASCAS Secretary
ASCAS Newsletter #1 May 2004 ASCAS Newsletter #12 pril 2005 ASCAS Newsletter #24 April 2006
ASCAS Newsletter #1 May 2004
ASCAS Newsletter #12 April 2005
ASCAS Newsletter #24 April 2006

Two new articles for ASCAS website

set of Dessert Flatware, circa 1872 - 1878 by Hermann Ratzersdorfer Jayne W. Dye and Karin Sixl-Daniell present:

Historismus Silver-Gilt Dessert Set by Hermann Ratzersdorfer English version

Beginning about the mid 1700's a rediscovery of the art forms of the 1500-1600's strongly influenced what people envisioned as good taste, high style, or desirable of emulation. A variety of descriptive terms were applied varying by locale, which art form was being described (buildings, paintings, objects d'art, clothing fashions, etc), and which previous period was being used for inspiration/admiration/imitation. Rococo, Baroque, Empire, Romanticism, Classicism, Romantic Classicism, and Historicism all had differing qualities and emphasis in their reflections of the past. One hundred years later, circa 1870 - 1910, fine arts produced in Austria, are now designated by the term Historismus ...

click here English version

circular box with an engraved crown on the lid

Fred Sinfield presents:

A Box and a Burner English version

the story of a small circular box with an engraved crown on the lid having an act of regicide associated with it.

click here English version


New members

Welcome to new ASCAS members:  

Veronique Brones - France
D.Jack Davis - USA
Franca Maria Gabriele - Italy
Rod Hall - Sweden
Emily e Duane Helms - USA
Susan Laventhol - USA
Luigi Masciullo - Italy
Augusto Monda - Italy  
Pauline Prince - England UK
Harriett Robinson - USA
Diane Trafford - England UK
Wm Erik Voss - USA
Alex Wood - Canada
Laurie Zook - USA

Members' Window # 36

travelling sterling silver spirit burner: Birmingham 1892

Giorgio Busetto presents:

An ancient complement for ladies hair dressing English version

The silver travelling spirit burner is a box with hinged lid complete with brass fitted interior used to heat ladies hair curling irons.....

click here English version

Mail to ASCAS: e-mail

Debbie Cracovia writes:
.. I have another one for you. What is this? I picked it up in a lot of other sterling items and I have no idea what it is or where it is from. Hoping you can help.
Again I have to say I love being a member of this site. I find the articles informative and really enjoy everything about it.
Best regards,
Debbi Cracovia

Adrian Fitch writes:
.. See the attached JPG, can you tell me anything about this mark?
My regards,
Adrian Fitch

Lee Bowden writes:
.. I have a Russian silver piece that I would like to learn more about. It appears to me the hallmark is 'PG' in cyrillic. I would appreciate if you could tell me more or where to look to find information about this locket, or silversmith.
I can't read Russian so even a translation of the back would be nice.
I have thought about selling this locket, but I really like it and would like to know more first.
Thank you for your time.
Lee Bowden

This piece was made by Grigoriì Pankratbev, St. Petersburg, 1874-1908.
I don't know Russian language, but I trust in member's help for translation of Russian inscription.
Giorgio Busetto

Nikica Vuletic writes:
.. By using all Internet available resources (including ASCAS) I was not able to date one Gorham sterling plate that bears IYQ code. This is in accordance with the fact that production for special customers (in this case Grogan retailer) bears two or three letter codes (ZZ or ZZZ). But there is no table to determine exact period.
Can you help me with this?
Best regards.

Joseph Bozzino writes:
.. I would appreciate any comments on the item illustrated. It was obtained in Spain and has been repaired. The mast is 22cm in height, the overall length is 27cm and the width is 10cm.
There is a single mark, consisting of DK with 13 above it. There are two holes on the deck, with wear marks suggesting two circular bases.
Yours sincerely,
Joseph Bozzino.

Renee' Bradley writes:
.. Could you please help me identify these marks?
Thank you,
Renee' Bradley

Ian Cook writes:
.. I acquired the attached piece and am hoping that you may be able to help me with a question. The piece is marked NICKEL SILVER, am I to assume that it is solid nickel silver and not plated. I have no idea of the maker, none of my documentation lists this company.
I really hope you can help.
I remain hopeful.
Best regards from England,
Ian Cook

Pierre Debailly writes:
.. this is the photo of an Italian water pitcher. I'd like to know the age of this piece and the name of the maker.
The mark is a seated lion over an 'F' (Florence) and the maker's mark is PB or PH.

The 'lion' mark was in use in Florence, Granducato di Toscana from 1832 to 1872, but the maker PB or PH isn't cited in my reference books. I hope that ASCAS members may have the answer to your question.
Giorgio Busetto.

Fredric Sinfield writes:
.. Here is a little mystery about this piece that maybe of interest.
It is an oval vinaigrette that weighs 30grams. The piercing of the hinged grill is quite different to that seen on English vinagrettes as it was probably made within the Austro-Hungarian Empire in second half of the 19th century.
There are no assay marks but in the centre of the base are the punched initials 'BYL L', what these represent is unknown but appear to be unrelated to the other initials on the underside of the base.
Does any member recognize the punched initials?

Katherine O'Regan writes:
.. I was wondering if you could help me please. I have what I think is a Victorian Coffee service - hot water jug, coffee pot and milk jug - which was brought to New Zealand by my grandmother from England in 1912. It is in rather a poor state as it has had the silver cleaned off it. (Not by me I might add)
So much so it is quite a dark grey. It has been finely worked and it has some dents which may have occurred in transit from the UK. It has acorns for handles on the lids.
On the bottom it has 'G D Walker Silversmith England, Electro plate 9863'
I would like to know more about it and if it was possible to get it restored.
From what I can gather there is only one restorer of antique silver in NZ and I haven't talked to them about this at all so it is only an assumption on my part.
Kind regards,
Katherine O'Regan

Mike Jones writes:
.. Hi, I bought this spoon apparently Danish. It weighs 36 grams and is 19 cm long.
It looks like the bowl has been repaired. Could you help me to identify?
Mike Jones

Cathy Scott writes:
...I have attached some photos of a tiny set of spoons (5 in. or 13 cm), a fork (5 in. or 13 cm.), and a pair of tongs (4 1/4 in. or 11 cm.) which I purchased at a local estate auction. I have looked over each piece with a jeweller's loop but have been unable to find a maker's mark. I'm not even sure they are silver but thought perhaps some of the readers of the ASCAS newsletter may be able to help.
The spoons and fork have a small disk attached to the handle end by 2 chain links.
I have been trying to identify what the script says/means and what language it may be.
I would be very grateful if you would do so in the next newsletter.
Cathy Scott

Roland Swälas writes:
...I have a Nautilus cup, made of silver and partly gilded and have some questions about this. I have been told, from a silver expert, that this was made in the end of the nineteenth century, by Neresheimer in Hanau.
Have also read Dorothea Burstyn´s articles about the silversmith´s of Hanau. However, I am still not convinced. Or maybe, I wish, it was an original. There were many of such prestige pieces brought to Sweden under the wars in the fifteens century.
I was told that, they have used originals when moulding the replicas, and with this process the hallmarking and other stamps were visible on the copy and were grinded away. I was also told that every part of the original was hallmarked before putting them together.
There are no Hallmarks and no stamps, except, in very small numbers: 9/19, in a hidden place, which I have found with very careful examination. Obviously, this is number nine of nineteen made. Where are the others?
It is hard to believe, that this is a copy, when it is so extremely well made and why did they not do any hallmarking? I think one must have been proud of his work, after knowing how to make such a great thing and it is no doubt, made of silver.
Best regards
Roland Swälas

Linda Rapczynksi writes:
... Would you be able to identify the following spoons?
Thanks so much for your help.
Linda Rapczynksi

The mark on the left I believe to belong to Russian silversmith Nikolaì Gurianov, 1868-1883.
The mark on the right is hard to read (possibly STERLING JWD?).
Giorgio Busetto.

Bryan Crenshaw writes:
... I would greatly appreciate any information or help in identifying this object that I have been told is silver. I have attached some photos of the piece and its marking. Any help at all would be appreciated.
Thank you for your time and consideration
Bryan Crenshaw

Paulina Wojdak writes:
... I have a question concerning a miniature silver samovar with cloisonné decoration. It may have been a souvenir piece. The fineness is ‘84’ for 875/1000 zol..
The zolotnik was also used in Poland but the samovar subject suggests Russian origin. There are no other markings. It stands 10 cm high and is 7 cm across at the handles. The top opens to a hollow space not connected to the spout.
My questions are: country of origin, city if possible, use, and approximate date for the piece.
Other information would be most welcome also.
Thank you in advance for any comments offered
Paulina Wojdak

Maurizio Perota writes:
... I have a small inkstand fully hallmarked with French marks corresponding to the period 1809-1819.
The mark of the 'Département' has the code letter 'B', unknown to me.
I'm trying to locate the town to which the code 'B' refers and my hypothesis is that this code refers to a town outside of France, in an occupied country (maybe Italy?).
I'd also appreciate knowing where the full list of 'Département' (France and outside) is available.
Thank you in advance
Maurizio Perota

Fred Sinfield writes:
...This is a little item that might be of interest for ASCAS' members: A Match Box Cover?
This is an intriguing piece because not only is it a part gilded and part plated; there is section on top with a lid, which once had a release to open it.
The decoration is in the Japanese style so possibly dates from the latter part of the 19th century.
On the base is the French boar’s head punch together with a maker’s mark that is rubbed so it is undecipherable.
The removable slide section is plated and had some kind of insert in the side panels that has disappeared.
At some time Christine Owens was indebted to Eileen Owens and issued an undated IOU that was tucked in lid of the matchbox.
Does any reader know what this might be, what the lid section was for other than hiding an IOU, have a similar box or any information that might solve this little mystery of this small item?

Kari Helenius writes:
...I have two beakers from late 17th century with similar looking engraved marks:
Beaker 1. (left) is made in Augsburg 1673 by Christian Jebenz. It has once been part of the 'Ratsilberschatz of the Stadt Schmalkalden'.
There are four coats of arms engraved on the sides. These coats of arms belonged to four members of the city council of that time. There is a bird engraved on the top of one side
Beaker 2. (right) is apparently made in Russia late 17th century. There are no marks except a similar bird on the bottom. The upper part of the bird-marks are identical, but the lower parts differ from each other.
Would anybody ASCAS readers know or have an explanation for these marks??
Kari Helenius


Replies to questions

Hamid Ghanbarezade receives this reply about silver and silver plate of Russian origin as "norblin" -- "Galw"-- "warsowa" marks ( see December Newsletter)
Jan Mattsson writes:
I just noticed a question by Hamid Ghanbarezade in the ASCAS newsletter 32 (December 2006).
The question was about the (possibly Russian) markings: Norblin -- Galw -- Warsowa.
'Norblin' is known as a Polish maker, which of course corresponds with 'Warsowa' - a word possibly a little mis-spelled. It´s the Polish capital Warsaw (in English), or Warszawa (Polish). On the marks it often says 'w Warszowie' - 'in Warsaw'.
'Galw' is found on plated items from Poland, and I guess it is to be read as 'galwanicznie', or whatever way it is correctly spelled - galvanized in English.
Kind regards
Jan Mattsson


Tony Phillips received this reply about the mark of his spoons ( see March Newsletter)
Hymie Dinerstein writes:
about Tony's marks on the spoon: The other mark is the Dublin import mark for 1912
Giovanni Ciceri writes:
It is an Irish import mark in force since 1906. See
The date letter refers to 1933 see


Hamid Ghanbarezade receive these replies about the mark of his jar ( see March Newsletter)
Geoffrey Axt writes:
Mr. Ghanbarzade's enamelled silver jar bears the mark of The Douglas Clock Company, Ltd. This mark is most likely a sponsor's mark rather than a true maker's mark.
Dorothea Burstyn writes:
Hamid's box was made in Birmingham by D.C.Co LD in cartouche = Douglas Clock Co., Ltd, their mark is pictured on page 330, Kenneth Crisp Jones: The Silversmiths of Birmingham and their marks, 1750-1980,Fakenham Press Ltd., Fakenham, Norfolk 1981
Lloyd Prator writes:
Despite the fact that this is obviously not a clock, I think it was made by the Douglas Clock Company, Ltd., a firm registered in about 1904. It may have been part of a dresser set consisting of mirrors, combs, clocks, jars and other sorts of dresser ware

Janet Rose and Kathy Lattin receive two other replies about their small open handled backsaw ( see February Newsletter)
Joseph Bozzino writes
.... I would like to offer further information on the question by Janet Rose and Kathy Litten. I cannot contribute on the marks, but feel the 'saw' is a surgical instrument.
As it was made in England, I would suggest an approach to the Curator of the Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons.
Karin Sixl-Daniell writes:
... I just wanted to let you know that I came across something to add to a question submitted by Janet Rose and Kathy Lattin in the February newsletter.
I just saw such a piece on Koopman’s website
( ) where this piece (see picture below) is described as a 'cucumber saw'.


Shailesh Sawant sends this information about the mark of his cigarette case (see October 2006 Newsletter)
.... Managed to get some information about the case I asked you about.
Maker's mark is T.F. Nicholls and Son and the case is certainly from 1917 period. This maker was closed in 1922, and hence not much is available from this maker.
I queried about this in October but hope this will help others.
Thanks and Regards,
Shailesh Sawant

Hymie Dinerstein receives this reply about his cup ( see March Newsletter)
Kari Helenius writes:
... I went through all my Scandinavian, Baltic and North German books but did not find any similar marks or a similar 'cup'
These are the photos of one 'cup' in my collection with exactly the same profile:
However it is a bit larger 2 5/8" in diameter, 4" from handle to handle and 1 5/16" tall. Weight is 46,5 grams.
The two handles are 'Mermaid Angels with double tails' (Never heard of such)
It is made in Nuremberg in 1640-75 by HS (Rothenberg 3764)
I have no idea what has been the purpose of this cup. Is it a wine tasting cup or a schnapps becher or a porringer?
Best regards



In this column we present a page (one page only) obtained from makers' brochures, books, auction catalogs or whatever other printed paper, which may be of particular interest for ASCAS members.
The images will be published at a "low resolution" level and for private and personal use only
This month ASCAS presents a page of Sterling Silver Mounted Suspenders, Glove Supporters, Armlets, Darners, etc. from the 1907 catalog of E.V. Roddin & Co., Chicago , Illinois, "Oldest Jewelry Mail Order House in America"
(image supplied by Joanne Wiertella)



In this column we presents an abstract from a page of the "What is? Silver Dictionary"
courtesy of home page
Russian parcel-gilt sugar bowl: Moskow 1896


vermeil (gilded silver, silver-gilt) is a base of sterling silver that is coated or plated with a thin layer of gold. Vermeil can be produced by either fire-gilding or electrolysis.
The original fire-gilding process was developed in France in the mid-1700s. Fire-gilding or Wash-gilding is a process by which an amalgam of gold is applied to metallic surfaces, the mercury being subsequently volatilized, leaving a film of gold or an amalgam containing mercury.....


Closing our APRIL 2007 edition of ASCAS Newsletter I hope you have appreciated its content.
Your comments, suggestions and advice will be of great help.

My thanks to Geoffrey Axt (USA), Lee Bowden, Joseph Bozzino (Malta), Renee' Bradley, Dorothea Burstyn (Canada), Giovanni Ciceri (Italy), Ian Cook (UK), Debbi Cracovia (USA), Bryan Crenshaw, Pierre Debailly (France), Hymie Dinerstein (UK), Jayne Dye (USA), Adrian Fitch (USA), Kari Helenius (Finland), Mike Jones, Jan Mattsson, Katherine O'Regan (New Zealand), Maurizio Perota (Italy), Lloyd Prator (USA), Linda Rapczynksi, Shailesh Sawant (UK), Cathy Scott (Canada), Fredric Sinfield (Australia), Karin Sixl-Daniell (Austria), Roland Swälas (Sweden), Nikica Vuletic (Croatia), Joanne Wiertella (USA), Paulina Wojdak (Poland) for their invaluable contributions.

Giorgio Busetto
ASCAS is a community of people having a common interest in antique silver.
It is a non-profit association without commercial links. Membership is open to whomever has a true interest in this subject matter.
ASCAS has no real property and no fees are requested nor accepted from members.
ASCAS keeps in touch with its members only through periodical newsletters, e-mails and web-site updating and ignores and is not responsible for any other activity pursued by its members.
Likewise, ASCAS is not responsible for opinions, evaluation and images displayed, and in any form published or supplied for publication, by its members who, in any case, maintain the property of their works and assure the respect of national and international legislation about Intellectual Property.
ASCAS does not have the full addresses of its members (only town, country and e-mail address are requested for membership).
ASCAS handles and protects with care its members e-mail addresses, will not disclose the addresses to third parties, will use this information only to reply to requests received from members and for communications strictly related to its activity.
These rules are expressly accepted by submitting the membership request.