ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver         newsletter # 63 AUGUST 2009     SITE MAP
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A new article for ASCAS website

A 1757 silver shilling ladle
Richard Hyman presents:

The use of coins in punch or toddy ladles English version

..........Can we use the coins better to date the ladles, why were the coins used, what coins were used?
I'll first offer my hypotheses and some observations on collecting. I'll follow with opinions solicited from reputable collectors and dealers in silver and coins.........
click here English version

New members

Welcome to new ASCAS members:  

Peter Barnes - Canada
Ashok Jain - India
Stefaan Lootens - Belgium
Eddie Robinson - Australia
Michael Shatkin - USA
Kremena Ivanova Vassileva - Dubai - UAE
top page - page map

Members' Window # 63/1

A teapot made by WMF between 1910 and 1918
Prof. David N. Nikogosyan presents his sixth work about

Marks of European Silver Plate:
VI. WMF Württembergische Metallwarenfabrik, Germany
English version

Being to Budapest in 2003, I was amazed by the beauty of its Art Nouveau buildings in the local "Secession" style. After visiting one of such buildings on Ulloi street, 33-37, housing the Museum of Applied Arts, I dropped in a small antique shop, situated nearby, and "fell in love" with a gorgeous Art Nouveau item, a silver-plated teapot with a black Ebony handle. This item cost about 120 $, and I had not enough money with me. So, I was forced to return back to my hotel (situated on the hills on the opposite bank of the Danube), and then again back to the shop for my purchase, which turned out to be my first WMF item.......     
click here
English version

Members' Window # 63/2

Russian 875 mark
Dov Wulich presents

Russian Fakes - A differing opinion English version
click here English version

Just one year ago Fred Sinfield died in Sydney (July 26, 2008). ASCAS lost a great friend who contributed to its success with many articles and information.
Fred continues to participate to ASCAS website with this new Members' Window, where Dov Wulich deals with the "controversial" Russian mark illustrated in Fred's last work (Members' Window #44)

Mail to ASCAS: e-mail

Claudio Degliesposti writes:
...I'm trying to identify a set of 5 forks and 5 spoons made in sterling silver that I have owned for many years and that were bought as XIX century high grade Italian silver.
The marks are similar, but with different initials, to the mark of Giuseppe Vernoni, assayer (see November 2008 Newsletter). The set seems to me very interesting for its shape, simple yet so elegant, and its considerable weight (each spoon 80 grams / fork 70 grams).
I will be very happy to know more...
Claudio Degliesposti
In my opinion the mark GBC with crown and cross inside a shield is the mark of silversmith Gerolamo Curione, Asti, ...1782-1808.... The mark (not illustrated with an image) in Donaver-Dabbene book is described as "una corona sopra G.B.C. (a crown over G.B.C.)".
The mark BC inside a beaded contour belongs (possibly) to the same silversmith (Gerolamo Curione) active in 1803 as assayer at Asti Assay Office.
Further information about Kingdom of Sardinia (Piedmont) marks are available in my private website at
Giorgio Busetto

Ludo D'Haese writes:
I need your help in identifying the mark of this Italian silversmith. Any halp will be greatly appreciated.
Bien à vous
Ludo D’Haese
The maker is F.lli Magrino, Argentieri in Firenze, di Goffredo ed Alessandro Magrino s.n.c.
Via Boccaccio 16-18, GRASSINA (FI)
Giorgio Busetto

José Luis Muñoz writes:
I have no idea about the mysterious mark in this bowl and plate. Your suggestion will be welcome.
Recibe mi mas coordial saludo
José Luis Muñoz

Susan Pfau writes:
I wonder if you can tell me where to send these pictures for identification?
The wishbone is hinged. The "heart" measures 4-1/4" x 3-1/4".
I'm bewildered. Thanks so much for any light you can shed.
Susan Pfau
The maker of your item is GREY & Co, Gold & Silver workers. This mark was entered at London Assay Office by Sidney Oldridge, 13th September 1900.
The firm was founded by William Grey in 1876 and from 1886 to 1936 was active under the style of Grey & Co.
Grey & Co was noted for their novelties in silver and supplied retail establishments such as Asprey & Co (London) and P. Orr & Sons (Madras, Rangoon & Calcutta).
Giorgio Busetto

Carlo Bboy writes:
I'd wish to know the makers of these items. Thanks in advance
The maker of the covered bowl is HAWKSWORTH, EYRE & CO, while the maker of the kettle is THOMAS WILKINSON & SONS.
Further information about these makers are available in my website at and at
Giorgio Busetto

Michael Shatkin writes:
I'm looking for something about this travel set. I send some pictures hoping to find more about its origin and maker
Michael Shatkin
Any information will be greatly appreciated
Giorgio Busetto

John J. Yale writes:
I'd be grateful if you could cast your eye over the attached picture. It's a fiddle pattern ladle - 6 1/8" long x 1 1/2" across the bowl. I expected to find it's hallmarks to be Scottish from the design and size of the ladle but I don't recognise the maker or the dragon type symbol?
John J. Yale
The "dragon" mark has some resemblance with the "eagle" used in Perth
(see at but, anyway, I'm not sure and unable to identify the maker.
I hope that ASCAS readers will be able to reply to your question.
Giorgio Busetto

Bette G. Bell writes:
I am trying to find the maker of an English silverplated tray, and have spent several hours trying to track it down, using my library (moderately large) and the Internet. I have attached a photo of the mark and the tray. It is nothing spectacular, but I just hate not to find what I am looking for.
Any thoughts, ideas or direction will be greatly appreciated.
Bette G. Bell
Suggestions are needed
Giorgio Busetto

Replies to questions

Alessandro Colemann receives this reply about his French flatware
(see July 2009 Newsletter)
Charles C. Cage writes:
The mark on Alessandro Colemann’s French sweetmeat set (DL + a rat and star) is that of Alexis-Désiré Lerat, 44 rue Sainte-Avoye, Paris. It was registered on 11 Mar 1842 and cancelled 8 Nov 1843.
The mark on his spoon (NPB + a wallflower with five leaves) is that of Nicolaus-Pierre Béguin, 6 place Dauphine, Paris. His first mark was registered 26 May 1840 and cancelled 11 Feb 1847, with an identical second mark registered 3 May 1847. There is no record of cancellation of this second mark, but he is thought not to have worked much past 1847. He was certainly no longer working by August 1855, when his shop was occupied by silversmith Hippolyte Thomas.
Charles C. Cage

Dominique Bochet receives these replies about his silver spoons
(see July 2009 Newsletter)
Charles C. Cage writes:
Dominique Bochet's spoons are Belgian. The '85' mark represents the year 1785, and it is flanked by the marks for Brussels: a crowned lion and the head of St. Michael. The leftmost mark is the maker's mark (an eye), and is attributed to Theodorus Smeesters (Master 1758).
Charles C. Cage
Hugo Keymeulen writes:
This is a good Belgian spoon from Brussels. The marks from the left:
An eye is from the well-known master Theodorus Smeesters, master from 29/05/1758,dean from 1766-1767 until 1771-1772
Then the crowned climbing lion mark is the city mark for Brussel (Brussels) XVIII
85 for he year 1785
The head with the cross is known as 'Sint Michiels', patron saint Brussel (Brussels)
Hugo Keymeulen
Philippe d'Arschot writes:
The answer is:
Marks of Brussels, (Belgium), 1785, master Theodorus Smeesters.
Philippe d'Arschot
André Van den Kerkhove writes:
I can inform that the spoon was made in Brussels.
Marks: master mark, angel Michael (city mark), 17(85) (year) and lion rampant (citymark).
If interested in the maker I need a good photograph to identify him
André Van den Kerkhove

David Mckinley has a deep interest on silver mote spoons, their manufacture, shape, marking and possible use. A long article written by David about this subject matter will be published in one of our next newsletters.
Herewith what he writes about his experiments on mote spoon's use
Giorgio Busetto

I am glad that Malcolm Rice (see July Newsletter) found my article on fake mote spoons interesting and to answer his question about what sort of tea I used in my experiments I have repeated them although when I first carried out these experiments I purposely bought large leaf tea which allowed only quite small tea dust specks into the cup. This time the largest leaf I found in our kitchen was Lapsang Souchong. I used three mote spoons in this experiment; an early one with simple holes in the bowl, a mid 18th century one with scroll-work piercing and a later one with crosslets.
I was prompted to carry out these experiments because of the use of the word ‘mote’ (which means small speck) in renaming this spoon in the 19th century.
None of my spoons would remove what I would describe as a small speck. The early one with simple holes removed larger debris as did the later one with crosslets. The mid century one with open scroll-work removed only stick-like pieces of debris but allowed through anything more compact unless quite large.
In conclusion I have to admit that there is still considerable debate about what these spoons were used for and I could be proved quite wrong in my assumptions. I would be interested to hear the views of other members.
David Mckinley


In this column we present a page obtained from makers' brochures, books, auction catalogs, advertising or whatever other printed paper, related to silver, that may be of interest for ASCAS members.
The images will be published at a "low resolution" level and for private and personal use only
map of Scotland
This month ASCAS presents Sir Edward Thomason's Manufactory at 28 Church Street, Birmingham, taken over in 1835 by George Richmond & Co (from Pigot's Directory of Birmingham).

George Richmond Collis succeeded to the business of Sir Edward Thomason (1769-1849) on his retirement in 1835. The firm, under the management of G.R. Collis, continued to produce a vast range of goods in "gold, silver, Plated-bronze and Or-Molu". The firm opened a branch in London c. 1847. The factory moved c. 1868 to Cambridge Street, Birmingham and the firm of Collis & Co was absorbed by S.W. Smith & Co in 1888.


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


A mazarine is an oval pierced plate plate placed on top of a bowl and is used in serving the fish. These drainers range in lenght from about 30 to 60 cm.
The origin of the term mazarine is uncertain, but is generally said not to be derived from Cardinal Mazarin, who died before such pieces were used.
The mazarine was made from the early years of the 18th century, but examples of any date are not plentiful.....


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 my shelf" of this month presents:

The Price Guide to Old sheffield Plate, book, 1971
A commentator wrote:
Tom Frost was educated at Sedbergh and at Leeds University. He has always been a collector and he graduated from tram tickets to stamps at a very early age.
He is a members of the Wine Label Circle, and it was his interest in wine labels and silver which first introduced him to Old Sheffield Plate.
Apart from beeing less expensive than silver, he finds that Old Sheffield Plate, with its varying modes of manufacture, its consistently good quality, the skilful way in which it is assembled and its unique beauty, has much to commend it to the collector who is looking for new fields of interest.
The Price Guide to Old sheffield Plate, book, 1971


In this column we present images and description of Crests and Mottoes of British, Irish and Scottish Families as engraved in silver items.
crest of ROFEY or ROFY family


the crest is an eagle, displayed

Crest represented in a pair of sauceboats,
John Chartier, London 1732

crest of ROFEY or ROFY family


Closing our AUGUST 2009 edition of ASCAS Newsletter I hope you have appreciated its content.
Your comments, suggestions and advice will be of great help.

My thanks to Carlo Bboy, Bette G. Bell, Charles C. Cage, Philippe d'Arschot, Ludo D'Haese, Claudio Degliesposti, Jayne Dye, Richard Hyman, Hugo Keymeulen, David Mckinley, José Luis Muñoz, David N. Nikogosyan, Susan Pfau, Michael Shatkin, André Van den Kerkhove, Dov Wulich, John J. Yale, 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.
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