ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver         newsletter # 51 - AUGUST 2008
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A new article for ASCAS website

  vesta case: Chester 1905

Robert Massart presents:

Determining the profile of English silver makers
Silver Vesta cases between 19th and 20th century
English version

...It is quite self-evident that collectors of silverware try to widen their knowledge related to the items obtained through bargaining on markets, heritage, purchases on internet, etc. The many requests of members to ASCAS asking for information concerning silver items in their possession are a good example of this obvious statement......

click here English version


New members

Welcome to new ASCAS members:  

J.D. Brewster - USA
Linda Dempsey - USA
Michael Deshaies - USA
Sebastiano Gardoni - Italy - Brazil
Richard Hyman - USA
Andrew Lawton - Australia
Dee M... - USA
Andrew Morrish - England UK
David Nikogosyan - Ireland
Alexander Rose - USA
Bram Sonneveld - The Netherlands
Bill Whittaker - USA

Members' Window # 51

Palermo silver mark: town mark

Giorgio Busetto presents:

A Silver Chalice from Sicily
Marks and Hallmarks of Sicilian Silver of 18th Century English version

... Italian marks are little known and scarcely documented.
Moreover the books dealing with this matter are in Italian and, most of them, out of print.....
....this is anyway an excellent occasion for an English comment about silver hallmarks used in Sicily (Italy) in the 18th century....

click here English version

Mail to ASCAS: e-mail

Dominique Mayeux writes:
... with the help of I was able to identify some of the marks of my spoon. If I'm not wrong
- St George for Moscow 1892
- 84 for silver quality 84 zol. = 875/1000
- A.C for Aleksandr Alekseevich Smirnov (assayer)
- 1894 as for date of manufacturing
- BUT ... who is this "silversmith CK" ???
I found this "plique à jour" in Cairo
My thanks to who may tell me the utility of this spoon
- sugar ?
- caviar ?
- item of display/decorative ?
Best regards
Dominique Mayeux 

The maker is Syemyen Kazakov, active in Moscow 1889/1908.
In my opinion these spoons were only decorative objects
By the way; I believe that your spoon has a "cloisonné" and not "plique-à-jour" decoration.
Cloisonné is a type of decoration obtained using enamel on a metal base in which the design is outlined by metal fillets (cloisons in French) secured to the metal (ref: Dictionary of Silverware).
The plique-à-jour technique is designed to produce an effect of a stained-glass window in miniature through the use of translucent enamels. The technique is exactly the same as cloisonné enamelling except that the strips of metal forming the cells are only temporarily attached-not soldered-to a metal base to which the enamel will not stick (ref: Britannica).
Giorgio Busetto

Journe Y. writes:
...I was trying to find out information on 2 items I got, but not sure what they might be worth...
They are 800 silver by Otto Schneider and came from Germany. They are 2 identical tankards with the lid is the Head of an Eagle, and the rest of the body goes down the tanker. They have German letters and a name you can read. One of them has "55th Inf Brigade Kaiser Wilhelm 1 No110". They had a letter inside where it read to her daughter that she got the tankards in an attic in 1946 in the former headquarter building in Hidedelberg Germany that was being occupied by the U.S third army staff.
I have a few pics if you might have seen something like this before...thank you for any information you can give me.

Marcos Sartirana writes:
...... I enclose the images of a spoon I have. Any information would be highly appreciated. Marcos Sartirana, (2-1-1978)  

The marks of your spoon were identified by Geldolph Everts as "Soviet Russia" (see June 2008 Newsletter). The oddity is the well identifiable German symbol inscribed on the handle
Giorgio Busetto

Sebastiano Gardoni writes:
... I need your help to identify the marks of this silver sweetmeat dish (I believe it was made in Paris, 1760 c.)

... and on this Dutch bowl (bearing also London 1903 import marks)
Thank you for any help you can supply.
Sebastiano Gardoni

Svein Solhjell writes:
... I have purchased this silver fork in Sweden, but I believe it is of foreign origin. I guess it is French based on the design, but this is only a guess. A crowned coat-of-arms on what is to day the back, has been (almost) wiped off and a new initial replaced it.
The maker's mark has a star on top and below first an "I" and then a dot and then perhaps a second "I", but this is unclear. No country or town marks.
Can you help me with the identification?
Best regards
Svein Solhjell  

Replies to questions

Josephine Lewis receives this reply about her silver "quaich" ( see July Newsletter)
Janjaap Luijt writes:
... Although the marks are not well readable, I recognize the Dutch lion in the middle and one mark as a makers mark (something W*). The other four marks are pseudo-marks. Perhaps Josephine is able to find two other marks in the decorations on the handles.
Met vriendelijke groet,
Janjaap Luijt

Patricia Lozano receives this reply about her Sheffield candlesticks ( see July 2008 Newsletter)
Lloyd Prator writes:
...I look all through Jacksons and Culme, and found no FE mark that looked right. However, I have a book from the Sheffield Library, written by Jacqueline Richardson, the librarian, in 1997. In that book, she lists a similar mark as an early mark of Frederick Elkington. Elkington later became a notable Birmingham smith.
So, what do you think? Early Elkington piece? Someone else?
Lloyd Prator

Susan Harley receives this reply about her silver pieces ( see July 2008 Newsletter)
Christophe Ginter writes:
... Actually, the marks are not fancy ones from Hanau or anywhere else.
These marks may be described as follows:
- big mark on the left is a crowned A that was used in Paris from 1722 up to 1727, for "charging" the silver devices (the silversmith declared to the tax authorities that he had received an order for making the bowls. Hence this mark that was set before finalizing the bowls).
- second mark = RM with star in-between, under a crowned Fleur de Lys, for the silversmith: Robert MOTHE, registered in Paris in 1704. The mark was set together with the "charge" mark.
- then a crowned I , confirming that the bowls have a reliable silver title. This letter indicates, too, that the bowls were sold in 1725, precisely.
- finally, the last mark on the right, that was used in Paris from 1722 up to 1727 for "discharging" the bowls, i.e confirming that the tax has been duly paid to the authorities. This is a human (childish) face within a sun.
Regarding the small mark on the left, I cannot read on the picture what it is.
It is sure that it is not an 18th century French mark, maybe not French at all (i.e. the devices were controlled later elsewhere for confirming the silver content).
The good state of these marks may not appear surprising for such devices, as marks are set on the bottom, allowing a very good conservation.
On the other hand, all marks are actually corresponding to original ones.
There is no obvious mistake that would mean counterfeiting.
Congratulations to the happy few.
Christophe Ginter

Wulich Bronia supplies the translation of Russian text of R.PLEVKEVICH & CO advertising on " A Page per Month" in June 2008 Newsletter
An advertising by R.PLEVKEVICH & CO - WARSAW (POLAND) Russian text translation:

Factory of a silverplated and goldplated metallic wares
Joint-stock company
R. Plevkevich & Co



In this column we present a page obtained from makers' brochures, books, auction catalogs, advertising or whatever other printed paper related to silver, which may be of interest for ASCAS members.
The images will be published at a "low resolution" level and for private and personal use only
This month ASCAS presents a "fresco" representing King Assuer and Esther banquet painted in 1625 c. by Giovanni Carlone in Villa Soprani of Genoa-Albaro (Italy).
(from Argenti Colombiani, Sagep Editrice, Genova 1988)
King Assuer and Esther banquet painted by Giovanni Carlone
The painting offers an excellent image of how Italian nobility of the 17th century organized their dinner tables (plates, knives, salts, tazzas, etc.) and displayed on the sideboards their ornamental silver pieces.
King Assuer and Esther banquet painted by Giovanni Carlone


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


Mether is a drinking-vessel of Celtic origin used in Ireland to drink mead, an alcoholic beverage made of honey, water and yeast.
Early examples found in bogs are four sided wooden cups with three or four handles elongated at the end, so they end parallel to the base.
Silver examples based on ancient wooden prototypes were manufactured since the 18th century and at the beginning of the 20th century many UK makers resumed the manufacture of silver mether cups, often used as presentation cups or as a child's Christening mug......


In this column we present books, new or ancient, dealing with silver in all its aspects (history, marks, oddities...). This isn't a "book review" but only a fair presentation of some useful "tools" that anyone may have in the shelf of his bookcase.
ASCAS members are invited to contribute to this column
(click to enlarge images)

The "book on the shelf" of this month is presented by Karin Sixl-Daniell:


Taplinger Publishing Co. Inc. New York - 1965
Adam Silver 1765-1795 by Robert Rowe Adam Silver 1765-1795 by Robert Rowe


Closing our AUGUST 2008 edition of ASCAS Newsletter I hope you have appreciated its content.
Your comments, suggestions and advice will be of great help.

My thanks to Wulich Bronia, Jayne Dye, Sebastiano Gardoni, Christophe Ginter, Journe Y., Janjaap Luijt, Robert Massart, Dominique Mayeux, Lloyd Prator, Marcos Sartirana, Karin Sixl-Daniell, Svein Solhjell and JoAnne Wilkinson for their invaluable contributions.

Giorgio Busetto
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