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a page per month
a silversmith per month
a word per month
a book on my shelf
a crest per month
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A new article for
Fred van Staden presents:
Hallmarking of twentieth century South African precious metal artefacts
The first effort at establishing a South African hallmarking system stems from 1715 when the Governor of the Cape Maurits Pasques de Chavonnes founded the Mint of the Cape of
Good Hope. All silversmiths were required to stamp their work with personalised makers’ marks. They were also compelled to submit all their work to two Masters of the Mint for
testing. If approved, the hallmark of the Mint (consisting of the figure of Good Hope) as well as the Mint Masters’ mark would be added to the maker’s mark.
However, this commendable effort at standardisation fell into disuse soon after the three-year appointment of the Mint Masters came to an end. There is also no evidence that
this ordinance was ever enforced. Nevertheless, there is some indication that the official ‘Hope’ stamp was still in use in
It appears that during the tumultuous times of the 1800s no systematic effort was made to re-establish a South African hallmarking system.
In 1938, 1942 and 1958 the associations representing local jewellers and watchmakers called on the government to establish an assay office with the goal to develop and implement a hallmarking
system in the Union of South Africa. In all three cases their representations fell by the wayside...
Welcome to new ASCAS members:
Lisa Barker - USA
Robert Bonadeo - USA
Kent Chrisman - USA
Mail to ASCAS:
Dean Hansen writes:
... Are these mark associated with a silver plate or sterling silver?
I found it in a silver tray. I was told by a jeweller it was associated to a Jewish tray.
David N Boddy writes:
Here are two pics of my mystery object which I am hoping one of your members can perhaps identify for me.
The piece is hallmarked Birmingham 1939 and made by Richard Burbridge.
The javelin like middle piece unscrews from the finial and each piece is separately hallmarked ... but what is it?
I thought maybe some implement to eat escargots.
Anyhow hope one of your members can help out.
David N Boddy
Possibly your item is 'part' of an object (not the whole). Any suggestion will be welcome.
Sherry S. Sorkness writes:
... I bought this below silver tea infuser.
The Hallmark is a G with a crown over it and directly under that there is an iron cross.... it also has a Germany mark.
I Identified the hallmark as Germany (Allemagne) Goerliz XVI.... but really can find anything further.
Can someone please help?
Sherry S. Sorkness
In XVI century tea was unknown in Europe. I believe it's a Hanau silver, possibly maker Wolf & Knell.
Robin Gibson writes:
... I have a silver plated ladle marked S.S & Co B which I am advised might be Saunders & Shepherd, Birmingham. Do you think this advise is correct?
Also, there is a set of 4 ladles each marked (B) (&) (Co) (S) ( EPNS - in a shield ). Do you think this might be Edwin Blyde & Co?
If you can advise me I will be extremely grateful.
The B&CO mark belongs, possibly, to Buxton & Co, Sheffield (this is only a hypothesis).
The S.S. & Co mark belongs to Selig, Sonnenthal & Co, London and Sheffield, see my website at
Robin Holmes writes:
... I have this interesting looking vase. I am stumped by the two marks the more elaborate of which is on the upper surface of the foot/base and the other on the underside.
Identifying country of origin would help to perhaps understand the method employed as well as perhaps the approximate date of manufacture.
Andrea Agati writes:
... I need your help to identify this silversmith active in Milan (Italy). The mark is MI32.
"A PAGE per MONTH"
In this column we presents a page obtained from makers'
brochures, books, auction catalogs, advertising or whatever
other printed paper, related to silver, that may be of interest
for ASCAS members.
The images will be published at a "low resolution" level and for
private and personal use only.
This column is published under the kind permission of Giorgio
This month ASCAS presents an ancient trade card:
"A WORD per MONTH"
In this column we
present an abstract from a page of the "What is? Silver
PSEUDO HALLMARKS IN BRITISH SILVERPLATE
There was no legal requirement to mark electroplated goods and any letter, symbol or number punched in silverplate wares is part of the individual trademark used by manufacturers to customize their own production.
Silverplate was used by lower classes as an affordable substitute of sterling silver and UK makers, to gratify the ambition of their customers, often adopted punches composed of a sequence of symbols and letters similar to that
used by Assay Offices for sterling silver hallmarking.
To prevent abuses and to avoid confusion, the 'crown' symbol in silver plate wares was banned in 1896, reserving its use to sterling silver hallmarked by Sheffield Assay Office.
However, the use of pseudo hallmarks was a common practice in the Victorian era and most UK manufacturers used trade marks consisting in their initials coupled to '&', 'S' (for Sons or Sheffield), 'EP' (for Electro Plate) and a
profusion of symbols inside outlines of various shape (circles, shields, squares) obtaining a result very similar to that present in sterling silver wares.....
"A SILVERSMITH per MONTH"
SPURRIER & CO
JOHN WALTER SPURRIER & CO
WILLIAM SPURRIER LTD
Arthur Elwell Spurrier was active in 1883 at 35 Coleman Street, London (showrooms). In the same year A.E. Spurrier entered sterling hallmarks in London.
In 1890 Spurrier & Co were active at 14 George Street, Birmingham (works) and 42 Wool Exchange, Coleman Street, London (showrooms).
In 1892 Spurrier & Co was active at Holland Street Works (Birmingham) with showrooms at 13 George Street, Birmingham and 29 Coleman Street, London.
In the same date Spurrier & Co advertised as owner of the JB&S trade mark (Jonas Bowen & Sons).
A.E Spurrier was succeeded in the business (29 Coleman Street, London, 1895) by John Walter Spurrier. Spurrier & Co entered sterling hallmarks in Birmingham in 1886 and 1890.
In 1901 Spurrier & Co Ltd entered a sterling hallmark in Birmingham. J.W. Spurrier entered sterling hallmarks in London (1895 and 1900) and Chester (1911).
John Walter Spurrier & Co was listed in 1914 at 15 Wool Exchange, Basinghall Street, London (showrooms)....
"A CREST per MONTH"
The crest of the Scottish family M'Hardie
The Latin motto 'Luceo, non uro' (I shine, but not burn)
The crest was found on a silver vase, maker George Fox, London 1873
Closing our JANUARY 2016 edition of ASCAS Newsletter I hope
you have appreciated its content.
Your comments, suggestions and advice will be of great help.
My thanks to Andrea Agati, David N Boddy, Robin Gibson, Dean Hansen, Robin Holmes, Sherry S. Sorkness, Fred van Staden
for their precious
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