ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver

newsletter # 177 February 2019
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A new article for ASCAS website

Magdalena and William Isbister present:

Enameled German Ocean Liner Thimbles English version

In the early part of the twentieth century, when transatlantic travel was at its zenith, the ocean liners themselves were owned by just a few companies. Two such companies were the German companies Hamburg-Amerikanische Packetfahrt-Actien-Gesellschaft (HAPAG) and Norddeutscher Lloyd (NDL). At their busiest they boasted two Atlantic crossings a week and vied with each other to take the Blue Riband, an unofficial accolade given to the fastest liner making the transatlantic crossing on regular service. Later HAPAG and NDL merged to become HAPAG-LLOYD. At about the same time, Ketcham and McDougall (KMD) and Gebrüder Gabler, each, designed series of enamelled thimbles which depicted the boats and which were, presumably, sold on board the early transatlantic liners as souvenirs since they did not bear dates signifying a commemoration of any particular event. Souvenirs were sold by barbers from cases in their shop. Examination of deck plans confirmed that whilst the boats did have barber and cigar shops they did not seem to have gift shops. Gifts were, however, on display in glass cases in the foyers of the boats and passengers wishing to purchase souvenirs had to contact a steward or the barber who would then obtain the item for them (personal communication, J B Hawley -

We don't know how many different "Ocean Liner" thimbles were made and no records are known to list the thimbles. In an early Gebrüder Gabler workbook, however, a design for such a thimble is drawn and described ("D Amerika" -1905 -1958) but no specific ships are mentioned in the text. The Gebrüder Gabler thimbles have enamelled borders with a painted image of a ship and a white enamel rectangle with the name of the ship.....
click here
     English version

New members

Welcome to new ASCAS members:

Diana Bromelow - The Netherlands
Gilles Cattermore - England UK
Lisa Jasven - South Africa
Kenneth M Koff - USA
Kathleen Mercer - USA

Mail to ASCAS: e-mail

Royal Barnard writes:
... I have finally gotten to study this lovely little French serving piece. 8' overall. Bearing marks shown.
I believe 1819-1838 and .800 fine silver, but the rest baffles me.
I adore it and would love to understand more.
Many thanks and kind regards,

Royal Barnard

Your piece isn't French but Dutch (Holland). The date is 1929, silver fineness 833/1000, maker A.H. Kuylemburg, Schoonhoven, active 1927-1931
Giorgio Busetto

Bo Pang writes:
... Recently I have got a early silver work. There are 4 marks on this silver work. All these marks are made on the back side of base.
One mark is recognized as Augsburg Silver on 1734-1735. But I can't find the meaning of rest of 3 marks.
I didn't find any information on these marks from Internet. Could you please have a look and let me know what they are.
Best wishes,
Bo Pang

Not Augsburg 1734-1735 but Hanau silver, late 19th century. The maker is, possibly, Georg Roth but the attribution can't be certain as Hanau marks aren't registered trademark but the mere reproduction of ancient silver hallmarks.
Similar symbols were used by different manufacturers and familiar or economic interaction between various Hanau firms could be at the base of marks crossover. See my website at
Giorgio Busetto


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 an ancient advertisement of

Metallwarenfabrik, Quedlinburg, Germany
Gebr.Arndt, Metallwarenfabrik, Quedlinburg, Germany: ancient advertisement

Founded in 1870 in Quedlinburg, Saxen Anhalt (Germany).
Obtained a gold medal at Paris 1900 World Exhibition.
Advertised tableware in brass, nickel and alpaca.
Gebr.Arndt, Metallwarenfabrik, Quedlinburg, Germany, mark Gebr.Arndt, Metallwarenfabrik, Quedlinburg, Germany: factory image


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


From 1690 the Portuguese hallmarking system was based in a series of town marks consisting generally in the first letter of the town name often surmounted by a crown. The towns were Aveiro, Beja, Braga, Coimbra, Évora, Faro, Guimarães, Lisbon, Porto, Santarém e Setúbal.
Silver fineness was expressed in "dinheiros": 11 (916/1000) or 10.6 (854/1000).
In 1887 the town system was abandoned attributing the responsibility to the "Casa da Moeda" and creating control offices in Lisbon, Porto, Braga (until 1911) and Gondomar (until 1913 a "department" of Porto office). Admitted purity degrees were .916 and .833. MORE...


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 business was founded by Nicolaus Christoph Robbe (1843-1916) who in 1874 opened a silver workshop in Angelburger Street, Flengsburg (Schleswig-Holstein, Germany).
The business prospered and in 1897 Robbe opened a fifty-percent partnership with his son-in-law Robert Berking (1872-1908). Berking was a master silversmith from Braunschweig with entrepreneurial talent and technical and artistic mastery. He developed the first cutlery designs of the company, expanded the trading area and built new company's headquarters in Sophienstrasse, modernizing production and adopting updated tools and machinery.
Robert Berking died in a bathing accident in 1908 at the age of 35. His young widow, Henriette Robbe, heir of Berking's 50% of the company, took over the management supported by her father Nicolaus Christoph Robbe and by her brother Arnold Robbe (1883-1956).
Henriette divided her fifty-percent share between her two young sons, Theodor (1899-1964) and Nicolaus Berking (1900-1947). At the death of Nicolaus Robbe (1916) his fifty-percent share was inherited by Arnold Robbe who became equal partner with his nephews Theodor and Nicolaus Berking.
The location of Flensburg, near the border of the neutral Denmark, spared the company from the most devastating effects of the war status during World War I but the special import and export rules and regulations introduced by Denmark and Germany after the war caused economic hardships to Robbe & Berking...... 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: CONOLLY

The crest of Conolly family (Ireland).
The motto is "En Dieu est tout" (In God is all).
The crest is described as "an arm erect, in hand an amulet".
The crest has been found on a sterling silver handled bowl hallmarked London 1817, maker John Houle

sterling silver handled bowl with family crest: CONOLLY hallmark on sterling silver handled bowl with family crest: CONOLLY

- 1798 -

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 1798

Sheffield Assay Office: hallmarks register
Sheffield Assay Office: 1798 hallmarks register
Sheffield Assay Office: 1798 hallmarks register

Closing our February 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 Royal Barnard, Magdalena and William Isbister and Bo Pang 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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