ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver

newsletter # 179 April 2019
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A new article for ASCAS website

by David Mckinley:

Goldsmiths in the Margas family of Rouen and London English version

On page 591 of his invaluable work "London Goldsmiths 1697 - 1837 Their Marks and Lives" the late Arthur Grimwade makes the following observation: "The disentangling of identities of the Margas family is not easy from the documentary evidence and repetition of Christian names".
How right he was and it has to be said that, if anything, as more of this documentary evidence has come to light, the task has become more difficult.
The earliest record of a Margas so far found dates to the mid 16th century in Rouen in northern France when a Jacques Margas, whose background has not yet been established, had three children the eldest of whom was a boy, who, in accordance with tradition, was named Jacques after his father. The family were Huguenots and Huguenots of 17th century France were of that class of society known as the bourgeoisie. They were mostly merchants or craftsmen and the Margas family originally fell into the merchant category.
This second Jacques Margas became a merchant and in 1574 he married Marion Le Faux. He and Marion had four children, two boys and two girls. The first boy was named Jacques and became a merchant like his father. He was followed by a daughter whom they named Catherine and in 1605 she married a goldsmith named Nicolas Morisse who had been apprenticed to his father as was the usual practice since the tradition was for a craftsman to pass his skills on to his sons.
Catherine was followed by another daughter who was baptised Madeleine and lastly a second son was born in 1593 and he was baptised Jean. This son did not follow his brother into the family business but instead became a master goldsmith and although there is no record of his apprenticeship it seems almost certain that he learnt his craft from his brother-in-law Nicolas Morisse......
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English version

and the widely revised and updated version of Article # 180 by Dr. David N. Nikogosyan, Bonn, Germany

Marks of French silver-plated cutlery in the XIXth century
English version

So far I was not interested by the marks of silver-plated cutlery. However, the early pieces of Christofle cutlery seem to be remarkable. First of all, they are excellently designed. Second, they are convenient, beautiful and robust. Third, they are self-documented, as every piece is marked by its year of production. And, fourth, they are world-wide spread. It should be reminded that around 1844 the Christofle company pioneered the mass production of silver-plated cutlery and continued until at least 1930. As a result nowadays you can find Christofle cutlery from the XIXth century practically everywhere on the globe, in any antiques shop or on any flea market. In addition, many other French and foreign jewellery firms, producing silver-plated cutlery, copied the pieces of Christofle cutlery. I can easily mention a dozen of European jewellery firms, issuing silver-plated cutlery "à la Christofle cutlery", amongst them the French firms Ercuis, Halphen, Desclercs, Frenais, the German companies WMF, August Wellner Soehne, Bohrmann, Hartmann, Henniger, the Austro-Hungarian factories Arthur Krupp Berndorf, Herrmann, the Russian foundries (situated in Warsaw) Fraget and Norblin and many others.

In this paper I will describe the marks used by Christofle and his partner companies Halphen, Gombault-Desclercs and Manufacture de L'Alfenide on spoons and forks during the XIXth century. Some of the marks are published for the first time. I had to omit the cutlery marks used on the knives as such pieces are rather rare and absent in my collection.....
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English version

New members

Welcome to new ASCAS members:

Tyler Barber - USA
Gerry Carton - Australia
Genevieve Celentano - USA
Bernard Hallée - France
Jerry Munro - Canada
Hilary & Malcolm Underdown - Australia

Mail to ASCAS: e-mail

Daniel Dori writes:
...Could you please help me identify this silver mark??
I believe it could be Russian, but no amount of searching has helped me at all figure who made it, where and when?
Daniel Dori

Russia, town of Kostroma, silversmith Maurice Ratner, assayer A. Solidihova, 1899/1905
Giorgio Busetto

Replies to questions

Marivic Limcaoco receives this answer to the question about his bowl published in March 2019 newsletter

Jose Luis Muñoz writes
I have this information about the mark of Marivic Limcaoco's bowl. Indeed Buxeda is the retailer. The middle hallmark belongs to the maker Matilde Espuñes. The approximate date is 1960. I attached a slightly clearer picture of this mark.
Jose Luis Muñoz

Spanish silver mark Matilde Espunes


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.
This column is published under the kind permission of Giorgio Busetto's website



This month ASCAS presents an image of a 1951 advertisement of

Jersey City, NJ and New York, NY
The Fisher Silversmiths Inc., 1951 advertisement

Fisher Silversmiths was founded by Sam Fisher, an immigrant from Russia, in Providence, RI and later in New Jersey succeeding to M.Fred Hirsch Co.
When Sam ritired, the business was continued as Fisher Silversmith & Fisher Diamonds by his sons expanding into the loose diamond business (silver manufacturing ceased in the 1970s).
Fisher Jewelers & Silversmiths, INC founded in 1978 by Raymond (Sam grandchildren) and Jo Ann Fisher is still active in present days in Florence, South Carolina, trading fine jewelry and gifts.
Fisher Silversmiths, silver mark Fisher Silversmiths, silver mark Fisher Silversmiths, silver mark


In this column we present an abstract from a page of the "SILVER HALLMARKS WORLDWIDE OVERVIEW"
courtesy of home page leave your LIKE on facebook


The United Provinces of the Netherlands obtained independence from Spain in 1579. They were occupied by French in 1795 and were brought together as one kingdom in 1815 after the defeat of Napoleon.
Since the late 14th century the guilds of goldsmiths and silversmiths were charged with the task of hallmarking precious metal wares.
In 1798 the French occupants abolished the guilds and a new hallmarking system was introduced during the short living Kingdom of Holland of Louis Bonaparte (1807-1810).
In 1810 the Kingdom of Holland was annexed to French Empire and French hallmarks were used until 1814.
In 1814 the new Kingdom of the Netherlands adopted a standard national system of hallmarks that were maintained until 1953.
1807 - 1953     from 1953 to present


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


The firm was established by Georg Peter Bruckmann (1778-1850) in Heilbronn (Germany) in 1805 succeeding to his father Johann Dietrich Bruckmann (1736-1807).
In 1810 Bruckmann first used self-made steel stamps in Germany for embossing silverware and the company's products were exhibited at the fairs in Frankfurt and Leipzig becoming known nationwide.
The firm continued to promote technical innovations in metalware manufacture. In 1820 was installed the first large silverware press and in 1839 metal processing machines from Alfred Krupp were introduced in Bruckmann factory.
At his death he left a growing and flowering hollowware and flatware manufactory which was managed by his widow and his sons Wolfgang Peter Bruckmann (1818-1891) and Ernst Dietrich Bruckmann (1829-1870).
After the death of Ernst Dietrich Bruckmann the business was continued by his widow Pauline along with Wolfgang Peter Bruckmann.
Later, two sons of Ernst Dietrich Bruckmann entered in the activity: Peter Bruckmann (1865-1937) in 1885 and Ernst Bruckmann in 1887..... MORE...


In this column we present images and descriptions of Crests and Mottoes of British, Irish and Scottish families as engraved on silver items.
This column is published under the kind permission of Giorgio Busetto's website home page



family crest: MURRAY

Alexander Sutherland, Esquire, of Dunrobin, Casterton, Victoria, formerly of Caius College, Cambridge
motto Fürth fortune and fill the fetters
described as A Demi-Savage Holding In His Dexter Hand A Dagger Ppr., Pommel And Hilt Or, And In His Sinister A Key Of The Last.

Murray of Scotland
motto Fürth fortune
Described as A Demi-Man Wreathed About The Head And Loins Vert, Holding In His Dexter Hand A Dagger Arg., Hilt And Pommel Or, And In His Sinister A Key Ppr.

Murray family
described as A Demi-Man Couped At The Thighs Ppr., Wreathed About The Head And Loins Vert, Holding In The Dexter Hand A Sword, And In The Sinister A Key, All Ppr.

Murray of Eriswell Lodge, Suffolk
described as A Demi-Savage Ppr., Wreathed About The Head And Waist Vert, Holding In His Dexter Hand A Dagger Also Ppr., Pommel And Hilt Or, And In His Sinister A Key Of The Last

family crest: MURRAY on an OSP salver

- 1800 -

This table is obtained from The Book of Entries of the Names, Places of abode and Marks of the several Silversmiths and Plate Workers residing in Sheffield, or within twenty miles thereof, who are required to send their goods to the Assay Office, lately established in the Town of Sheffield by an Act of Parliament lately passed in the Thirteenth Year of the Reign of King George the Third intituled:
An Act for appointing Wardens and Assaymasters for
Assaying Wrought Plate in the Towns of Sheffield
and Birmingham

YEAR 1800

Sheffield Assay Office: hallmarks register
Sheffield Assay Office: 1800 hallmarks register

Closing our April 2019 edition of ASCAS Newsletter I hope you have appreciated its content.
Your comments, suggestions and advice will be of great help.

My thanks to Daniel Dori, David Mckinley, Jose Luis Muñoz and Dr. David N. Nikogosyan 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.
ASCAS keeps in touch with its members only through periodical newsletters, e-mails and web-site updating and ignores and is not responsible for any other activity pursued by its members.
Likewise, ASCAS is not responsible for opinions, evaluation and images displayed, and in any form published or supplied for publication, by its members who, in any case, maintain the property of their works and assure the respect of national and international legislation about Intellectual Property.
ASCAS does not have the full addresses of its members (only town, country and e-mail address are requested for membership).
ASCAS handles and protects with care its members' e-mail addresses, will not disclose the addresses to third parties, will use this information only to reply to requests received from members and for communications strictly related to its activity.
These rules are expressly accepted by submitting the membership request.

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