ASCAS
Association 
of Small Collectors
of Antique Silver ASSOCIATION OF SMALL COLLECTORS OF ANTIQUE SILVER
ASCAS

  versione italiana article # 10

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by Giovanni Ciceri
 
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WHEN SILVER TELLS A STORY

Antique silvers and mainly silverware of common use are part of the life of their owners.
These items may tell us a story of people living in the past and can retain a memory of some important event in their life. It is common to find some antique silvers bearing an inscription or simply a coat of arm or a family crest.
At least in the United Kingdom coat of arms were mainly used before 1800 to denote that a particular silverware was created for or belongs to some nobility, and it was often impressed together with a motto on little beakers, mugs, salvers, tankards, coffee and tea pots.
During the XIX century coat of arms were often replaced by a smaller and less impressive family crest.
Inscriptions can be found on very early silver but their use became more extensive during the XIX century. This practice was in use till the last decade of the XIX century when went rapidly out of fashion, leading to a removal of many original inscriptions and coat of arms from the silverware.
A new period of fashion was just after the first world war, during the reign of George V.
A typical English silverware bearing inscriptions are christening mugs and trophy. Coat of arms and inscriptions can be often found in modern items on commemorative silvers.
Some examples taken from my collection:

Coat of arms and family crests

Coat of arms or family crest: horse head with three panachesCoat of arms or family crest on a helmet shaped helmet shaped 
Georgian 
cream jugGeorgian cream jug. Hallmarks for London 1788, maker mark James Mince & William Hodgkins.
The crest represents a horse head with three panaches on it.
hallmarks London 1788
maker mark 
James Mince 
& William Hodgkins

 

 

 

crest: stilt-bird holding a sac with the billy-goatFamily crest onneo-rococo Georgian coffee pot or hot water jug a neo-rococo Georgian coffee pot or hot water jug.
Hallmarks for Sheffield 1823, maker mark Smith, Tate, Hoult & Tate.
The crest represents a stilt-bird holding a sac with the billy-goat.
hallmarks Sheffield 1823 maker mark Smith, Tate, Hoult & Tate

 

 

 

crest:
a ribbon holding 
three dartsVictorian 
'Queen Anne' 
bachelor tea setFamily crest on a Victorian 'Queen Anne' bachelor tea set.
Hallmarks for London 1886, maker mark Edward Hutton; retailer Goldsmith & Silversmith Company, 112 Regent Street, London.
The crest represents a ribbon holding three darts.
hallmarks
London 1886
maker mark Edward Hutton
retailer Goldsmith & Silversmith Company

 

 

 

Coat of Arms 
and motto 
of WindsorCommemorative dish 
with Coat of Arms 
and motto of WindsorCommemorative dish with the Coat of Arms and motto of Windsor.
Hallmarks for Birmingham 1977, maker mark not traceable.
The plate is bearing the optional silver jubilee mark for the 25th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elisabeth II.
The inscription reports the motto 'Dieu et mon Droit' as well as Royal Silver Jubilee, 1952-1977.
hallmarks
Birmingham 1977
maker mark not traceableinscription with motto 
Dieu et mon Droit 
and Royal Silver Jubilee, 1952-1977

 

Inscriptions

inscription 
engraved 
inside the lip hallmarks London 1836 
maker marks R. Pearce & G. Burrous hallmarks London 1834 
maker marks John & Joseph Angel Mellon shaped William IV large tea set.
Hallmarks for London 1834 (sugar bowl) and 1836 (tea pot and cream jug), maker marks John & Joseph Angel (sugar bowl) and R. Pearce & G. Burrous (tea pot and cream jug).
The inscription (engraved inside the lip) says:

This Teapot with a creamjug
was presented to Mr.Geo.LANE
by the inhabitants of Cirencester
as a token of their approbation of
his conduct as Governor of the
Workhouse, and Afsisistant Overseer
of said Parish,
20th of July 1836

mellon shaped 
William IV 
large tea setApart from the inscription we can learn something more from this tea set being the teapot and the cream jug made by R. Pearce & G. Burrous to mach a sugar bowl made by John & Joseph Angel two years before (maybe already of property of Mr. Geo. Lane).
It is now very interesting to compare the quality of the teapot and cream jug with respect the sugar bowl. It seems evident that the piece made by Angel (a very fine family of silversmiths) is of superior quality in proportion and finishing.

 

inscription on 
Victorian gobletVictorian goblet Victorian goblet. Hallmarks for Dublin 1870, maker mark John Morton It was use as trophy for a cattle competition.
The inscription says:
'Workington and District Agricultural Society - presented by Ernest Beebee for the best animal in the Ayrshire cattle classes'
.
 

 

inscription on
Victorian oil 
or kerosene lamp Victorian 
oil or kerosene 
lamp Victorian oil or kerosene lamp (electrify in the XX century). Hallmarks for London 1886, maker mark Edward Barnard & sons Ltd.
The inscription on this very rare and high quality item says:
'Presented to Reverend Edmund J. F. & Mrs. Johnson by the Parishioners of Elmore, as a token of esteem and respect for great kindness and liberality exercised during four years stay in the Parish. May 1888'

 
inscription on Victorian 
oil or kerosene 
lamp hallmarks 
London 1886
maker mark Edward Barnard & sons Ltd

 

inscription
on Victorian salverVictorian salver 
with gadroon 
and shell border Hand engraved Victorian salver with gadroon and shell border.
Hallmarks for London 1894, maker mark not traceable.
The inscription says:
'Mark to esteem to Captain William Mabel on his marriage from his owners John I. Jacobs & Co. September 7th 1895'
hallmarks London 1894
maker  mark not traceable
copyright Giovanni Ciceri