2009 ASCAS membership
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Prof. David N. Nikogosyan from Ireland presents a new article about
MARKS OF BERNDORF METALWARE FACTORY IN AUSTRIA:
Marks of Alpacca and Alpacca-Silver II Products
... In my previous article published in Silver Magazine,
I made a detailed study of the marks used for
high-quality silver-plated hollowware (with triple-layer
silver coating of Alpacca alloy, so-called Alpacca
Silber I) issued by the Berndorf metalware factory. This
paper is devoted to a brief listing of marks issued on
more low-quality items, namely, on pieces made of pure
Alpacca alloy, as well as of Alpacca base covered by a
double layer of silver (so-called Alpacca Silber II)......
An explosion of colors in the article presented by
BLOOMING BEAUTIFULLY FROM HERE TO ETERNITY..
Gorham's Fleurs des Siècles gift line designed by Jane
... "Blooming beautifully from here to eternity to grow
more precious with time?" and "The Gorham Fleurs you
will pick will last forever" were the enthusiastic
advertising slogans Gorham chose to describe their
Fleurs des Siècles gift line. The large selection of
flower arrangements, which were produced by Gorham from
the early 1970 to mid-1980s contain an amazing variety
of flowers, leaves, nuts and berries. Each jeweled metal
flower or leaf is handcrafted and hand enameled over
gold plate. Looking at these exquisitely arranged
bouquets tucked into sterling and gold plated cachepots,
authentic reproductions of antique porcelain vases,
various baskets or blooming within Murano glass domes,
one has no idea of the romantic story behind their
Welcome to new ASCAS members:
H.W.B. Elston - South Africa
Steve Fisher - England UK
Pamela Gustin - USA
Lisa Kichener - USA
Michela Marchetto - Italy
Stefan Miller - England UK
Terence Anthony Morgan - South Wales UK
Kelli Rooney - USA
Graham Stapleton - England UK
Floyd Wiggins - USA
Members' Window # 55
Giorgio Busetto presents:
Silver Kantharos from Pompeii
A "Five Ws" Investigation (WHY, WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE)
Some time ago Ampelio Vimercati wrote
"I send the photos of two silver "kantharos" I bought
about twenty years ago.
They are 14 cm. high, diameter at the top 10.5 cm. (15.5
cm. at handles) and 5 cm. at the base and they weigh 910
and 978 grams respectively.
The Kantharos have no hallmark or maker's mark to
indicate their origin and bear only a later fineness
Anyway we are in the presence of beautiful artifacts,
crafted by a highly skilled silversmith."...
Guillaume Bernard writes:
... I need your help to identify the marks of this silver
Merci d'avance pour votre aide.
Service de l’Inventaire du Patrimoine
Collectivité Territoriale de Corse
Ajaccio - France
The hallmark of this chalice is Russian and refers to:
Town of Gitomir,
assayer AA = A. Arzhanihov (active 1865-1874)
silversmith AGR (Cyrillic) = not identified
Ginter Christophe writes:
... Please let me know about the attached Italian mark (from
What does it means and usage period?
Many thanks in advance.
This mark was used in the Stato Pontificio (Rome - Papal
State) from 1815 to 1870 for works of 889/1000 silver fineness.
The maker is Angelo Giannotti, active in Rome from 1824 to 1865.
Your item is a holy water font. I have an image (unfortunately,
not of high quality) of a couple of similar holy water fonts (made
in Rome) hanging from their wall support holders. These holy
water fonts were used in pairs and hung at both sides of the
conjugal bed (below left).
A less common example, similar in construction but standing on a
base, was presented in the April 2008 Newsletter of Silver Society
of Australia (below right: courtesy Patrick Street, SSA)
Gary Barborin writes:
... I have some silver spoons (I'm not sure they are sterling
silver) and I'm unable to identify the maker and their origin.
I'd greatly appreciate your help.
I'm unable to identify these marks (your spoons are
silver plate and not solid silver).
Any help will be welcome
Fernando Viana writes:
... I have bought this yad in local street market, and only
later I decided to search the Internet looking for qualified
comments on it.
I now have my doubts about the authenticity of the hallmarks, as
I suspect this piece is not so old.
Would you kindly favour me with your comments on the subject?
Thank you so much in anticipation.
In my opinion your item isn't ancient Russian silver but
a modern reproduction. Obviously this isn't an appraisal but
only my thought.
In my website there's a page devoted to
Fakes on Russian Silver , but many other "dubious" pieces
are available on the web. Below a "selection of ...(pseudo)
ancient Russia" pieces with two "new entries": the circumcision
clasp and the wedding ring.
... and a wide array of "antique Russia silver yad" proudly exhibited on a street market
Dave Wnuck writes:
... I am a coin collector and dealer in the US. We recently came
across a 1799 silver dollar counterstamped with a hallmark that
is unknown to the coin collecting community.
This hallmark was stamped on a 1799 US silver dollar. Based on
the wear on the coin, it may have been stamped during the
1810-1850 time period, but that is just a guess.
It was originally purchased in an estate sale in Connecticut.
There are towns named Berlin in Connecticut, Massachusetts,
Vermont, New Hampshire, Maryland and perhaps elsewhere in the
USA. It may be the counterstamp of a gunsmith, blacksmith,
metalsmith, clockmaker, etc. and not a silversmith. The hallmark
may or may not be of US origin.
Any help from your membership would be most appreciated.
I hope that ASCAS readers may supply some information
about this overstamped coin
Robert Massart writes:
... Recently I acquired a silver vesta case but can't trace back
the maker. I contacted the local silver museum but the experts
do not know the mark either. The experts assume it is Hanau
Do you have an idea?
Hereafter the description of the vesta case: Antique solid
silver draw vesta case, probably manufactured in Hanau. The
outer sleeve is repoussé with two different scenes on
either side, featuring full figures of 18th century styled
gentry. The detail in these figures is stunning. On one side it
shows a bird hunting scene with two gentlemen firing arrows into
the trees with a bow, while behind them in the brushes a man on
his knees is kissing a woman. The other side of the body shows
an erotic scene of two couples in the bushes. The activity of
the first couple leaves nothing to the imagination of the viewer
while the second couple, sitting on the ground, is watching the
scene. This vesta case was for sure designed as a gentleman’s
The gold wash inside the metal drawer is partially worn and the
striker is heavily eroded. The silver body is in good condition
and shows no damage. The vesta case measures 60mm high, 40mm
wide, 12 mm deep and weighs 50 grams. The side of the sleeve is
hallmarked with 800 for the silver fineness and the letter "A"
surrounded by a semicircle.
Thanks for your advice.
The taste of this vesta case is typical of Hanau silver.
Any suggestion about the mark will be highly appreciated.
José Luis Muñoz writes:
...I'm unable to identify the marks of this item. Maybe they are
Italians. Any idea?
Un cordial saludo
The images of these hallmarks are not well readable.
My hypothesis is that these marks are of the Kingdom of Naples
(a crown over NAP). Usually this mark has also a three digit
date, but I found also an example without the date (beginning of
the 19th century).
In this case the silversmith's mark (A.M) may (possibly) belong
to Antonio Maddalena (a documented work c. 1809-1823).
This is, obviously, only a faint hypothesis. Any further
contribution or correction will be welcome.
Replies to questions
Andersen receive this reply about her mysterious WMF
(see November Newsletter)
Mario Galasso writes:
... The maker is the well known Württembergische
Metallwaren Fabrik W.M.F. (its factory was in Mechernich,
In the antique catalog I own, the object is identified
as "eierbechergestell", that is an egg holder. The eggs,
hard-boiled or to drink, were placed three by three on
the rings, while suitable accommodations on the base
contained single egg holders and salt cellars.
The "eierbechergestell" isn't sterling or solid silver
but silver plate.
Tiffin receives a further reply about her "pip
(see October Newsletter)
Pierre Strobbe writes:
... Pipp- tray's are not only to find in
Belgium. I have a set of 12 of these made in
Germany by J.Bautz in Breslau, Hutschenreuter.
Made for an hotel Berliner Hof, Gottbus. We
still use them indeed and this may be a Belgium
habit: we respect old "tricks"!!!
supplies further information and
corrections about the silver plates of
José Luis Muñoz
(see November Newsletter)
... "Torretta" is a numerical
mark. Genoa became part of the Kingdom
of Sardinia in 1815 but the ancient mark
was used until 1825. The plate's mark
has a date between 1814 and 1819. The
mark of the female head with "2" isn't
French but a later Kingdom of Italy
hallmarking for 900/1000 silver fineness
of the period 1873/1934.
About the mark of the silversmith
Giuseppe Balbino, may be useful to
remark that the information source of
Donaver-Dabbene book is Augusto Bargoni,
'Studi Piemontesi', 1976, where the
author specifies that the mark belongs "possibly"
to Giuseppe Balbino. Moreover, known
information about Giuseppe Balbino
activity are from 1775 to 1778 (and
presumably until 1798) and not
is the author of an interesting article
"THE SGARABHAIGH SILVER SIXPENCE"
article # 73 in ASCAS website. Now
I am writing to let you know that the
Sgarabhaigh Silver Sixpence is now a
formal deposit in the National Museum of
Scotland having been accepted as a coin
of merit by the Senior Numismatic
Curator of the museum. It will now be
part of the history of Scotland along
with its story forever for the reference
of the world.
Keep up your good work with the
Association, the scope of the website
looks very impressive.
"A PAGE per
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 ASCAS presents a Trade
Card of Elizabeth Godfrey, "Goldsmith,
Silversmith and Jeweller to His Royal
Highness the Duke of Cumberland"
belonged to a Huguenot family
and her maiden name was Pantin.
She first married to Abraham
Buteux (a Huguenot silversmith).
Abraham Buteux presumably died
by 1731, when she registered her
first mark as Elizabeth Buteux.
She carried on the business as a
widow until her marriage to
Benjamin Godfrey, her journeyman,
October 3, 1732. Second mark, as
Elizabeth Godfrey, registered
June 29, 1741, presumably on
Benjamin Godfrey death, and for
the next 17 years she ran the
family business with a firm hand.
Elizabeth Godfrey mark (London,
The diamond shaped shield of the
mark indicates that she was a
widow, following the heraldic
practice of enclosing a widow's
coat of arms into a diamond
According to some historians, it
is she, rather than Hester
Bateman, who would be regarded
as the pre-eminent woman
silversmith of the 18th century.
She favoured the rococo style,
and many of her pieces equal
those of the most famous
Huguenot silversmiths of the
George II period.
She employed skilled journeymen
and was probably a skilled
craftswoman in addition to
having exceptional taste and
"A WORD per
In this column
we presents an abstract from a page of
the "What is? Silver Dictionary"
A reliquary is a container
for relics. These may be the
physical remains of saints, such
as bones, pieces of clothing, or
some object associated with
saints or other religious
figures. The use of reliquaries
became an important part of
Christian ritual from at least
the 4th century. Relics are
venerated in the Oriental
Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox,
Roman Catholic and some Anglican
Churches. Reliquaries provide a
means of protecting and
displaying relics. They range in
size from simple pendants or
rings to coffin-like containers,
to very elaborate
"A BOOK ON
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
ASCAS members are invited to contribute
to this column
(click to enlarge images)
The "book on the shelf" of this month
by Frederick W. Fairholt
of the Collection of
ANTIQUE SILVER PLATE
ALBERT, LORD LANDESBOROUGH
PRINTED FOR PRIVATE REFERENCE
by T. Richards, 87, Great Queen Street
Closing our DECEMBER 2008
edition of ASCAS Newsletter I hope you have
appreciated its content.
Your comments, suggestions and advice will be of
My thanks to
Gary Barborin, Guillaume Bernard, Dorothea
Burstyn, Jayne Dye, Mario Galasso Christophe
Ginter, Dave Hill, Robert Massart, José Luis
Muñoz, Prof. David N. Nikogosyan, Pierre
Strobbe, Fernando Viana, Ampelio Vimercati,
JoAnne Wilkinson, Dave Wnuck, for their
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