ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver         newsletter # 35 - March 2007
YOUR GUIDE TO THE MARCH 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

Two new articles for ASCAS website

Traveling apple corers Dororhea Burstyn presents:

Eating apples, the elegant way English version

Most apple corers were made from turned wood, bone or ivory. The silver apple corer is a rarity. Only the affluent could afford to have kitchenware made of silver. Oblivious of the concept of bacteria, the germ-fighting properties of silver were known since ancient times ...

click here English version


Elkington & Co: 1909 mark on electroplate silver Giorgio Busetto presents:

Elkington Electroplate Silver /Silver Plate: Marks and Date Letters English version

A widely illustrated study of Elkington electroplate silver marks and date letters.
Elkington & Co. are one of the most important names in English silver and certainly the most important in silver plate. They began life in Birmingham as a company of silversmiths in 1836, and experimented with improving gilding techniques. By 1838 they had discovered and patented a new way to electroplate one metal on to the surface of another. By 1840 production was already underway with silver electroplated wares. The company received financial backing from Josiah Mason in 1842 ...
click here English version


New members

Welcome to new ASCAS members:  

Kazem Derakhshanian - New Zealand
Maureen Dunn - USA
Adrian Fitch - USA
Mario Galasso - Italy
Christophe Ginter - France
Kristin Hardy - USA
Stanley Hindle - Wales UK
Stephen Kerzner - USA
Kathi Jablonsky - USA
Linda Junee - Australia
Robert Massart - Belgium
Harry Morse - USA
Dianne Picket - Australia
Gail Roland - USA
Brienne - Superczynski - USA
Dean Tinkler - USA
Ian Troughton - England UK
Ron Waddling - Canada
Jonatham Weston - England UK  

Members' Window # 35

Elkington & Co silver plate cruet 1851

Giovanni Ciceri presents:

Two Elkington & Co. silver pieces (English version) English version
Due argenti di qualità di Elkington & Co. (Italian version) versione italiana

In the pocket edition of Jackson Hallmarks, Ian Pikford defines Elkington's production as "ranging from the very ordinary to very important design; the quality is always superb"
This is the synthesis of what you may feel in the presence of silverware manufactured by Elkington & Co.
In this "Members' Window" Giovanni Ciceri presents a cruet stand /electroplated silver) and a compote (sterling silver) made by Elkington & Co between Victoria and Edward VII reigns. click here English version       clicca qui versione italiana

Mail to ASCAS: e-mail

Hamid Ghanbarezade writes:
.. last week I bought a new silver. I think it is made in England but I don't know how old it is
Best regards.
Hamid Ghanbarzade

Your fine enamelled jar was made in Birmingham in 1905 but I do not know the name of the maker. I've published your photos and I hope that ASCAS members will be able to identify the silversmith.
Best regards
Giorgio Busetto

Fredric Sinfield writes:
...I'm seeking information about a small dish. It is 80x40mm, weighs 68.5grams, has three feet with masks and beasts for the two handles.
The story is that whilst on holidays in another city nothing of interest was spotted having done the rounds of the stores until a visit to an antique furniture shop.
Expected not to find anything but in a cabinet was the small bowl, it was so dirt encrusted no marks could be seen so it was a speculative purchase on the hunch it was an old piece of silver.
The town mark appears to Augsburg.
Can any member confirm this and identify the maker's mark?
Not sure if it's upside down in the photo.
Also, the significance of the seated knight in the centre of the dish with a banner featuring bear?
Any clues will be appreciated.

Fredric Sinfield writes:
... The Arabic reads as Bron, the only place of that name I can trace is in Ghana. This might explain why floriated designs were chosen in keeping with Islamic decorative practises.
The Europeans were there so it is possible they purchased silver items from the local makers.
I can find no reference to any silversmiths or marks from that region, maybe a reader knows about these pieces which appear to be ladies dressing table accoutrements.
below are the lids showing the designs.

left to right
Fig 1 is 90x50mm, weighs 128grams.
Fig 2 is 75x85mm, weighs 82grams.
Fig 3 is 75x40mm, weighs 78grams.
Marks are illustrated on the second row
  Any ideas or suggestions?


Nicolas Ciarlo writes:
I’m student of Archaeology in Argentina and I’ve been analyzing with metallographic and chemical techniques many spoons from a British shipwreck lost off Patagonia in 1770.
One of them was made of silver and I saw a pair of unexpected diffuse marks on the back side of the bowl.
As you can see in the picture (without scale, the stem is broken) I’m sending you, both letters are separated. The left one is a "T" under a figure that looks like "fleur-de-lis" and the other one is a "B" also under a "fleur-de-lis".
I think those marks are the maker’s ones. And I thought that they were British marks, but a specialist in British ones told me that would be French. I have no written information about the French silver marks and their makers in 18th century.
I really appreciate if you could help me with the source of the complete name of the maker and any information of him, like where the company was located, how long it remained in use, etc.
Finally, why the letters were stamped on the bowl and not on the stem?
Thank you in advance
Best regards


Tomislav Muhic writes:
I have problem with one hallmark found on the Takowo cross, made in period of 1876 till 1878. Usually production of this order was by many Viennese markers, but this piece doesn't match to any of their models.
The crosses of that particular model were awarded in the beginning of the war with Turkey in summer 1876. In that period Austria was strongly against changing the political conditions on the Balkans, mostly because of its interests in Bosnia (later occupied and annexed), so it is almost totally impossible that this order was made in Vienna.
In that time only Russia was supporting Serbia, but unofficially, over the "Slovenian comity". Serbia has terrible loses in that war, what also wasn't of interest to West and Russia, so they started with support in late autumn of 1876. Austria ultimate his help with comfirming its interest in Bosnia by Serbian side, and started to send aid in November of 1876.
My problem is who could possibly make these orders in the summer of 1876. This hallmark is my only lead. The hallmark is rhomboid shape, with letter L on the bottom, and the siluette of the frog (this may be not correct, but is my only information) in the middle.
I'm sending you some pictures. Sorry but I don't have any better, I got this by Serbian collector from Switzerland.
I hope that maybe you can help me.
Best regards,
Tomislav Muhic


Lanfranco Bruschini writes:
these are the images of a silver tray marked with "84" (in Arabic). It has an elaborate embossed rim with figures and another central figure on horse. I believe that "84" refers to purity degree in zolotnicki (system used, beside Russia, also in Iran).
Dimension: 37X25 cms , weight 660 gr.
I'm looking for information about its origin and age.
Thank you for your help.
Lanfranco Bruschini


Fredric Sinfield offers a slightly humorous story related to " Memento mori" piece presented in January Newsletter
Further to the Memento Mori article.
There is a slightly humorous story concerning a box for auction on a Sunday with preview the day prior, so there was no chance to obtain a translation so it was purchased as a speculate piece as the marks were recognised.
It was not until a visit to the Swedish Consulate revealed it was an in memoriam or a "Memento mori" piece as the inscription translated as in memory of S. Rosholm from the Christiania Sick and Funeral Fund and dated 1/9/1905.
To whom the Fund presented the box and why is unknown but it may have been to satisfy a bequest by S. Rosholm.
The box has the State assay mark, the crowned C for Christianstad and C7, the date mark for 1905.
The maker of the 72.5 grams box was Bernt Erlandsson, active from 1867 and who employed up to 32 workers in the workshop of which parts date from the sixteenth century.
Many of his employees immigrated to the Americas in the early 1900 and in 1917 Erlandsson incorporation his manufactory and changed his punches.
When he died in 1926, Johan Olof Grönroos purchased the business.


Debbi Cracovia writes:
I have this cake server that I believe to be from Italy. I wanted to know who the maker is and about when it was made.
Thank you
Debbi Cracovia

Your item was made by Clementi Fabbrica Argenteria. More information is available in my private website at


Darlyn Wummer writes:
I'm trying to find information about the origin and age of my gravy boat with rams head.
Thanks for looking
Darlyn Wummer


Juli Price writes:
I'm wondering if you can help me identify this pitcher. I can't seem to find any info on it. I know that Sheffield uses a crown mark, but it appears to be different than the one stamped on this item. Also, the symbol in the center is a little difficult to capture well in a photo, but the letters are..."e", "c", and "p" underneath them.
Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.


Hymie Dinerstein writes:
enclosed is a photo of a miniature porringer 1 1/4" in diameter, 2 3/8" from handle to handle and 9/16" tall. Wheight is 13 grams. The inside is engraved with a petal motif and the mark is an upper case "I" with a dot in the middle right, struck twice underneath.
I believe it dates from about 1710.
Perhaps ASCAS readers can help.


Kari Helenius writes:
...Here is something for which I hope to get an answer from the fellow members.
I have got two filigree silver cup "covers", which I believe are called zarfs. The diameters at the top are 57 / 55 mm or 2 1/4" / 2 1/8". The heights are 42 / 38 mm or 1 11/16" / 1 1/2 ".
I attach a few pictures. I am interested to know where do these originate, what has been the use, and what is the age.
The zarf # 1 has got a (later made) inner silver cup with a handle (charka) with Moscow marks of 1791. The inner cup also has a screw in the bottom. The Zarf itself has no marks and it is fastened to the cup´s screw with a nut.
The Zarf # 2 is just as it is with no additions. Also no marks. Also this cup is six-fold and there is a bunch of grapes of enamel-work in each section with a colored stone in the middle.
I hope that somebody can give me some idea where these come from.
Best regards


Tony Phillips writes:
...Can anyone help me. I have six spoons carrying the hallmark in the attachment. I know the English hallmark is :-SHEFFIELD 1931/2 and the maker is:-James Dixon and Sons.
I think the one underneath is the import mark but cannot seem to trace it exactly, does anyone know the mark and if possible the date,
Kind Regards


Replies to questions

Janet Rose and Kathy Lattin receive these replies about their small open handled backsaw ( see February Newsletter)
Leslie Gray writes:
I would hazard a guess that the saw in question is a surgical saw used in amputations. Rather gruesome and not my cup of tea but is certainly "collectable". The "EP" amongst the marks must surely refer to electro plate. Sorry I cannot help with the remaining marks, but perhaps other members can.
Yours sincerely,
Leslie Gray
James Baldwin writes:
Suspicions correct. It is Richard Richardson, and I would guess around 1900 in date
James Baldwin
Lloyd Prator writes:
As to Janet and Kathy's electroplate saw with the ivory handles: I would guess this to be a ceremonial item for the opening or dedication of an object or a building, or perhaps the first day of construction of such. I imagine the saw being used to cut through a rope or a wooden barrier to symbolize the onset of construction. Ivory handled trowels were often made for the laying of corner stones, and since they were used only to smear mortar, they could be sterling. A saw would need to be harder, hence its composition of plated hard metal.
Just my guess
Lloyd Prator


Lucia Costa Velosa receives this reply about the marks on her pieces ( see December 2005 Newsletter)
Tomislav Muhic writes:
The pieces that Mrs Velosa have are made in Vienna, and probably exported to Russia. Beside silver marks, there is also the mark VMS. This is the hallmark of well known Viennese producers Vincent Mayer's Sohne. They were also using mark VM.
This was one of the best jeweller's workshop in Vienna, famous producers of orders and decorations, next to Rothe & Neffe. Beside decorations, they also made jewellery and small silver.
The company was founded in the year 1810. There are no reliable data about its early period. In the year 1865. Three sons of Vincenz Mayer - Josef, Vincenz and Franz overtook the workshop and were soon granted with most prestigious title among jewellers: KuK Hoff und Kammer Juweliere. The address of the workshop was Stephansplatz 12 in Vienna. V. Mayer's sohne was the official producer of all classes of Franz Joseph Order, primary in gold.
The company was also supplying the governments of Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Vatican, Persia, Ottoman Empire and many others.
This workshop was closed in the year of 1922, during the post WWI economy crisis.
I send also some pictures for mrs Velosa.
Best regards, Tomislav Muhic


Gino Gatta receives this replies about his WMF item ( see February Newsletter)
Ellen Fuerst writes:
In response to Gino Gatta's question, the item is a biscuit box. Biscuit boxes usually date to the Victorian Era (late nineteenth century). Often the boxes are in the shape of shells and some actually contain 3 compartments instead of the more typical two.
Ellen Fuerst

James Baldwin writes:
It is a folding biscuit box. I don't know much about WMF but in silver plate this would be quite a valuable item, at least £300. In WMF perhaps more? I don't know. I've never seen a walnut one before.
James Baldwin


Victoria and Larry Sherlaw receive this replies about the mark of their spoon ( see February Newsletter)
Wayne Bednersh writes:
These two spoons were made in the Orient (probably China) and the marks are an imitation of the British hallmarking system. The spoons were probably made in the 1870-1885 time period. The quality of the silver is probably around the sterling standard
Wayne Bednersh


Dariusz Malinowski receive these replies about the mark of his sugar bowl ( see February Newsletter)
Charles Cage writes:
Regarding the two Russian items in this month's newsletter, technically they are both Polish, from Warsaw, which was under Russian jurisdiction from 1850 to 1915. Both Dariusz Malinowski's sugar bowl and Ruth Kusiowski's sleigh sculpture have the Imperial eagle and the city mark for Warsaw and the Cyrillic assayer's mark of Josef Sosnkowski, working in Warsaw 1852-1853 and again 1860-1896 (though he used this mark only 1869-1896.) The maker of Dariusz Malinowski's sugar bowl, Ch. Stern is not listed in any reference that I have, though he may be related to the M. L. Stern working in Warsaw in the 1870s. The maker (though not necessarily the designer) of Ruth Kusiowski's sleigh sculpture is T.Werner, for Teoder Werner & S., successors to Karol Malcz and working in Warsaw in the last quarter of the 19th century.
Charles Cage

Adam Goldsmith writes:
Coincidentally the inquiry from Dariusz Malinowski and Ruth Kusiowski are about silver made in Warsaw under Russian rule. I am unable to find anything about the STERN Company but WERNERISA was a firm owned by August Werner which existed between 1867 and 1939. The assaymaster on both pieces O.C is not identified but worked between1871 and 1896. Often when one comes across pieces of Russian silver that have the makers name in English lettering or with symbols such as the one on Dariusz’ piece they are from Warsaw under Russian rule.
Hope this helps
Adam Goldsmith


Ruth Kusiowski receives these replies about the mark of her sculpture ( see February Newsletter)
see replies of Charles Cage and Adam Goldsmith for Dariusz Malinowski's question


Wes Fultz receives this reply about the mark of his spoon ( see February Newsletter)
Wayne Bednersh writes:
This is a very common gold plated spoon. The marks are bogus
Wayne Bednersh




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
a page from the New Illustrated Catalogue 1907-08, The Gordon co., Bridgeport, Conn This month ASCAS presents a page of napkin rings from the The Meriden Britannia Co 1886/7 catalog (image supplied by Terence Hodgen)

detail from a page from the New Illustrated Catalogue 1907-08, The Gordon co., Bridgeport, Conn


In this column we presents an abstract from a page of the "What is? Silver Dictionary"
courtesy of home page
Russian silver coin holder


silver coin holder is a container of cylindrical form used to hold a pile of coins of identical size. Some Russian examples consist of three containers, placed side by side, suitable to hold three pile of coins of different size. An interior spring propelled the stack to the top of the container for an easier removal of the uppermost coin.
The silver sovereign holder was used in England for carrying either full or half gold sovereigns. It had the shape of a locket or of a watch and was often worn on a chain and kept by gentlemen in a waist coat pocket .....


Closing our MARCH 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 James Baldwin (England UK), Wayne Bednersh (USA), Lanfranco Bruschini (Italy), Dorothea Burstyn (Canada), Charles Cage (USA), Nicolas Ciarlo (Argentina), Giovanni Ciceri (Italy), Debbi Cracovia (USA), Hymie Dinerstein (UK), Jayne Dye (USA), Ellen Fuerst (USA), Hamid Ghanbarezade (Iran), Adam Goldsmith (South Africa), Leslie Gray (England UK), Kari Helenius (Finland), Terence Hodgen (Australia), Tomislav Muhic (Croatia), Tony Phillips (England UK), Lloyd Prator (USA), Juli Price , Fredric Sinfield (Australia), Darlyn Wummer (USA) 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.