ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver         newsletter # 38 - JUNE 2007
YOUR GUIDE TO THE JUNE NEWSLETTER: articles    new members    members' window
mail to ASCAS    replies    a page per month     a word per month    contributors to this Newsletter   
search engine    silver dictionary (updated)    disclaimer and privacy policy

This month ASCAS Newsletter is edited in a reduced form presenting only one new article.
My thanks to Malcolm Stander for contributing to ASCAS with an article about his trowels' collection.
I hope that other ASCAS members will follow Malcom's example (it's his first collaboration) supplying some new article indispensable to continue to edit next editions of ASCAS Newsletter.

trowel of the Sri Lanka Bauddha Samitiya-Moratuwa foundation stone for the boys english school Malcolm Stander presents:

History through silver trowels English version

Since the early 19th century silver trowels were used in ceremonial occasions to lay a foundation stone.
Usually they were engraved with an inscription commemorating the event.
In this article a collection of seven silver trowels is illustrated together with historical information about Sri Lanka and its interesting background of the English, Americans, Missionaries, etc, all adding up to some thought provoking history of this country....

click here English version


New members

Welcome to new ASCAS members:  

Glenys Bowtell - Australia
Justin Jack - Scotland UK
Christian Buffeteau - France
Derek Jones - Australia
Pat Maguire - Ireland
Robert Miller - USA
Sherry L. Rosemberger - USA
Sara L. Russel - England UK
John Shields - USA
Jaap van der Wal - the Netherlands
Marcel Vrouwenvelder - the Netherlands
Jenifer Zoutendyk - USA

Members' Window # 38

English antique silver mirror

Giorgio Busetto presents:

Ten Years Later English version

A silver hand mirror meets its matching brush after ten years of researches.....

click here English version

Mail to ASCAS: e-mail

Luigi Masciullo writes:
... I bought two silver salt cellars that I believe to be made in Palermo (Italy).
I'd need your help to identify the maker. On the mark I decipher the letters GLV, while the letters under the eagle are "VP".

Under the eagle the letters are "RUP" (Regia Urbis Panormi, (letter "U" looks as a "V").
This mark was used officially until 1826, but it was in use also after this date as the new mark (Ceres head) was rarely used.
I'm unable to find silversmith's mark GLV.
Possibly it belongs to Giuseppe La Villa present in an 1826 list of Palermo's silversmiths.
Giorgio Busetto

Mario Galasso writes:
... I'm looking for information about the maker of a silver flatware set
It has French hallmark "Minerva" (950/1000 silver) and silversmith's mark (a lozenge with a rabbit in the centre, "VE" above, "EC" below).
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Mario Galasso

The only information I was able to find is silversmith's name: Compère Leontine (veuve).
I hope that ASCAS members can supply some more information.
Giorgio Busetto

Kari Helenius writes:
.. Here I have two small cups, the usage or origin I do not know.
They look as being 17th century German cups. Both are unmarked.
The measures of the right hand cup are total length with handles 87 mm, width 59 mm and height without handles 14 mm.
Maybe somebody of our members would know the origin, use, and the age of these cups.
Best regards

Dave Elder writes:
.. I am attaching pictures of an antique silver warmer of some type that I bought at a yard sale this weekend,
Are you able to tell me what this is?
It measures:
height (unextended) - 5 inches
base width - 2 1/2 inches
lid width - 2 inches
height (extended) - 6 1/2 inches
Thank you
Dave Elder

Hallmarks are not well readable. Possibly they are London 1909, Harrod's Stores Ltd (mark registered on 28th November 1903.
I'm not aware of the use of this item. I hope that ASCAS members may supply further information.
Giorgio Busetto

Robert Massart writes:
.. I would like to date a French silver mustard pot in my posession.
It is marked with:
- A lozenge with the maker's mark P.C Cie and an anvil on both the bottom and the outer side of the lid (I can't find the name of the maker in my documentation), which could point to the period that the pot was made.
-A man's head (mark introduced since 1st July 1879 for .950 silver), both on the outer body-side of the pot and the outer side of the lid
There is also a Minerva head (somewhat faded) on the inside of the pot and a mark on the inner side of the lid (faded), which I can't find/define in the Tardy's International hallmarks on silver
Can you help me with this request ? Maybe the style and maker's mark will be helpfull to define the period the mustard pot was assayed.
Regards and thank you already for your advice.
Robert Massart

I've found some information about maker's mark:
Paul Canaux (& Cie)
succède à Mr Mégermond
Fabricant bijouterie orfèvre
Paris, 75 Boulevards Malesherbers
n. de garantie B 526
n. de Prefecture 10896
date d'insculpation 12 April 1892
date de biffage 20 July 1911
symbole une enclume.
Giorgio Busetto

Michael Yabsley writes:
..I'm researching any christening gifts given by Queen Victoria to her godchildren for a new project starting soon
49 godchildren are listed
Please contact me through ASCAS if anyone has such an item or knows of an items whereabouts.
Any help you can give that will make my project grow (i.e. photos and descriptions of the various cups vases Victoria gave her godchildren) would be very welcome.
Many thanks
Mike Yabsley.

A Victorian Christening cup is illustrated in Silver Magazine, September-October 1981, on an article written by Barbara Briggs (In the Life Of A Christening Cup).
The article deals with the silver Christening cup gifted in 1862 by Queen Victoria to Albert, Prince of Hawaii.
It's a sad story, as Prince Albert died on August 27, 1862 (at the age of four years and three months) before the official consignment of the cup by Mrs. William Webb Follet Synge (the British Commissioner and Consul General to Hawaii). The cup is exhibited in Honolulu, in the Queen Emma Summer Palace.
I believe that a copy of this article may still be obtained through Silver Magazine website.
Giorgio Busetto

Bill Belisle writes:
.. I am trying to identify the marks on a pair of what appear to be silver food warmers about 8 1/2 in. diameter. The body of the pieces test for silver, but silver plated feet and handles were soldered on (not with perfect workmanship) -- at a later time.
The hallmarks include what appears to be a cat with whiskers and what may be a "CC" or "OO" or something similar below the image on the left and right.
Also there is a mark with capital letters "IO" and some image to the left.
I've searched Tardy's and Wyler's silver books but cannot find a reference.
I thank anyone who can provide any help.
Bill Belisle

Leslie Gray writes:
.. Would anyone or more of our members be able to help with the identification of the two apostle spoons which I have in my possession?
The two names on the stems are "St.Jacobus DAE" (the AE joined together) and "St.Johannes".
On the back of the bowls are "N" in a circle and "GS" in a similar circle.
Size 7.6 inches overall. They look and seem like silver but I am not sure.
Leslie Gray


Replies to questions

Riccardo Bresemann receives this reply about his question about his Russian Basket: ( see May Newsletter)
Juhana kerppola writes:
... about 'Another question by Riccardo Bresemann ',
The maker is A.Gotkovskiy.


Gino Gatta receives another reply about his WMF item ( see February Newsletter)
Krista Bartlett writes:
I read the answers by Ellen Fuerst and James Baldwin in newsletter # 35 stating that it is a biscuit box.
I can definitely confirm this, as I contacted WMF and they sent me a copy of the 1903 catalogue, page 91, where exactly this biscuit box is shown in closed and in open state, the item bears no. 238. The material is nickel silver plating (also called German silver), i.e. copper-zinc-nickel alloy. It is all metal as there is for instance no glass insertion.
Maybe this can complete the request.
Best regards,
Krista Bartlett


Great interest for "One and All" article # 81 by Wayne Bednersh published in May Newsletter

Norma Young writes:
No doubt a lot of people of Welsh, Scottish or Irish descent will be writing.
The phrase "Meor Rasdhe Dheu" is an old phrase ---- it means "The Great Grace of God" (ie be with you).
Another variation is Meor Ras Tha Duw (I'd think that is a Welsh variation).
The Oslers indeed have links earlier to Swansea in Wales before arriving in Canada.
The giveaway of 100% entirely British connection is the Celtic crucifix. Its origin as a gift to celebrate Mrs. Osler's 100th Birthday makes sense ------ a milestone event for anyone to live that long in 1906.
As the Oslers were very "high Society", this would have been something they would have commissioned to distribute to all living offspring etc. as a memento
Will take argument with one bit of information: Britton Vaughan far more likely be a male descendant (not female). All the other early 20th century Osler descendants having Britton as their first or 2nd Christian name were male and continue to this date to be a male.
Georgina Pickton Osler, married the microbiologist Alexander C.Abbott --- their son William Osler Abbott was in the field of medicine with significant association to Pennsylvania. There was a fair amount of intermarriage between Canadians and Americans over that 1875-1925 period amongst Society.
My guess is that Britton Vaughan Abbott like so many children died young and thus no track of his life exists into adulthood.
Georgina Osler Abbott would have equally dropped off the radar screen as a lady in Society was only recorded for events like birth, marriage, death and otherwise very invisible. She died in the 1930s.
Its always easy to go into areas of exotic explanation, sometimes they are plausible, but this spoon and its simple clues over the design, motto and such tells us it has far more to do with the old British traditions than mystical or oriental association.
Norma L. Young
Vancouver (Canada)
PS I have numbered, amongst my clients, descendants of the Osler and other famous eastern Canadian families and my father's mother was fluent Gaelic speaker.

Norma Young sends also another information:
just to say, Mr. Bednersh and I have been corresponded more about my information also sent to him. The difficulty with the motto translation is simply Gaelic (as spoken in Wales, Ireland and Scotland) will have many variations of spelling of words [in the written form]. The Cornwall area of southern England has also its own ancient language where a similar phrase was used, but again the spelling similar but equally different.
Norma Young

Dorothea Burstyn (President of The Silver Society of Canada) writes:
Dear Giorgio,
On Wayne Bednersh' article some corrections about Canadian firms have to be made:
James E.Ellis - was a Toronto firm which existed from 1848 to 1881. After that a son carried on a partnership with M.T. Cain and the firm became ELLIS & Co., J.E. and existed from 1881 - 1901.
The mark of this company is JEE, a lion passant and a beaver mark. This company has no connection with P.W.Ellis & Company, which was founded in 1879 and existed until 1928, when it was sold to W.N.Stock - it was one of the most successful Toronto jewellery and silver company, a partnership of twin brothers Philip W. and Mathew C.Ellis. Their mark was an E in the maple leaf, an anchor and a lion passant.
In 1904 Gorham sued P.W.Ellis because their trade mark was very similar to the one of the American firm. P.W. Ellis also manufactured many flatware patterns strikingly similar to Gorham patterns. The case was heard in Toronto and P.W.Ellis & Co. won.
Mr. Bednersh takes his info from the third edition of Rainwater, I want to mention that in the Fourth Revised Edition of Encyclopedia of American Silver Manufacturer by Dorothy E. Rainwater and Judy Redfield - most of the erroneous information re J.E. Ellis and P.W. Ellis & Co., have been corrected.
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 "GOLDSMITH" the reproduction of an engraving on wood, designed and engraved by J. Amman, in the Sixteenth Century, from "MANNERS, CUSTOMS, AND DRESS DURING THE MIDDLE AGES, AND DURING THE RENAISSANCE PERIOD" by Paul Lacroix, Curator of The Imperial Library of The Arsenal Paris (edited in mid 19th century)



In this column we presents an abstract from a page of the "What is? Silver Dictionary"
courtesy of home page
silver matchbox holder - vesta case: Chester 1909


These pocket-sized cases for carrying matches took their name from 'Vesta', the deity that presided over the domestic focus (hearth) in Ancient Rome.
She was the only goddess of the Roman pantheon who remained unformed and Her only contour emanated from Her residence at Rome which housed Vesta's symbolic flame.
A 'match' was the modern representation of Vesta's symbolic flame and was known as a 'vesta' up until the twentieth century when 'match' and 'matchbox holder' became the favoured term......


Closing our JUNE 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 Krista Bartlett (Germany), Bill Belisle (USA), Dorothea Burstyn /Canada), Jayne Dye (USA), Dave Elder (USA), Mario Galasso (Italy), Leslie Gray (England), Kari Helenius (Finland), Juhana kerppola, Luigi Masciullo (Italy), Robert Massart (Belgium), Malcolm Stander (South Africa), Michael Yabsley 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.