ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver         newsletter # 59 - APRIL 2009
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A new article for ASCAS website

  Location of cities and burghs
Robert Massart presents:
Scottish Legends & Silver Hallmarks English version

Scotland is well-known for his clans, the fearless militaries going to the battlefield preceded by their pipers and the unspoiled nature of the Highlands with lochs, rivers, salmon and stags. During historical times many myths, folk tales and legends originated in this environment, even affecting today's practices of hallmarking silver.
Deciphering marks on silver items is a fascinating pastime for silver collectors, but mostly they have no idea of the background of these marks and the reason why specific punches were chosen as town mark or standard mark. The scope of this article is to trace back the origin of Scottish silver punches to the earliest times and to bring the reader up-to-date on this subject.....
click here English version

New members

Welcome to new ASCAS members:  

Barry Arnol - Australia -
Josep S. Cooper - USA
Maura Graber - USA
Siddarth Chand Lall - England UK
Aaron Louis Kaufman - Australia -
Garry Middleton - Canada
Karen S. Rabe - USA
William Sharek - USA
Sandra Gray Schreiber - USA
Andrius Tamusonis - Lithuania
Maggie Wihnyk - USA
Bronia Wulich - Israel
Emmanuel van Zuylen van Nyevelt - Belgium
top page - page map

Members' Window # 59/1

A teapot from 'Bischofshof Regensburg' made by Herrmann
Prof. David N. Nikogosyan presents:

Marks of European Silver Plate: IV. Hacker & Herrmann, Austria English version

First, let me cite von Kerssenbrock-Krosigk's and Kanowski's book, Modern Art of Metallwork: "By 1898, there were 230 factories and workshops for metalwork alone in Vienna, the capital city of the Austro-Hungarian Empire". However, after 1918, only three firms continued the silver plate production: Art.Krupp Berndorf, J.C.Klinkosch (already acquired by Berndorf) and Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshops). In the current Member's Window I would like to present two little-known silver plate factories, which were active in Vienna at the end of the XIX - beginning of the XX centuries and disappeared after WWI: Moritz Hacker and J.L.Herrmann. Without doubt, they both truly represent the Secession style, i.e. the Austro- Hungarian branch of Art Nouveau, in silver-plated hollowware......     
click here
English version

Members' Window # 59/2

silver Bratina made by  silversmith Arwid Falk
Kari Helenius presents:

A Swedish Bratina English version

This bratina (see information in What is? Silver Dictionary)) has been marked by silversmith Arwid Falk in Stockholm 1676 - 1691.
It measures: diameter 144mm, height 123mm, weight 388,3g, capacity 1200ml.
There is a scratching on the bottom: 91¼ no o/mn, which could mean the weight in zolotnik. 91¼ z corresponds to 389,0g. The actual weight is 388,3g.

Because of this I believe that the bratina has been exported to Russia. There are two French import marks (the tiny swan mark) One on the foot and the other on the upper rim. This means that the item has been brought to France after 1893.......     
click here
English version

Mail to ASCAS: e-mail

Tony Mason writes:
...I am seeking to identify and if possible value what appears to be a Judaic Silver Ceremonial Set, illustrated in the attachments. The cup without lid is 10cm high, 6cm base diameter and 8cm top diameter; the tray is 15cm in diameter. The lid includes in its detail captives chained by the neck. There are no maker's marks. The piece was bought in a private sale in Iraq in 1991.The condition is perfect.
The Judaic Ceremonial Set, if indeed that is what the piece is, was bought by a Russian diplomat from an impoverished Iraqi family in Baghdad in the early 1990s and given to me and my wife in 1999. Only recently, during a survey of items in the household collected around the world in a military career, did I locate a similar item auctioned in Israel in 2008 and set out to discover more about it.
I will be most grateful if you could give me any information about it, or direct me to a location which could inform me.
Tony Mason
An uncommon piece. Any suggestion will be appreciated.
Giorgio Busetto

Erwin Mast writes:
... I'm trying to identify what is this object. I have no idea about its use.
Any suggestion will appreciated
Erwin Mast

Andrew Brasch writes:
...can you help me to locate this silver mark. This is my new acquisition.
Andrew Brasch

Carmelo Bruno Bruni writes:
... I'd wish to have information about this Russian cigarette holder. It has Moscow 1908-1926 mark and IB (Cyrillic) silversmith's mark. There is also another mark (head towards right and 875) fully unknown to me.
Thank you for any help you can supply.
Carmelo Bruno Bruni
The silversmith is Ivan Butuzov, active in Moscow from 1895 to 1917. The "head towards right and 875" is a mark added after the Soviet Revolution and used from 1927 to 1954, In this case the silver fineness is indicated in thousandths instead of in zolotnicks. I found bibliography illustrated only with a similar mark (a worker with a hammer) and the title "583", but I believe that also the "875" was used in this period.
Giorgio Busetto

Kimberly Karkov writes:
... Thanks for all of the information on your website ( It is very informative. I have attached a few photos of an item I have hallmarked GORHAM CO. 015. The hallmark based on your website is sterling silver (looks like from 1870) but what is this item? The size is about 5 7/8” when opened end to end it is about 10” +.
This item to me is similar to a garlic press or a nut cracker?
Any help is appreciated, thanks.
Kimberly Karkov

Hugh Scrine writes:
Dear Mr Busetto,
I get the impression from your Website that your Association comprises a group of people who know a great deal about silver articles. Your site also gives the impression that you get a lot of pleasure from the study of silver and the exchange of information on this subject. I have found that knowledge that arises from such enthusiasm is generally deeper and more comprehensive than that which is available from people whose only interest is a commercial one.
I hope I have interpreted your site correctly in that you may be prepared to identify and inform on articles presented to you.
On this presumption I would appreciate it greatly if you were able to tell me something about a Spoon that was given to me many years ago , in New Zealand, as a gift, but which I had not considered to be an article of any particular merit, until I started giving the matter some thought only recently.
It is a spoon as displayed in the attachment to this E-Mail, which I believe to be Australian because of the name SIDNEY marked on the handle. This itself is a little unusual because the Australian city is generally spelled SYDNEY. I am hoping you may be able to assist me in learning something about the spoon. Funny to think of Australian articles being considered "antiques" when this country is only just over 200 years old (since the British invasion).
I have searched the Web fairly exhaustively to try and find Australian Hallmarks (if such exist) that may match the markings on the spoon - but no luck. The "scoop" part of the spoon is very thin metal and looks as if it has been hammered into shape from a flat metal piece. It looks as if it is made of silver - you would, no doubt, know from the markings if this is the case.
I noticed while browsing through spoon descriptions that the value of some spoons can exceed USA$ 6000 - this would be a nice surprise. Not that I would necessarily sell it, but it would be useful additional information. There is, of course, the possibility that articles from this "far flung remnant of a dead Empire" may not excite any interest from your members and may not form part of your collective knowledge of silver throughout the world.
If you get time I would like to hear from you.
Mr Hugh Scrine
Perth - Western Australia
PS possibly I am incorrect in thinking "SIDNEY" refers to an Australian town.......the spoon may be made in Mr Sidney's workshop ??
I'm sorry, but I don't believe that your spoon has great value. Its origin is UK and not Australia. It was made by James Deakin & Sons of Sheffield in their Sidney Works in Matilda Street (I believe at the end of the 19th century). Information about the mark of your spoon and its maker are available in my private website at and
Giorgio Busetto

Barry Arnol writes:
I have a silver container that has the initials of O.W.S. and date of 1925.
I do not know what it is and would like to know and what it would be used for.
On the base it has E.P.B.M with a number, 361.
I have attached 2 photos of it for you to have a look at. Your assistance would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.
Barry Arnol
Another "silver oddity". Any suggestion will be welcome.
Giorgio Busetto

Konstantin Kustanovich writes:
Dear Giorgio,
I am sending you photos of the spoons and the marks. Russian marks are clear: Moscow, before 1908, the master is most likely Vasily Naumov. But the little "fish with five dots" to the left of the Russian 84 and the kokoshnik mark is puzzling.
I would really appreciate your help.
With best wishes,
Konstantin Kustanovich
Not quite sure, the master can be Naumov, but I was unable to find any reference about the "fish" mark.
I hope that someone of our members will be able to help you.
Giorgio Busetto

D. Burry writes: you know anything about these Hallmarks? Nobody worldwide can give me any information.
I'm unable to identify the mark. Possibly it refers to a "Hanau silver" piece or to a Dutch maker of late 19th/20th century.
Giorgio Busetto

Brian Nichelson writes:
...I was recently given an old pocket watch with a Sterling silver case. I’ve identified the German crescent moon and crown and what I think is the bear for Berlin with the letter L.
Would you agree with that?
The other two marks (HF inside an odd shape and the lion or bear below the .925 mark) I don’t have a clue about.
Could you shed some light on these?
Thank you for your help,
Brian Nichelson
The silver case was made in Swiss, not in Germany. The "bear" is a Swiss mark and the "L" identifies the town of Le Locle. This mark was activated in 1934 on silver items for export
Giorgio Busetto

Replies to questions

Ross Macrae receives a further reply about the mark of his silver spoon (see September 2008 Newsletter)
André Van den Kerkhove writes:
...Your spoon was indeed made by Jan-Baptiste Huysmans of Ghent. His biographical data (*) are :
° Ghent 19 November 1795
+ Ghent 17 August 1874
x with Judoca, Bernardina d'Herdt at Ghent on 23 November 1829
The atelier was called: J.B.Huysman-D'Herdt and situated in the street "Lange Munt 2" in Ghent
She continued the workshop until her death in 1889
Yours faithfully
André Van den Kerkhove
Director in honour of the Historical Museum of the "Bijloke" of the City of Ghent
(*) This data are part of my book on 19th- century gold- and silversmiths of the province of East-Flanders which will be published in 2009


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 Dominique Bochet presents the Catalogue of the Auction Sale of ORFEVRERIE ANCIENNE, Collection de M. Lucien Metzger held on April 25 and 26, 1929 in Paris, Hotel Druot.
Auction Catalogue: Collection M. Lucien Metzger, Hotel Druot, 1929

Auction Catalogue: Collection M. Lucien Metzger, Hotel Druot, 1929 This auction offered on sale "Orfèvrerie Ancienne, Principalement Francaise du XVIII Siècle. Oeuvres Des Orfèvres Parisiens parmi les plus célebres, A.-N. COUSINET - M.DE LA PIERRE - N. DUQUESNOY - F.T. GERMAIN - F. JOUBERT - J.- N. ROETTIERS - A. DE SAINT-NICOLAS
composant la collection de M. LUCIEN METZGER"

(Ancient silver, mostly French 18th century, works of famous Paris silversmiths A.-N. COUSINET - M.DE LA PIERRE - N. DUQUESNOY - F.T. GERMAIN - F. JOUBERT - J.- N. ROETTIERS - A. DE SAINT-NICOLAS,
belonging to the collection of M. LUCIEN METZGER)

The Hotel Drouot is the main auction house in Paris. It is located on rue Drouot, in the 9th Arrondissement. This is one of the leading art markets of the world, especially for antiques, Art Nouveau and Art Deco, Art of China and Japan, books and so-called primitive arts. The Hotel Drouot was inaugurated on 1 June 1852 and widely transformed in the late 1980s. (translated from French Wikipedia)


In this column we presents an abstract from a page of the "What is? Silver Dictionary"
courtesy of home page
hip-flask Gorham


Hip flasks may have had their origin in the pilgrim bottle or flask, commonly associated with religious pilgrimages in medieval times. The pilgrim flask is vessel with a body varying from an almost full circle, flattened, to a pear shape, with a short neck, spreading foot and, generally, two loops on the shoulders.
Through the loops either a chain or cord was passed for carrying the bottle to be slung over the shoulder of the traveller or hung from a saddle or for maintaining the stopper in place.......


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:

Chats on Old Silver, by Arthur Hayden, 1952 edition Chats on Old Silver, by Arthur Hayden, 1952 edition
A commentator wrote about this book: With some fifty pages of plates and numerous illustrations of marks, Chats on Old Silver forms a most valuable handbook for the collector. The text conveniently deals with the different types of silverware and the comparison given of sales prices today and when the book was first published form an interesting feature. Cyril G.E. Bunt, who so ably carried out the revision of this edition was for many years on the staff of the Victoria and Albert Museum and is well known as a leading contributor to art journals both in this country and abroad.


Closing our APRIL 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 Barry Arnol, Dominique Bochet, Andrew Brasch, Carmelo Bruno Bruni, D. Burry, Jayne Dye, Kari Helenius, Kimberly Karkov, Konstantin Kustanovich, Tony Mason, Robert Massart, Erwin Mast, Brian Nichelson, David N. Nikogosyan, Hugh Scrine, André Van den Kerkhove, for their invaluable contributions.

Giorgio Busetto
ASCAS is a community of people having a common interest in antique silver.
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