Pierre Gagnaux presents:
Story of a forgery
Histoire de faux
a fake icon and a fake silver 'riza'.
How to discover a well planned theft
Joanne Wiertella presents:
American Art Metal Jewelry Boxes 1900-1925
Jewel boxes, also called 'caskets', gained great favor
-from the tiniest ring box to the very large
handkerchief and glove boxes. They were made of cast
metal, first plated with copper, then with silver or
Joanna Wiertella offers an introduction to American
Metal Jewelry Boxes from 1900 - 1925 from her book on
these fascinating objects.
Welcome to new ASCAS members:
Sharon Bares - USA
Michael Blake - England UK
David Elyea - USA
Sheila Felker - USA
Fritz Guercke - Germany
Miles Harrison - England UK
Hilda Hayson - USA
Karl Ickes - USA
Glen Jacobs - New Zealand
Maria Letizia Lombardi - Italy
Pauline McClafferty - Canada
Mimi Sansbury - USA
Donna Schoyen - Canada
Pat Steen - Northern Ireland UK
Hada Shamma - UAE
Roland Swälas - Sweden
Alan Taylor - England UK
Members' Window # 25
Hymie Dinerstein presents:
A Danish sterling silver bowl
A Danish bowl or drinking vessel with a swan holding the
bowl, possibly made to commemorate the fairy story 'The
ugly duckling' by Hans Christian Andersen.
Lars Björkman writes:
...... I have a question concerning half a dozen of Scottish
dessert spoons made by Robert Gray & Son in Glasgow but
hallmarked in Edinburgh 1814 (Glasgow did not have hallmark
rights at that time). My problem is that I do not know whom to
ask for the family/clan crest on the up-side of the spoon.
I have gone through hundreds of crests, some of which are
similar but none has exactly the same arm holding the weapon
which looks like a flail. You must have contacts among Scottish
silver experts who can help out with this
Best regards from Gothenburg where finally the snow is melting
Hymie Dinerstein writes
.....enclosed are photos of a hoof-opped spoon, silver gilt,
with mother of pearl flat bowl (unmarked) which I believe is
Have your readers ever seen one like this.
Any comments will be welcome
Carmen Damian writes:
this is a wonderful candy dish, diameter 15 cm, h=7 cm, weights=260
g, but have only mark 'E 69 800'-
What can be?
Greg Montana writes:
... Hello Giorgio, I mentioned to you a couple of months ago
that if I purchase this cross I will send the pictures for your
newsletter. Here are the pictures of a silver cross which was a
possession of the last Empress of Russia Alexandra Feodorovna.
The engraving is in Russian Church Slavonic and says:
The storehouse of Her Imperial Majesty, Empress of Russia
Its provenance: it belonged to a Russian noble family in
I hope you enjoy the pictures.
This is the opinion of Pierre Gagnaux,
known to ASCAS members for his articles about Russian silver
(an article is published also in this Newsletter):
...For the russian piece of silver,
it dates between 1908-1917, Moscow, and the silversmith is
Vasily Semenov. The quality is not good enough for an Imperial
present to an important person. I think it was a simple gift for
somebody who has something to do with the Russian Empire. There
are thousands of gifts made to people working around the
Imperial family and this cross has a very simple engraving,
partially machine made. I think it was a gift for a nurse or
somebody equivalent as it's really too cheap for a noble or a
dignitary. It may possibly belong to a noble family, but in this
case the family was of little importance.
is an interesting and nice piece but of moderate interest for me.
Svein Solhjell writes:
... I would like to find out more (origin and date especially) about this antique salt.
Here I send a picture showing the hallmarks. GG for the maker, I
think, and the interesting one: Above the line 3 'fishes' and
below it may be a sort of I2, perhaps IL or maybe a n?
Ian Crowland writes:
... I have been trying to research the silver item shown in
Having slaved over page upon page of heraldic pages I have given
up and remain undecided as to the origins of this piece be it
Russian or German.
There is no hallmark to help and the only markings are shown in
the third attachment. I guess that the piece is 'plated' an
assumption based on the lack of a hallmark.
I would welcome any help on this item and thank you in advance.
Georgetta Schnurr writes:
...I'm looking for any information on a tea set that I have
acquired and I hope that maybe you can help me. I need help on
identifying the stamps on it. In order the stamps are:
a cat with it's right paw held up and it's head facing towards
you, two Gothic looking letters that appear to be P S and a five
Thank you so much for your time.
Replies to members' questions
receives this reply about his wine tester question
( see April Newsletter)
Charles C. Cage writes:
Regarding P-G Beghin¹s wine taster, I believe it is
from Dijon, France, 1775-76. 'Les orfèvres de Bourgogne'
by Armand de Chassey, et al. (Paris: Éditions du
Patrimone, 1999) identifies the marks as follows:
Z, crowned: Dijon warden¹s mark, used Jul 1775-Jul 1776
P, crowned: Dijon excise ('charge' mark), used 1775-1781
(no discharge mark used during this period)
F, below the arms of Dijon: the maker's mark. This exact
mark is not found in 'Les orfèvres de Bourgogne', but it
strongly resembles that of Jean-Baptiste Foucherot
(1754-after 1799, master 1779). As it cannot be
Foucherot's (who did not become a master until 1779 and
therefore could not have used a mark in 1775-76), I
suspect it is that of his father Pierre Foucherot
(1727-1807, master 1750), whose mark is not illustrated.
The excise mark is properly called the 'charge' mark. In
the practice of the time, a French silversmith would
strike his mark on a roughly shaped item and then take
it to the Guild hall where the wardens would test it for
purity and stamp it with their mark, a date letter
(here, Z) which changed annually. Then he would take the
piece to the 'tax farmer' who would weigh the piece,
charge the appropriate duty and stamp it with his
'charge' mark (for Dijon, the letter P, crowned). After
this procedure, the silversmith was free to complete the
Once done, he would return the piece to the tax farmer
in finished condition, where it would again be weighed
and the amount of duty reconciled with the piece's
Then the item was struck with the farmer's 'discharge'
mark, and the silversmith was free to sell the piece or
deliver it to his patron.
'Les orfèvres de Bourgogne' was indicating by the 'pas
de décharge' notation that the tax farmer of 1775-1781
did not use a discharge mark. Therefore, the second
mark's description should read as follows:
P, crowned: Dijon excise (or 'charge' mark), used
1775-1781; no discharge mark used during this period.
Charles C. Cage
Les Salvage receives this reply about his butter knife
( see April Newsletter) '
Geoffrey Axt writes:
.... in response to Les Salvage's inquiry about his
butter knife, the object was made by Henry Hobson & Son
at 92 Queen Street, Sheffield.
This firm of manufacturing silversmiths specialized in
Reference: The Directory of Gold and Silversmiths
(1838-1914) by John Culme, Vol. 1, page 233.
"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, that 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 the images of two 'old sheffield plate'
- cucumber slicer, c. 1830
- lantern with bead mounts, c. 1795
This image is a page of the book "Old Sheffield Plate"
by Edward Wenham
G. Bell and Sons, Ltd
In April Newsletter
(click here) ASCAS presented the images of ancient
silversmith's tools from Planche V 'Outils' of L'Encyclopèdie
Diderot & D'Alambert, coupled to the table of the
corresponding 'legend' containing the French name of
each tool. I'm still unable to offer the complete
English translation of the page, but some useful
information was obtained from the RIO GRANDE (Albuquerque)
sale catalog "Tools & Equipment 2004".
The Jewelers Basic Hand Tool Kit illustrated below
comprises; saw frame, saw blades, pliers (plain, round,
chain) and cutters, straight blade shears, mallet,
chasing hammer, forming hammer, riveting hammer, finger
gauge set, cut hand files (flat, half-round, hal-round
ring, square and barrette), cut needle files (equalling
three square, half round, round, square, barrette),
tweezer, bent burnisher, bench pin and anvil...
files: barrette, half-round ring,
half-round, square, flat
chasing tool set
set of files: half-round, barrette,
three-square, round, equalling, warding, square,
crossing, knife, round-off
hammer: ball peen, chasing, lead-filled
mallet, brass-head, riveting
Grazie al cortese aiuto di Paolo Leonelli ASCAS è in grado di
fornire anche la traduzione in italiano della maggior parte
degli attrezzi contenuti nella tavola dell'Encyclopèdie Diderot
& D'Alambert. Alcuni degli attrezzi sono poco decifrabili
nell'illustrazione, ma nella maggior parte sono ancora
utilizzati nelle (poche) botteghe ancora operanti in Italia (il
# corrisponde a quello indicato sulla tavola dell'Encyclopèdie):
Attrezzi da argentiere e cesellatore:
1) Tasso B supporto in legno - 2)Tasso da banco - 3) Bicornia da
banco A punta quadrata B punta tonda 4) Piatto con pece per
cesello - 5) Martello in legno ? - 6) Martello in legno ? - 7)
Martello da cesellatore o mazzetta - 8) Martello da cesellatore
o mazzetta - 9) Bottoniera - 10) Fino a 20) scalpelli e ferri da
cesello - 21) e 22) Punte per trapano ad arco - 23) Trapano ad
arco - 24) e 25) Punte per smaltare ? - 26) e 27) Limette - 28)
e 29) Brunitori - 30) Lima piana - 31) Lima mezza tonda - 32)
Lima quadrata - 33) Lima a coltello - 34) Lima a triangolo - 35)
Lima a coda di topo - 36) Lima ovale - 37) Raspa - 38) Raspa
mezza tonda - 39) Raspa quadrata - 40) Raspa a coda di topo -
41) Limette da traforo varie sagome
Paolo Leonelli organizzerà tra poco un corso di sbalzo e cesello
(vedi sotto per maggiori informazioni)
What is this piece ???
Mary Clarke 'mystery items'(
see April Newsletter) receives this reply:
Paolo Leonelli writes:
.... I believe that the items of Mary Clarke on 'What is
this piece ???' (April Newsletter) are a roast fork and a knife
sharpener belonging, maybe, to a travel set.
Un'altra informazione che può interessare i lettori italiani:
ad ottobre darò il via al primo corso di sbalzo e cesello
destinato a tutte le persone che per hobby o per lavoro sono
interessate ad apprendere questa antica tecnica di lavorazione
del metallo. Il corso si svolgerà a Roma. Tra poco sarà visibile
sul sito Internet www.argentiantichi.it la scheda del
Chi fosse interessato può contattarmi e sarò lieto di dare
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interest in antique silver.
It is a no-profit association without commercial links.
Membership is open to whomever have a true interest in
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