ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver         newsletter # 47 - APRIL 2008
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A new article for ASCAS website

Tavola dei Disegni dei Punzoni di Garanzia dell'Oro e dell'Argento

Franco Negrini and Francesca Rapposelli present:

- Silversmithing in Mantua from the 14th to the 19th century (part 2) English version

- Note sull'arte degli orefici a Mantova (2a parte) versione italiana

In 1786 during the great political and administrative reform that involved the whole structure of Austrian Lombardy the ancient guilds of art were abolished, but silversmithing was privileged, obtaining special attention......

click here English version       clicca qui versione italiana


New members

Welcome to new ASCAS members:  

Joel E. Arem - USA
Robert Clink - USA
Laurie Gaymer - England UK
Washington Luis Pereira de Souza - Brazil
Clauco Pellegrini - Italy
Evelyn Quek - Singapore
Chen Tianyu - China
William Zidane - USA

Members' Window # 47

Scottish Provincial silver salt spoon manufactured by Perth silversmith Robert 	Keay II

Robert Massart presents:

A Scottish Provincial Silver Salt Spoon English version

This is a Scottish Provincial King's Pattern silver salt spoon manufactured by Perth silversmith Robert Keay II and assayed in Edinburgh in 1842........

click here English version

Mail to ASCAS: e-mail

John Nicholson writes:
...We have an old family EPNS candle holder. On the base of the holder are four marks - JS&S in a shield, a beaver, the letters EPNS, and the number 2882.
We assume this candle holder was made by John Sherwood & Sons, Birmingham, sometime between 1858 and 1896.
Is there any way of finding out more accurately when this item was made?
Kind regards
John Nicholson

I found these information about the maker John Sherwood & Sons:
John Sherwood & Sons of Birmingfham, represented in London by their agents Hall & Russel at 185 Upper Thames Street and Queenhite advertised in 1869 as manufacturers of silver and electroplated goods of every description. George Sherrif Sherwood and William Sherwood, trading as John Sherwood & Sons, spoon and fork manufacturers etc. of Litchfield Street , Birmingham , dissolved their partnership on 18th October 1879. J.Sherwood & Sons are subsequently recorded with William Sherwood, who retired on 31st December 1899, as a partner, together with Wilfred Sherwood (1899-1909) and George Sherwood (1901-1909), at Regent Works, Regent Street, Birmingham and 31 Ely Place, Holborn.
I found also the information that a mark with "crown" was in use 1858-1896 and without "crown" was used from 1897.
Giorgio Busetto

Ben Blonquist writes:
...could you tell me what is this item?
Best regards
Ben Blonquist

Your item is a "stamp case".
The silver stamp cases began to be produced toward the end of 19th century using gold, silver and wood. Some of the earliest British stamp boxes date from the 1880s, when the silver stamp case came into regular production. In 1888, James Allen of Birmingham registered a pocket letter scales/stamp holder, which he made in silver and brass.
Further information about "stamp cases" are available in my Silver Dictionary at
Giorgio Busetto

Hymie Dinerstein writes:
...I am attaching details of a 7 1/2" round plate which weighs 268 grams and which I am trying to identify. Apart from two hallmarks, it has the letter M.R.. and in smaller type, DB. I am wondering if this salver is from Bermuda as it has the feeling of Central America/Caribbean.
Can you help please.
Hymie Dinerstein

Nikica Vuletic writes:
...I am not fully familiar with Italian hallmarks so I must ask a question that follows. I bought six small coffee spoons hallmarked 39PA 800 St (see enclosed scan).
At eBay address enclosed below I found the same hallmark set (second enclosed picture):
Question: Is it legal makers mark since it does not look as punched (hammered) but engraved or cast at the time the spoon has been made? ASCAS references for Italian hallmarks does not show this kind of makers marks. Do you happen to know manufacturer's name that uses St hallmark?
Best regards
Nikica Vuletic

don't worry. The mark is authentic.
The maker is Stancapiano Eug. - c. Tuckory 113 Palermo.
The factory is still active (at a different address). Some information is available (in Italian) at
Giorgio Busetto

Nicolas Christol writes:
... I have a question about this odd spoon I bought recently. It has a hook on the stem and is marked with a lion looking right, a female head looking left, a letter " G" and another mark that looks to be B2V.
I'd greatly appreciate to know where and when this spoon was manufactured and it's use
Nicolas Christol

Your spoon was made in the Netherlands (Pays Bas) in 1818 (date letter "I" in script).
I do not know the exact use of this spoon (but I saw some other similar spoons).
I hope that ASCAS members will be able to help you.
Giorgio Busetto

Nikica Vuletic writes:
...What is this? Looks like Matchbox holder. Case dimensions exactly fits commonly used matchboxes. But there are no edge openings for matchbox striking surface access. I navigate Internet to see if there are similar "solid " holders but I did not found any. Additionally holder should have (inside the case) an extended part that serves to push drawer with matches in order to open it (instead of someone’s finger).
If it is not a matchbox holder than what it could be: toothpick holder - should be round, cigarette holder - to hold just few cigarettes. Without original paper box or probably something else.
Silver hallmarks are Chinese Hung Chong and design is typically Chinese - dragoon scenes.
Nikica Vuletic

I believe that your item is a matchbox holder. I saw some other similar pieces and they were always described as matchbox holders. I have some images of a "smoker's set" bearing Austrian 1867-1922 marks that confirms my hypothesis
Giorgio Busetto

Cheron Frazier writes:
...Hello Giorgio,
I saw your antique silver holy water font on the website
(editor's note: Cheron refers to the holy water font illustrated in my private website ) and it is very similar to one which I have. I did not know this was an Italian font until I saw yours. The similarity is unmistakable. The marks on my font are a bit different. It is difficult to find information here in California on the old Italian silver marks and I am sorry I do not understand the Italian language. I am hoping you can look at the photos I attach here and help identify this holy water font better through your reference books. The hallmarks are in three different locations on the front. One of the locations has a signature or word, although I am afraid my photos did not capture it very well, I could try again to photograph if needed. Above the signature are two round stamped marks and above that are the letters P and another letter I cannot decipher....

.... There are many more hallmarks on this holy water font than first thought. A lot of them so small that I am amazed that they could be struck. Today I discovered three small lines that are interesting, 1st line "LV." (yes the period is there also), 2nd line looks like some Roman numerals but I can only make out a few letters on the end of the line, maybe R or C XV, and not the first letters, 3rd line says "Ad" (yes, capital A and small d), very clearly struck, but very very small. I believe the silversmith is V.O, not V.G. That is an eagle over the RUP? I thought it looked more like a polar bear!...
Cheron Frazier

I'm sorry but I'm unable to identify the maker of your holy water font. It was made in Palermo (eagle over RUP), possibly by silversmith V.G (not identified) and the assayer was P???
The eagle mark was in use in 18th century until 1820 c. In my opinion it was made between the end of the 18th and the beginning of t he 19th century.
The assayer mark (not readable in you photo) could be PM807 (Paolo Maddalena) or PF13 (Pietro Fenoaltea) or PC14 (Pietro Calvo) all active at the beginning of the 19th century.
Giorgio Busetto

Ben Staunton writes:
... I have a question for the readers. I picked up this pair of casters in an Antique shop on a trip to the US. I believe they would originally have had a third larger caster. The three hallmarks appear to date them as Georgian from the early nineteenth century.
Unfortunately they have no makers mark. Is this common? And are pieces without a makers mark worth a lot less than pieces with one?
Ben Staunton

Maybe maker's mark and date letter were punched on the third (missing) caster. Anyway I hope that ASCAS members will contribute with their suggestions
Giorgio Busetto

Pat McCarthy writes:
... . I recently purchased a pair of this silver shell dishes and have tried to find out some information about their maker, manufacture and date but have been unable to do so on the internet or the books I have.
Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your assistance

Replies to questions

Gustav Roos receives this reply about the marks of his Russian spoons ( see March Newsletter)
Willand Ringborg writes:
... Three spoons, and four (?) stamps.
The spoon dated 1864 seems to be, altough the town mark lead us to think of Moscow, from St Petersburg. The St P town marks are sometimes struck not hard enough, or as maybe in this case, have been worn, so they look like a flower or a tree. But, the only silversmith with these initals, at this time, is Adam Yuden in St Petersburg, master 1845-1878. The assaymaster is Alexander Mitin.
The spoon 1812 bears the stamp by the same master (he stamped both with and without dot between the initals) and same assayer, but the date, obviously, do not correspond. 1872, not 1812, else disputable. Futher, the town mark is Moscow, and this really leads to additional confusion. To which direction is St George riding? Before appr 1880 he was, and the horse and the dragon, heading east, but is not this one heading west? 8, or 68, years before this stamp was introduced? The stamps are inconsistent. The stamp from the shift of the century seems to be St Petersburg, assaymaster Yakov Liapunov, active there 1899-1904. The silversmiths initals are hard to read, if it is (in latin caracthers) PNG, the only possible one is Pavel Nikolaevich Gehr, St Petersburg, jeweller and owner of a gold and silverware shop, known to be active 1912. 1915 and 1917. There is no information when he possibly started.
Is it a drama if not having the stamps decoded or even some obscure? No, keep the spoons, polish them, use them, enjoy them, typical Russian shovel-shaped handles. If very suspicious, go to a pawn-shop or a silversmith and take a silver test.
Willand Ringborg

Vadim Dardik receives another reply about the marks of his spoons ( see February Newsletter)
Pierre Strobbe writes:
... Isidor von Klinkosh stifted in 1797. His son , freiher Joseph Carl von Klinkosh married a prinsess von Lichtenstein an d became "fournisseur de la cour". He was born in Vienna in 1822 and was actif between 1843 -1884. He worked temporary with the firm Mayerhofer. This firm stopped in 1930. The museum in Vienna hes a tremendous collection of this firm including pieces in "bronze doré" J.C.K.was his sign, jou find this mark on every piece in bronze, silvered or in silver.
Pierre Strobbe


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
FISH EATING KNIVERS AND FORKS from 1878 Atkin Brothers catalog This month ASCAS presents a page from the 1878 catalog (second edition) of ATKIN BROTHERS, Silversmiths and silver cutlers, electro platers, Britannia metal smiths and cutlers, Sheffield: FISH EATING KNIVERS AND FORKS

more about Atkin Brothers in
FISH EATING KNIVERS AND FORKS from 1878 Atkin Brothers catalog


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


The kiddush cup (kiddush goblet, kiddush beaker) is a goblet used for drinking wine in Jewish religious ceremonies on special occasions such as wedding or in the benediction before the evening meal preceding each Sabbath or a holy festival. Ordinarily there is no special form for these cups and any type of wine cup may be used........


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 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:


by Edward Wenham
Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1951


Closing our APRIL 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 Ben Blonquist, Nicolas Christol, Hymie Dinerstein, Jayne Dye, Cheron Frazier, Robert Massart, Franco Negrini, John Nicholson, Francesca Rapposelli, Willand Ringborg, Ben Staunton, Pierre Strobbe, Nikica Vuletic, JoAnne Wilkinson for their invaluable contributions.

Giorgio Busetto
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