ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silvernewsletter # 151 December 2016 SITE MAP

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2016 ASCAS membership

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Please accept my best wishes for a happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Giorgio Busetto
ASCAS Secretary

A new article for ASCAS website

Collection of 14 crystal bottles, Grasse

Katherine Palthey presents:

Marie Antoinette's Second Necessaire - Part 2 English version

In 1791 the Queen of France Marie-Antoinette ordered an extraordinary "Necessaire" travelling case made by the Royal Cabinetmaker Jean Philippe Palma and Royal Silversmith Jean-Pierre Charpenat. This travelling necessaire is almost identical to her original case found in the Louvre. Part one of this article can be found in our listing, and explains a bit more in detail the provenance of this case and how it made its way to where it is now: The International Museum of Perfumery in Grasse, France. During our private meeting at the time, I had the immense honor of examining and photographing several important pieces from the Queen's Necessaire. In part 1 I shared with you a chocolate pot, a spirit burner and a toddy beaker and their respective hallmarks. In this part, I will share three more silver items that were examined: a pair of silver "bougeoirs de voyage" candlesticks for travelling; an entire set of toiletry jars with silver or vermeil "cache bouchons" bottle covers and a rare "clochette de service" royal service bell. As mentioned in the first article, there are over 50 pieces in this necessaire and it takes almost 2 1/2 hours to unpack the entire case...
click here English version

New members

Welcome to new ASCAS members:

Craig Baker - USA
Nick Duggan - England UK

Mail to ASCAS: e-mail

Piero Eduardo writes:
...I'd wish to have information about the "AO" maker of a GBD pipe hallmarked London 1918.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Best regards
Piero Eduardo

The maker is Adolphe Oppenhaimer, see my website at
Giorgio Busetto

Robin Holmes writes:
... I am stumped by these two tiny marks on this small bowl 87mm diameter
To me they appear to be cast marks as the background is rough and not smooth as would be expected from a struck mark.
Kind regards
Robin Holmes

Sean Flynn writes:
... I am wondering if it is at all possible for some assistance with regard to a silver marking that I have not been able to find any information on that I would consider to be accurate.
The markings are on the cap of a teakettle inkwell which is thought to be French made during the mid 1800s. These are the first markings on this particular form of bottle to give an idea of country of making.
I have been told that the inkwell was bought from Sweden approximately 5 years ago.
Any help would be gratefully received.
Sean Flynn

Mike Deshaies writes:
... I have learned quite a bit about hallmarks since joining your site several years ago and usually do not have to reach out for help.
I just got this Traubenpokal grape cup that is most likely circa 1600 and I am stumped on the marks. This covered cup consists of 5 different pieces and all have the mark that looks like 2 letter A's, (AA).
I believe this is the makers mark but information is too limited on the internet for makers this early.
Was wondering if you could help
Mike Deshaies

David Murray writes:
...I would appreciate some assistance with some Italian silver teaspoons, photos attached:
The spoons have attractive finials, with interesting engraving, one is engraved Bellagio. The hallmarks are different, the first has 800 in oval with maker's mark 32 and MI, I presume Milan. The second has the optional 800 Crowned head for 1872-1933, in irregular punch, and what looks like a maker's mark of a Lion rampant holding a sword, with 3 stars.
Can you assist identifying the makers, and offer an explanation as to why 2 identical spoons would have different marks, perhaps made during the transition period at end of 1933?
Thanks and kind regards, David Murray

32MI identifies Messulam, a silversmith firm founded in 1884. Your spoons bear respectively the optional mark used until 1935 (Italia turrita) and the lozenge used from 1935 until 1943 c. (meaning that the spoons were made in different times).
I don't have information about the mark with the lion rampant. Possibly this mark was used by Messulam before 1935. After 1935 the firm used different marks, see my website at
By the way, Bellagio is little village near Como Lake.
Giorgio Busetto

Claudio Morelli writes:
... I'd wish to identify the maker of this spoon bearing the hallmark of Nizza (Nice) Assay Office 1803/1809 (French domination).
Any help will be highly appreciated.
Claudio Morelli

Luigi Masciullo writes:
... This holy water font bears two French import marks but, in my opinion, it is of Genoa manufacture during French occupation of early 19th century.
What do you think about?
Luigi Masciullo

The style suggests Genoa manufacture, and this hypothesis justifies the French import mark.
Any other suggestion will be welcome
Giorgio Busetto

Replies to questions

Ian Mactier receives this answer about his small mug
(see November 2016 Newsletter)

Alan Yates writes
Unfortunately I do not have my Indian Colonial silver literature to hand.
However, in my opinion the silver mug is Indian Colonial, the maker Charles Nephew, and the marks are pseudo English marks.
Kind regards
Alan Yates


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 home page
1830 invoice of silversmith Carlo Balbino

This month ASCAS presents an 1830 invoice of

di SAS il Principe di Carignano
e Fabbricante di Dorini
a Torino

Carlo Agostino Balbino (born in 1777, master silversmith in 1798) was the founder of a firm that, since the early 19th century, became the primary silver manufacturer of Turin.
Balbino workshop was supplier of the Royal House of Savoy and its silverware is present in the collection of the Royal Palace Museum (Turin) and in the equipment of the Quirinale Palace (President of the Italian Republic) in Rome.
The firm participated to Esposizione dei Prodotti dell'Industria (Turin, 1838) and to Esposizione Nazionale di Torino (1858).

Carlo Balbino mark Carlo Balbino mark Carlo Balbino mark


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
A.C unidentified GXES unidentified


There was no legal requirement to mark electroplated goods and any letter, symbol or number punched in silverplate wares is part of the individual trademark used by manufacturers to customize their own production.
The punches consisted usually of letters corresponding to the initials of the electroplater coupled to other letters (e.g. "EP" for Electro Plated or "S" for Sheffield) and symbols composing a sequence similar to that used by Assay Offices for sterling silver hallmarking.
The attribution of trade marks based on maker's initials is problematic given that various makers had often the same initials and no registration was due for this type of marks.
Usually the identification can rely on the exam of advertisements, catalogs, invoices and city directories but the whirling world of openings, closures, mergers, transformations that characterized the 19th century electroplating business in Sheffield and Birmingham has had the consequence that many trade marks of minor manufacturers continue to remain unidentified....


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


Scarce information is available about this family business active in Sheffield from late 19th century until early 20th century.
Maurice Baum was active at Albert Works, 189-191 Norfolk St (1884-1900) and Mowbray St, Sheffield (1901-1904). The firm used the trade mark SILVERINE.
Sterling silver hallmarks were entered in Sheffield Assay Office in 1884 and 1893.
Maurice Baum (born 1848) died in 1894, but the firm survived his death (managed, presumably, by his widow Rachel as in 1899 the 'MB' hallmark continued to be present in sterling silver knives) until was succeeded by his young sons Louis (c.1876-1950) and David Baum (1877-1951), acting as Baum Brothers (c.1904).
Baum Brothers were active at 40 Nursery Street (1905), 154 Meadow Head, Woodseats...


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: CARROLL and O'CARROLL

The crest of Henry Carroll, Esq, of Ballynure, co. Wicklow and O'Carroll, Irish family

The crest is described as 'On stump of oak, sprouting a hawk'

The Latin motto is 'In Fide et in Bello Fortis' (Firm in faith and in war)

The crest was found on a little siver fob box, hallmarked London 1896, maker James Hirst, 45 Hanover Street, Islington

silver fob box  with family crest: CARROLL and O'CARROLL

hallmark on silver fob box  with family crest: CARROLL and O'CARROLL

Closing our December 2016 edition of ASCAS Newsletter I hope you have appreciated its content.
Your comments, suggestions and advice will be of great help.

My thanks to Mike Deshaies, Piero Eduardo, Sean Flynn, Robin Holmes, Luigi Masciullo, Claudio Morelli, David Murray, Katherine Palthey and Alan Yates for their precious contributions.

Giorgio Busetto


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