ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silvernewsletter # 107 April 2013 SITE MAP
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A new article for ASCAS website

Papal States Coat of Arms
Claudio Morelli and Giorgio Busetto present:
Papal States (Rome) Silver Hallmarks
From the French Domination (1809) to the Kingdom of Italy (1870) English version
Stato Pontificio - Punzoni dell'argento
Dalla dominazione francese (1809) al Regno d'Italia (1870)
English version

The first statutes of the guild of Roman goldsmiths date back to 1358, in which was stated the rule of the warranty punch.
The University of Goldsmiths was founded in 1508 and the statutes approved the following year introduced the use of the master's mark in addition to the previous guarantee mark.
In 1738, with the reform of the Statutes of Goldsmiths, the guild acquired the name of "Nobil Collegio degli Orefici ed Argentieri di Roma" (Noble College of Goldsmiths and silversmiths of Rome)......
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English version       click here English version

New members

Welcome to new ASCAS members:

Rebecca Burnett Birdsal - Usa
Pat Davis - Usa
Laura Gray - Usa
Steven Morrill - Usa
Dennis K. Oakley - Usa
Francesco Sannino - Italy
Jack Smith - Usa
Steve Wexler - Usa

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Mail to ASCAS: e-mail

Massimo Simonato writes:
... I need information about the mark of this teaspoon.
Thanks for your help.
Massimo Simonato
This is a little known mark of the Kingdom of Naples used in Sicily after 1826 (head of Ceres toward left, silver fineness 833/1000)
It is similar to the mark of Parthenope toward right used in Naples in the same period (see my website at ).
Giorgio Busetto

Francois Costes writes:
... Please find attached the photo of three marks.
They are struck on the top of an early salver that could date to the mid-18th century.
The piece is hand hammered, except for its three feet that were cast. Its diameter is around 16 inches (41 cm).
(a) The first mark is probably the silversmith's, apparently MARTIN, but it could also be MARTINI. Impossible to read the first initial in script on the top of it (maybe I, J, S, etc.).
(b) The second mark is probably the guarantee mark. Very worn, but one could guess a standing lion struck at a 90 degree angle.
(c) The third mark is intriguing. Impossible to decipher, maybe a city mark...
Please, help me! Thank you in advance
Francois Costes
The mark is Spanish, town of Cordoba, assayer Mateo Martinez Moreno, year 1790/1799 (the date is partly rubbed).
I'm unable to identify the maker.
Giorgio Busetto
Dear Giorgio,
Thanks for your prompt and informative answer about the 18th century silver salver. I had no idea that this piece was Spanish. The first mark (MARTIN) looked to me like an American one (see for instance Peter Martin of New York around 1750). And the second mark (standing lion) could have been copied or created by a colonial silversmith since America never had official assayers - except for Baltimore during a short period (1814-1830). Iím glad that I finally contacted you to correct these assumptions!
And here is a short descriptive that you may want to insert with the photos in your April issue:
This salver is made of solid hammered silver except for its three cast feet. Diameter is about 40 cm, height 5 cm. Its hexagonal shape, scalloped edges, and simplicity are typical of salvers made in Europe during the 18th century. It bears a coat of arms with a ducal crown and a plummeted helmet incised in the center. The top of the salver is also struck with three aligned marks: The first one reads MARTIN under a centered script initial that is half erased; The second looks like a standing lion which is quite worn; The third mark seems impossible to decipher. Could the ASCAS members help me confirm or identify the period, the country, and the maker of this antique salver? Many thanks for your feedback
Francois Costes
Dear Giorgio,
I may have found the name of the silversmith that made the Spanish salver.
Thanks to the valuable info that you provided I was able to do more research on the Internet.
Using the Google search engine, I decided, just an hour ago, to target Spanish sites with key words as:
[plata] [platero] [Cordoba] ["Mateo Martinez"], and so on.
I quickly found a link between the names [Martinez] and [Luque], with several options, one being the silversmith Juan de Luque (y) Ramirez.
When I added this last name to my search sequence, I discovered the following link:
On this document look for the entry [8. Caliz de plata sobredorada] (book page #149, or PDF doc page #9). The first mark is identical to mine. The letter (L) is missing on the PDF document, but it seems to be the same name, notably with a (Q) that looks, on both marks, like a reversed (P), or a lowercase (q).
Francois Costes

Chuck Keller writes:
...My wife and I purchased this in Ireland 20 years ago, at an old castle.
While cleaning out a closet we rediscovered this wonderful piece.
I have not been able to find out what the manufacturer was.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you,
Best regards
Chuck Keller
The maker is, possibly, Joseph Wolstenholme (see my website at )
Giorgio Busetto

Maria Entrup-Henemann writes:
...some time ago I bought a porringer hallmarked for London 1781 with the maker's mark TW. I think it is the mark of Thomas Wynne, provincial goldsmith in Bath, registered in London (Grimwade Nr. 3457). The porringer is bearing a crest (right forearm with a halberd in its hand) over the inscription "M to L".
I send three pictures and have two questions to you and the readers of your newsletter:
1. Am I right that the maker's mark is Thomas Wynne's and if so, does anybody know something about his life story?
2. Does anybody know for which family this crest stands?
With many thanks and kindest regards
Maria Entrup-Henemann
I'm not sure that the maker is Thomas Wynne of Bath. Possibly the maker is Thomas Wallis I (Grimwade 2962). According to Grimwade he died 1818-22 and probably he was still active in 1781.
Any suggestion will be appreciated.
Giorgio Busetto

Bob Charter writes:
...I wondering if you know anything about these pieces.
Thank you.
Bob Charter
According to Tardy, your pieces are marked Augsburg (Germany) 1767/69. I have no information about the maker (Sefthaler?)
Giorgio Busetto
Thank you for the information...I've found that Seethaler is the name of a retailer that put his name on some flatware

Replies to questions

Javier GalŠn receives this answer about his silver cup
(see March 2013 Newsletter)
Andrew T. Nadell writes:
These are well known marks. The triple marks are read from the lower right: G & S is Gale and Son. The diamond shaped or lozenge date mark has a 1 at the 'top' then the 52 as you said, and then the 8 at the 'bottom.' William Gale and later his son were well known and skilled silversmiths.
Their most famous flatware pattern is known as Gothic, and was patented in 1847, and made into the early 1850s, using the same date lozenge. Examples of the pattern are owned by most major American museums, including the Metropolitan Museum, Philadelphia, Newark, Boston Museums and Winterthur.
There is a full page illustration of four pieces of the Gothic pattern in the important book by Charles Venable, Silver in America 1840 to 1940.
They produced a number of other flatware patterns and a great deal of hollowware, all at a high standard of craftsmanship and design. William Gale the father was also in partnership for some time in the firm of Gale, Wood and Hughes. Wood and Hughes was also a major American maker.
Andrew T. Nadell


In this column we presents 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
an ancient advertisement of William Spooner & Co, Birmingham
This month ASCAS presents an ancient advertisement of William Spooner & Co, Birmingham


Nį 2 New Market Street, Birmingham
of Plated Wares
In 1841 William Spooner registers his mark (WS into a rectangle) in Birmingham Assay Office


In this column we present an abstract from a page of the "What is? Silver Dictionary"
courtesy of home page leave your LIKE on facebook
Yogya silver


Silver handicraft has been practiced in Java for many centuries.

The manufacture of silverware known as Yogya Silver finds its origin in the second quarter of the 20th century when a profound transformation was supported by the conjoined efforts of Dutch and Javanese promoters of decorative crafts.

In the 1930s Java was part of the Dutch East Indies and the center of this production was in the provincial capital Yogyakarta (Yogya) and in Kotagede, a small town about five kilometers southeast....... more



In this column we present marks, information and history of silversmiths and silver manufacturers.
This column is published under the kind permission of Giorgio Busetto's website home page


From centuries British silver is protected by the stamping of symbols and letters identifying the maker, the Assay Office and the date in which the quality of the silver piece was verified. Thanks to the "date letter" any piece of British sterling silver can be exactly dated.
Old Sheffield Plate and Electroplated silver are not subject to this practice and the regulation issued by the authorities had the main objective of preventing possible frauds by unscrupulous sellers of plated ware. The best-known initiative is the prohibition (effective from c. 1896: Elkington was forced to change its mark in 1898) of stamping plated wares with the "crown", to avoid misunderstanding with the symbol identifying the Sheffield Assay Office.
The absence of an official dating system makes it difficult to date silver plated wares. An approximate date can be determined by examining:
- the style of the object
- the presence or absence of the crown (before or after c. 1896)
- the date of registration of the pattern at the Patent Office
- the presence of a dated dedication
- the date of the event (example: King/Queen Coronation or Jubilee commemorative spoons)......


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)
In the "book on my shelf" of this month ASCAS presents:
a book per month: Sterling Silver Flatware


Value & Identification Guide
by Phil Dreis
Krause Publications Inc
This second edition offers more than 1,400 photos and illustrations, with up-to-date pricing for 15,000 pieces.
A 16-page color section highlights some of the rare and highly prized pieces made during the last two centuries.
Dozens of American makers are profiled, along with select European silversmiths.
Author Phil Dreis discusses the state of the silver market, new trends in silver sales, and the effects of the Internet on the business.
With a comprehensive bibliography, answers to frequently asked questions, glossary, production terms, and information on repairs and cleaning, this book is a must-have resource for collectors and dealers alike.

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Closing our APRIL 2013 edition of ASCAS Newsletter I hope you have appreciated its content.
Your comments, suggestions and advice will be of great help.

My thanks to Bob Charter, Francois Costes, Maria Entrup-Henemann, Chuck Keller, Claudio Morelli, Andrew T. Nadell and Massimo Simonato, for their precious 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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These rules are expressly accepted by submitting the membership request.
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