ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver         newsletter # 45 - FEBRUARY 2008
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A new article for ASCAS website

travelling Holy Communion set

Giovanni Ciceri presents:

Travelling for Faith: The lost history of Rev. J. B. Simpson told by his travelling Holy Communion set English version
In viaggio per la Fede: La storia perduta del Reverendo J. B. Simpson narrata dal suo completo da viaggio per Comunione versione italiana

Travelling was - and still is - a pleasure for many people. For some people it can be all or only part of their job.
One can travel for vacation, for business or, as the case of Rev. J. B. Simpson, just for faith, to carry the "word of God" and the Holy Communion, to those who can not reach a church because they are sick.....

click here English version       clicca qui versione italiana


New members

Welcome to new ASCAS members:  

Thomas Axel-Nilsson - Sweden
Luigi Cassano - Italy
Joseph Decrescenzo - USA
Frank Dominguez - USA
Luciano Fiorentini - Italy
Laura Groves - USA
Gregory La Vardera - USA
Patty McCurry - USA
Krista Olson - USA
Linda Pugh - USA
Rhonda Rhodes - USA
Amal Soliman - Egypt

Members' Window # 45

84 mark on Imperial Russia? box

Willand Ringborg presents:

Russian Fakes English version

a deep analysis of Russian marks presented in past Newsletter......

click here English version

Mail to ASCAS: e-mail

Frank Church writes:
... I would like to ask the members if anyone has come across the marks in the accompanying photo. I have heard them described in the American auction rooms but never have they been identified by maker or date.
I don't even know what country they are from.
Frank Church

Deborah Cracovia writes:
... I just purchased this ladies pocket watch and I would like more information about the marks. I know that this is 800 German silver but I could not find any info about the maker or other (date) marks.
I have attached some photos to help.
I also noticed that one of the pieces has the mark EC in a bow and arrow and on the other is a SE in a bow and arrow??
Thank you for any help
Deborah Cracovia

Besides German marks your watch bears also the 800/1000 Swiss marks in use between 1882 and 1934 (for both great and small works).
Giorgio Busetto

Renée Watkins writes:
... can you help me identify this maker and also whether it is sterling, as it was represented to me when I purchased it, or silver plate. The closest I could find to these marks is a Sheffield mark for 1861.
The marks are: Crown followed by the capital letter T followed by a lion passant ( all in a 8 sided cartouche) followed by a Queens head facing left in a round cartouche; followed by M.H. & Co. in a stylized cartouche.
There is also a Unicorn on the Stem.
I have attached some photos.
Thanks again for your help.

Your sterling silver fish server was made by Martin, Hall & Co Ltd and bears Sheffield 1861 hallmarks.
The firm origins by the partnership established in 1820 in Sheffield by Henry Wilkinson and John Roberts who traded as Wilkinson & Roberts. The firm's chronology is: John Roberts (1836), Roberts & Hall ( 1846), Martin Hall & Co (1854), Martin Hall & Co Ltd (1866-1936).
Martin Hall & Co was one of the best known British manufacturers and participated to many international exhibitions including the Crystal Palace 1851 Great Exhibition.
They had also a line of production in electroplate and in a patented white metal called "Martinoid".
This information are available in the British marks pages of my private website at (sterling) and (electroplate).
The "unicorn" on the stem is a crest (see my Silver Dictionary)
Giorgio Busetto

Thomas Richardson writes:
... I got this old silver Chinese coin at an estate sale. At least I think it is Chinese. I really don't know what it is. It appears to be silver. Any info is very much appreciated.
This coin is 2.5" long by 1.5" wide. Attached is a photo
Thank you for your time,
Thomas Richardson

Neil Freeman writes:
...I recently purchased these Elkington silver-plate candlesticks. Thank you for your very informative
"silvercollection" website the candlesticks appear to be dated 1853.
What does the "S" mark indicate?
Can anyone tell me what the "sun" symbol is for: Is it the retailer? Is it the client's symbol? Is it a decorative motif?
In heraldry this symbol is variously described as 'torse' or 'wreath' issuant "sun in splendour".
The candlesticks appear to be reinforced with a ferrous metal rod and weighted with pitch. Would Elkington have placed the rod there? Should I restore the candlesticks by replacing the lost pitch that has crumbled away?
What material and construction would have been used for where the candle is inserted?
Best Regards
Neil Freeman

Gene Swartz writes:
...Can you tell me anything about this piece? The coins date back from 1808-1868 . The hallmark is Kock & Bergfeld (800). Aron 17704 is stamped on the bottom also.
Any info would be greatly appreciated.
Best Regards
Gene Swartz

Koch & Bergfeld was founded in Bremen in 1829 by Gottfried Koch and Ludwig Bergfeld (born in Hannover). Executed 1900-10 designs by Hugo Leven, Albin Muller and Henry van de Velde and in the twenties and thirties by Gustav Elsass and Bernhard Hotger .
Images of Koch & Bergfeld marks are available in my website at
The firm is still active with a wide production of flatware and holloware. Maybe contacting the firm you can obtain further information about your tankard.
Giorgio Busetto

Vadim Dardik writes:
...I have some silver pieces, and seams that the hallmarks are Austrian-Hungarian.
Could you please help me with identifying the other silver marks on the set of silver spoons?
There are 3 marks on each spoon.
One of them is Diana's head.
The second one is mark of eagle.
The third one is man with helmet.
Can you or anyone help me with this matter?
Thank you very much.
Vadim Dardik.

Barry Star writes:
...I have some silver spoons with the attached hallmark, but have been unable to identify it. Can you help? The origin may be Egypt, Turkey, or Greece, or none of the above...
Thank you
Barry Star

Eric Nolf writes:
...Here are a couple photos of our set. Can you assist in identifying this in any way?
Any info would be greatly appreciated.
Eric Nolf

Doudou Le Gros writes:
...I'm trying to identify the use of a silver item in my possession. I believe it is a tobacco box with a lighter on the side.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Doudou Le Gros

In my opinion your item is a cigarette case or a tobacco box combined with matches' container (you omitted to supply the measures of the item).
It looks to be made in St. Petersburg, Russia (end 19th century) but I was unable to find any exact correspondence with its marks.
Giorgio Busetto

Nikica Vuletic writes:
...Please find attached a picture of an object that I am not able to confirm as authentic.
It is an acquisition from a local flea market. I believe lot of specialists and "specialists" examined this piece before I bought it, but somehow were sceptic about its real origin and age. So doubtful I was, but however I had no doubt about it is made of solid silver.
Hallmarks are completely logical and each is matching with others correctly. It is Tallinn 1847 with assayer AT monogram. Three animals are part of city hallmark (exactly matching those at your site) and 84 zolotniks mark is in a rectangle as it should be. Silversmith HC into a rectangle.
First question: Is this a sauce boat or a creamer? (it is 17 cm long, 10.5 cm high and weight is 216 grams and was gilded inside).
Second question: If it is not authentic why should someone make a copy of an object that has no significant market value?
Third question: Is it usual that all four hallmarks on the base rim are turned upside down?
Best regards and best wishes for 2008.

Thanks to Willand Ringborg's article (ASCAS # 88) we know that the town mark is Tallin and that "AT" is an unknown assayer active 1847/1852. Postnikova-Loseva (mark #3508) identifies HC silversmith as Clemens Hermann Georg (1806-1856).
I haven't the knowledge necessary to evaluate if your item is an authentic Imperial Russia piece but, I admit, it would be a great temptation for me if offered at a reasonable price in a flea market.
My opinion is that it is a sauce boat while the "upside down" marks don't signifies that the piece isn't authentic.
Anyway I trust in the support of more experienced members of ASCAS for a qualified reply to your questions.
Giorgio Busetto

Replies to questions

Christophe Ginter receives another reply to his question about the Suiss silversmith's mark: ( see January Newsletter)
Charles C. Cage writes:
... In response to Christophe Ginter's question regarding the marks on his Swiss spoon, the maker "ET" is Etienne Terroux (ca. 1694-1774), master 1719. Additionally, the upper Geneva mark has the worn initials "IIG", which stood for guild warden Jean-Jacques Girod (1700-1770) who served 1732-34 and again 1760-62, so the spoon was made in one of those years (presumably 1732-34 if the early 1700s stylistic dating is correct).
This information is from François-Pierre de Vevey's "Manuel des Orfèvres de Suisse Romande" (Fribourg: Sotheby's, 1985), a good reference for the western French-speaking cantons of Switzerland.
Charles C. Cage

Ludo D'Haese receives this reply to the question about his Italian Sculpture: ( see march 2006 Newsletter)
Luciano Fiorentini writes:
... I identified the maker of the sculpture submitted by Ludo D'Haese in March 2006 Newsletter.
The Italian mark is "383 FI" corresponding to Argenterie Etruria s.n.c., Via del Romito 37, Firenze (Florence).
This mark was assigned in September 1962 and the firm ceased its activity in July 1994.
Luciano Fiorentini 


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
An advertising of Harrison Robbins

This month ASCAS presents a 19th century advertising of

Late Mead & Robbins,
Fine Silver Plated Ware,
Sterling Silver and Fine Jewelry

According to The Encyclopedia of American Silver Manufacturers, Mead & Robbins was a partnership of John O. Mead and Harrison Robbins succeeding the firm of Filley & Mead at some point after 1850. Mead & Robbins continued in business until about 1870.


In this column we presents an abstract from a page of the "What is? Silver Dictionary"
courtesy of home page
silver nef: Germany end of the 19th century


nef is a dinner-table ornamental or utilitarian article in the form of a model of a ship, with masts, sails, rigging and with various figures on board.
The ancient examples (13th-16th centuries) were drinking cups. The later were receptacles for dining implements.
Such pieces were used in France, Germany, Spain and Italy but most of the extant nefs were made in Germany at the end of the 19th century..........


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

ARGENTIERI GEMMARI E ORAFI D'ITALIA     (Silversmiths, Jewellers and Goldsmiths of Italy)

by Costantino Bulgari
printed by Lorenzo Del Turco, ROMA - 1959 -

Notizie Storiche e Raccolta     (Historical information with illustration of silversmith's and town marks)
dei Loro Contrassegni
con la Riproduzione Grafica
dei Punzoni Individuali
e dei Punzoni di Stato
Argentieri Gemmari e Orafi d'Italia


Closing our FEBRUARY 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 Charles C. Cage, Giovanni Ciceri, Franck Church, Deborah Cracovia, Vadim Dardik, Jayne Dye, Luciano Fiorentini, Neil Freeman, Doudou Le Gros, Thomas Richardson, Willand Ringborg, Barry Star, Gene Swartz, Nikica Vuletic, Renée Watkins,  JoAnne Wilkinson, for their invaluable 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.
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