ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver         newsletter # 13 MAY 2005


As you may see, notwithstanding my appeal in the April Newsletter, this is a full 'Georgian-Italian' newsletter (translation: a newsletter containing only articles written by Giorgio Busetto and his small 'band' of Italian supporters).
Obviously we are utilizing our 'strategic reserves' and we will be unable to maintain our rate of two new articles every month.
Therefore, next newsletters will have only one new article or, maybe, their monthly frequency will be delayed.
Moreover, I've noticed that a percentage of 15-20% of our members don't open our newsletter. Maybe they have lost their interest on our association or they had only an occasional interest on the matter.
Clarifying, I invite all members really interested in partecipating in ASCAS to send an email confirming their membership (just use the 'reply' function to this email).
Obviously, whatever happens, I'll maintain the activity of this website and its archive of articles and informations.
Thanks for your attention.
Giorgio Busetto
ASCAS Secretary


New articles for ASCAS website

silver salt throne Franco Bellino and Giorgio Busetto present 'Silver Salt throne from Tsarist Russia' - 'Saliere a trono dalla Russia Imperiale'. An article on a traditional object of Russian culture which ceased production with Bolshevik revolution of 1917. This article is available in double version English English text - Italiano versione italiana
posy holder
Giorgio Busetto presents 'Posy holder or Tussie Mussie ?', an article on a lady's accessory widely used in 19th century.
click here.
on the left: basket of leaves and flowers fixed into a carved mother-of-pearl handle posy holder

List of members

Welcome to new ASCAS members:


Carol Botti - USA
Christopher Clark - USA
Roberta Collins - USA
Steve Croucher - England UK
Elisio De Jesus - France
Steven Farnworth - England UK
Carol Fleming - Australia
Michelle Fuller - England UK
Glenda Garcia - USA
Georganne Gray - USA
Andy Green - USA
Brenda Harden - USA
Jean Hartwig - France
Kavin Johson - USA
E. Jones - England UK
Ann Killion - USA
John Lawrence - Australia
Anita Lord - England UK
Janjaap Luijt - the Netherlands
Sam Mitchell - USA
Caroline Morelli - USA
Alexander G. Regan - Italy
Pierluigi Rossi - Italy
Barb Seegers - Canada
Ronald E. Taylor - USA
Sarah Thomas - USA
Seppo Tossavainen - Finland
Ian Watkinson - England UK  

ASCAS has now 289 members.
The updated list of ASCAS members is now available by clicking here (only for members)


Members' Window # 13

French 1789 wax jack Giorgio Busetto and Giorgio Guida present 'Wax Jack or Mustard Pot?' - 'Stoppiniera o Mostardiera?'
an antique French mustard pot modified to obtain a wax jack
This page is available in double version
English English text - Italiano
versione italiana


Questions from ASCAS members

Rick Bliss writes:
Can someone identify this mark on an apparent mid-nineteenth century double-swell fiddle pattern soup ladle? The ladle measures 31.5 cm length, 8.5 cm (round) bowl width (no rim flare), ~3 cm bowl depth, ~6.5 tr. oz. The lozenge shape of the mark might tend to imply French manufacture, but there are no other marks present. I have seen similar two-headed eagle marks in Tardy for Russian, Belgian and Netherlands silver, but none are the same, and most are indicated as 50+ years earlier than appropriate for this pattern. Though this mark has a very "silverplate" look to it, the piece seems to be very heavy for its construction, and none of the pits or scratches (including some heavy scratching in the bowl interior) appear to have penetrated through any plating. Besides no surface breaks if it were indeed plated , the piece has some small asymmetries and residual file work more typical of hand-made pieces


unknown hallmark
(click on images to enlarge)

Do any members recognize this hallmark?

Kavin & Cynthia Johnson write:
We have looked at several websites to identify the maker of this candlestick holder and have been unsuccessful. I thought it might be Dutch but have been told it might be American. Thanks for any help you can offer.


candlestick holder candlestick holder candlestick holder
candlestick holder candlestick holder candlestick holder
candlestick unknown hallmark
(click on images to enlarge)

Do any members recognize the mark of this candlestick?

And now two interesting e-mail from France;

Christine and Denis Mercier write:
We believe that our ancestors are Simon Mercier (1683-1771), general controller (contrôleur général), and Marie-Madeleine Bocquet (1681-1750), nursemaid (nourrice) of King Louis XV of France, both native of Versailles.
According to family traditions, a little spoon was gifted by the King to his nursemaid (see the book 'Marie-Madeleine Mercier, nourrice de Louis XV' by Odile Caffin Carcy, Ed. Perrin).
Now I have only a photo supplied by my cousin but I'd greatly appreciate to have more informations about the hallmarks of this small spoon.
Thank you in advance and best regards
Christine et Denis Mercier

nursemaid spoon hallmarks cnursemaid spoon nursemaid spoon hallmarks cnursemaid spoon
(click on images to enlarge)

What a delightful story!
Is someone available to reply to Christine and Denis question?

Mathieu Lanthier writes:
I have a rare A. Michelsen electric Silver Lamp and would like to know if you could tell me more about.
It is a very beautiful and refined example of early Danish functionalism and inspired by the Bauhaus school.
The marks are identified as:
1st: The silver of the lamp was controlled in København 1927 when the lamp was newly made (also I discovered this: P.R. Hinnerup Fabricus 1927)
2nd: Probably 825 S or 925 S which means 825/1000 silver (Sterling Silver)
3rd: The factory 'Kgl. Hofjuveler A. Michelsen' (by appointment to the royal court)
4th: 927 – May be a serial number or a style number
5th: Christian F. Heise, the royal guardein controlling all danish silver (1904-1932), in this case in 1927 (see first mark).
I’ve been asking some institutes about the lamp, such as the Danish Museum of art & Design and they tell me that the lamp is pretty rare and not listed.
I’d be glad to have more information about it.

(click on images to enlarge)
A.Michelsen electric silver lamp A.Michelsen electric silver lamp A.Michelsen electric silver lamp
A.Michelsen electric silver lamp hallmarks A.Michelsen electric silver lamp A.Michelsen electric silver lamp hallmarks

I have found only these informations about Michelsen firm:
Anton Michelsen, Copenhagen: founded in 1841. Executed designs by Mogens Ballin and Thorvald Bindesboll at the beginning of 20th century, in the twenthies by Kay Fisker, and in the thirties by Palle Svenson and Kay Gottlob ( Annelies Krekel-Aalberse: Art Nouveau and Art Deco Silver - Harry N. Abrams inc. Publishers, New York, 1989)
I hope that ASCAS members will be more informative about Mathieu question.


>What is this piece ???

Maurizio Perota writes:
... this is a small item belonged to my wife's grandmother, It look a small box in the shape of a bee, but the hooks under the wings suggests a more specific use.
The bee isn't sterling silver but silvered brass and has English patent mark June 27, 1872 and the maker W. Avery & Son - Redditch.
The bee measures 4 1/2 in. (11 cm.) and the inside opening 2 1/4 in. (5,5 cm.).
Perhaps one of ASCAS members would know the use of this object and has a better acquaintance of W. Avery & Son production....
Maurizio Perota

what is this item?

what is this item? what is this item?

what is this item? what is this item?

what is this item?
(click on images to enlarge)

Perhaps one of ASCAS members would know the use of this object and has a better acquaintance of W. Avery & Son production....
Maurizio Perota


W. Avery & Son box W. Avery & Son box I'm unable to help Maurizio, but I've found on the web another pair of boxes, both with naturalistic images, made by W. Avery & Son.
Maybe this firm was specialized in the production of these objects.


Another interesting information for an approximate dating of English electroplated silver may be the lozenge patent mark used by British Patent Office between 1842 and 1883. click here


Replies to ASCAS questions

Andrea Perego writes about the gravy boat of Ann Schrad on April Newsletter :

The 'A' with a crown seems to be the mark of 'charge' used in Paris 1744-1750.
The 'E' with that crown looks like the mark of Paris, 'maison commune' for the year 1745.
Given this concordance, and from its shape as well, I would believe the gravy dish was made in Paris in 1745. But I'm unable to see and recognize the third mark in your pic.
Andrea Perego

Ann now supplies a new picture of the marks. The 'third mark' is now readable as the mark of silversmith 'CCH'. Maybe someone will be able to identify it.

Carole McKillop-Mash writes about bowl and tray of Greg Faia on April Newsletter :
I'm afraid that Greg and his Wife have been misinformed. The marks on their lovely bowl and tray are Not English Hallmarks.
Kind regards
Carole Mckillop-Mash

hallmarks hallmarks

Obviously these marks refers to silver plate (the maker remains unidentified) and not to sterling silver.

The page of ASCAS RESOURCES has a new addition.
Besides to website addresses there is now a list of books related to silver (hallmarks, silversmiths, history of silversmithing, etc.).
I hope you'll appreciate this novelty.

Tom Guarrera writes:
Although time for managing such things is always short, I've decided that needs a Forum for the discussion and furtherance of hallmarks knowledge.
I've set up the forum software and plan to open it around May 1, the site is already up, but it is presently open only for registration. Please give it a look, the address is
I would appreciate it if you could mention it in your next newsletter and give an invitation to our fellow ASCAS members to drop in and contribute.
Hope all is well.
Best Regards,
Tom Guarrera

The well known 'Silver Magazine' on its May/June 2005 issue publishes my letter on 'Another way of Documenting a Silver Collection'.
The letter follows Bill Chandler's article on March/April issue of 'Silver Magazine' and offers my suggestions for a less conventional way of cataloguing and keeping documentation of a silver collection.
The letter is available on the 'Preview the current issue' of 'Silver Magazine' website (Silver Magazine is published bimonthly by Arts Media Group, Cleveland, Ohio)
Giorgio Busetto


Closing our May newsletter I hope you have appreciated its content.
Your comments, suggestions and advices will be of great help.
My thanks to Franco Bellino, Rick Bliss, Jayne Dye, Tom Guarrera, Giorgio Guida, Kavin and Cynthia Johnson, Mathieu Lanthier, Carole Mckillop-Mash, Christine and Denis Mercier, Maurizio Perota for their precious contributions.

Giorgio Busetto