Wayne Bednersh presents:
ONE and ALL
A 6" hand made spoon which appeared to be a memento of a
100th celebration led the author to a far reaching
excursion into the development of modern medicine
including the founding of Johns Hopkins medical school,
the poetry of Walt Whitman, the cosmic consciousness of
Dr. Bucke and the ancient religious mystical
philosophies of the Buddha, Jesus and the Kabbalah as
well as Canadian history. The journey was interesting
and fascinating and ended up in quite a different place
than originally expected ...
Dorothea Burstyn presents:
Margo Grant Walsh: Collecting by Design
Margo Grant Walsh, retired from a successful career as
interior architect first with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
in San Francisco and then with Gensler, now dedicates
most of her time to show, lecture about and share her
love for metalwork of the Twentieth Century.
On April 11th, 2007 the Silver Society of Canada had the
pleasure to welcome Margo Grant Walsh to hear her
lecture "Collecting by Design". This is the presentation
supplied by Dorothea Burstyn, the President of SSC.
Welcome to new ASCAS members:
Maryanna Andari - Australia
Jennifer Capps - USA
Edward Cooper - Australia
Rafe Goorwitch - USA
Neil Hewson - Australia
Fabrizio Matta - Italy
Roberto Minazzi - Italy
Feach Moyle - Australia
Andrew Steinberg - USA
Gee Wilson - Australia
Members' Window # 37
Graham Parry writes:
I recently acquired what I think is an early silver salt.
The diameter is exactly 3 inches or 75mm and total height is 1
7/16 or 37mm.
The shield shaped crest appears to me to have a king or monarch
wearing a crown with the letter N and a line horizontally across
The oval crest with initials appear to be P or R and then just
not sure of the rest of initials. Appears to be 3 initials
judging by the length of the oval.
My very limited knowledge suggests maybe early 1700s. I would
love it to be earlier and British but also wonder about Naples
as found an early Naples mark somewhere.
Thanks very much and regards
your salt is Naples, assayer Gennaro Manara, in use
I'm unable to identify the maker (but if the initials are PDB it
may be Paolo De Biasio). I have a very similar salt in my
collection. You may look at
http://www.silvercollection.it/pagina203.html in my private
Robert Massart writes:
I was told that the hallmarks of a silver mustard pot dated
from the year 1764.
Could you eventually confirm this when looking at attached
I also would like to know what the RD number 227675 is referring
Thanks very much for your advice.
Your mustard pot was made in 1897 and not in 1764.
RD 227675 is, possibly, the number of the patent (REGISTERED)
released in 1894 for this model by the UK Patent Office (see
These are the photos of an object I received in inheritance.
I believe it's a silver match holder. My question is where, when
it was made and who was the maker.
Thank you for your help
Your inheritance is a matchbox holder (Vesta case) made in
Chester in 1903.
The maker is William Neale & Sons
...A few months ago I wrote in to ask the membership on their
advice regarding the cleaning of historic silver. I got all
kinds of answers, tried quite a few, but nothing worked well
enough to use each time.
I contacted the Canadian Conservation Institute, and after much
conversing with them and reading massive amounts of literature
from them, we have settled on a method. We now use calcium
carbonate (precipitated chalk) mixed with water. It is a way
less abrasive compared to what we were using before (silvo), has
no odour, and easier to work with.
When you have over 3000 individual pieces of historic silver to
polish, you want to make sure the collection looks great but
maintains its quality. I was worried with all the polishing over
the 10 years that we have had the collection, that we would
eventually do damage to it.
So thanks to the CCI for their help, and thank you to all the
people who sent in what worked best for them!!
Curator Soo Line Historical Museum
Weyburn, Sask. - Canada
Riccardo Bresemann writes:
... I have some nice pieces, and for one I would like to know
the origin and age. It's a silver ewer or pitcher, probably for
baptism rituals. An ancestor on my wife's side (she's Turkish)
was a trader and this ewer is an heirloom.
A few days ago I saw a very similar one on TV when the Pope did
the traditional foot washing on Holy Thursday. It was in gold,
but looks very similar. I have some books about international
silver hallmarks and I browsed the whole internet - but I
couldn't identify the hallmark on the ewer and the plate.
I send two pictures of the ewer and the hallmark. Maybe anybody
at ASCAS can identify this piece.
Thank you and warm regards
Another question by Riccardo Bresemann:
... I have another nice silver item which is an heirloom from
my own family. It was given my grandmother's sister-in-law in the
early forties of last century while she was working as a
cleaning woman at the castle of Count Wilhelm-Friedrich zu Lynar
in eastern Germany.
This item was given her one day as a gift. Now it's in my hand
and of course I tried to identify it and its history. It's
marked at three places. I know the origin of manufacturing (St.
Petersburg), the date (1833) and the assayer (MK = Mikail
Mikailovich Karpinski), but I could not identify the silversmith
(probably "AK"?) and why and how it took its way from St.
Petersburg to Germany. It also has two later engravings: "1897"
on one side and "M" (probably for Maxilimilian zu Lynar, who was
the Count at this time) on opposite.
Here you can find the pictures:
Thank you again for your help!
Fredric Sinfield writes:
... Here is a little item that might be of interest.
The shortest is unmarked, 130mm long with a twist part way down
and a finial that appears to be a spoon.
The other is 170mm long has two marks on the reverse, the
crowned head is the Italian mark for 800 silver, in use from
1872 to 1934 and the maker's mark that appears to be a bird with
initial "G" within a circle.
They are similar to the hair pins in
article #64 on ASCAS website " Italian silver hair pin: the
'sperada' " and I'm wondering if the maker might be identified.
Robert Massart writes:
I hope that you will be able to help me to gather some
information about this silver spoon.
I know the spoon since my childhood, because my parents used it
as a tea spoon. However, I have no idea at all where it
originally came from. Was it made in Belgium ? I only can see
that the silver content is 800/1000, but I do not know the other
hallmark. Maybe it is the maker's mark.
In any case it is wonderfully worked as you can see on the
I will be very grateful for any information I can get from you
or from the members about this beautiful craftsmanship.
Thanks in advance.
Replies to questions
Cracovia receives this reply about her silver item
( see April Newsletter)
Fredric Sinfield writes:
... In reply to Debbie Cracovia: It is an early 19th
century Dutch needle case made after 1814.
The small hatchet on the top mark shows it is 833
standard silver. Cannot make out the maker's mark.
Perota receives this reply about the letter codes on the
mark of French 'Département'
( see April Newsletter)
some information about letter/number codes 1803-1809 of French
Département in Italy is available in Argenti Italiani
dell'Ottocento, vol. 2 (V.Donaver-R.Dabbene):
Dipartimento Alpi Marittime-Nizza: code 6
Dipartimento Dora-Ivrea: code D
Dipartimento Marengo-Alessandria: code M
Dipartimento Monte Bianco-Chambery: code 63
Dipartimento del Po-Torino: code PD
Dipartimento Sesia-Vercelli: code SE
Dipartimento Stura-Cuneo: code ST
Dipartimento Tanaro-Asti: code T
Code letter 'B' is not present in this list.
"A PAGE per MONTH"
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
ASCAS presents a page of Glass Mirrors and Manicure Sets
from Wm. Donaldson & Co., Glass Block Store, Holiday
Edition 1904, Minneapolis, Minn., Catalog No. 27
(image supplied by Joanne Wiertella)
"A WORD per MONTH"
In this column we presents an abstract
from a page of the "What is? Silver Dictionary"
Bratina is an early vessel used in Russia.
Bratina derives from "bratchina" or "bratovshchina", a
feast of brothers. They are large spherical vessels
often with inscriptions referring to reunions of
The first written mentions of bratina made in precious
metal date to the beginning of the 16th century, but
only later examples still survive.....
ASCAS activity and its Newsletter is cited in the " Here
& There" column of April 2007 NewsLetter published by
The Silver Society of Australia, where Dorothea
Burstyn's article about "Apple Corers" is quoted with
Our thanks to The Silver Society of Australia and its President John Szasz for their
help in advertising ASCAS activity (you may note many
new Australian members in ASCAS list of this month).
For all enquires about subscriptions to The Silver
Society of Australia you may contact John Heathers (Treasurer)
Closing our MAY 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 Wayne Bednersh (USA), Riccardo Bresemann (Germany),
Dorothea Burstyn (Canada), Jayne Dye (USA), Jacquie Mallory
(Canada), Robert Massart (Belgium), Graham Parry (Australia),
Fredric Sinfield (Australia), Joanne Wiertella (USA) for their
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
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