ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver         newsletter # 57 - FEBRUARY 2009
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Two new articles for ASCAS website

  Sheffield plate salt with blue glass liner; c. 1790; Sheffield, England © Victoria and Albert Museum, London, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Rod Elser and Jane Carroll present:
Silver Open Salts at The Victoria & Albert Museum
(part 2)
English version

This is 'part 2' of an article dealing with the collection of silver open salts of the The Victoria and Albert Museum -or just the "V&A" as it is more commonly known- located on Cromwell Road in London and established in 1852. Part 1 of this article was published in January 2009 Newsletter. V&A collection of salts spanned a period of manufacture of nearly 500 years -dating from the early 1500's to a very contemporary silver salt made in 1979- and its policy allows photographs (without the use of tripod equipment). Other photos are published from V&A website with the kind permission of the museum...
click here English version
  Leopard's Head mark
David McKinley presents

The Legal Position of The English Leopard English version

... I have felt constrained to write on this subject because so many authorities continue to refer to the leopard's head as the London mark without any further clarification and to those not familiar with how both the leopard's head and the sterling lion came into existence this can be very confusing since patently there is much plate assayed outside London which is stamped with the leopard's head and equally there is much plate assayed at Goldsmiths' Hall which, being of Britannia standard, is not so marked......

click here English version

New members

Welcome to new ASCAS members:  

Bernard Begley - Australia
Craig Bennett - England UK
Hervé Cazaux - France
Marta Conte - Italy
Joan Fay - USA
Richard Hatton - England UK
Erinn Jackson Bryan - USA
Meg Lieberman - USA
Tony Mason - England UK
Todd O'Malley - USA
Andy Mawhinney - Germany
Deborah & Rodney Ralph - Australia
Jacqueline Rosen - USA
Cliff Wener - USA
Jennifer Youngblood - USA

top page - page map

Members' Window # 57

caviar holder made by Fraget between 1896-1915
Prof. David N. Nikogosyan presents:

Marks of European Silver Plate: II. Fraget & Norblin English version

Visiting Moscow in 2000, I bought a strange silver-plated object at the antique market "Izmailovo". A rather small container in the form of a traditional wooden Russian barrel with two compartments inside; the upper one bearing a glass inset, was placed on the silver-plated dish and covered by the lid. All three parts (the container, the lid and the dish) were marked by the same monogram AH (AN in Russian). Many of my Russian friends and colleagues could not recognise the purpose of this object. It took me a lot of time before I understood what it was for - it was a caviar holder....      click here English version

Mail to ASCAS: e-mail

Edward Doherty writes:
... I am seeking help with marks on a heavy cast silver belt depicting, Tigers, & Dragons on a Bamboo.
First,..Have you any idea whereabouts this piece was produced.
Second,..What part does the Russian "84" mark play.
Finally,..Are the marks Chinese, Russian, or what?
Thanking you in anticipation.
kind regards,
Edward Doherty
I don't believe that your item is Russian.
I hope that someone of ASCAS members will be able to reply to your questions.
Giorgio Busetto

Paul Shields writes:
... As a metal detectorist I have found your website a wealth of knowledge on a subject I know almost nothing about. I have identified many of my EPNS electoplated cutlery finds through your hallmarks pages but are at a miss as to one particular spoon and wondered if you could help?
The marks say REGENT TABLEWARE A. (in capitals) I'm not interested in value but would like to attribute a maker and date for this spoon.
Can you help?
Kind regards,
Paul Shields
Regent is a mark used by John Sherwood & Sons. Details about this firm are available in my website at
Giorgio Busetto

Kelli Rooney writes:
... I have found an interesting piece that is marked "Strube & Sohn ", 800, with the half moon and crown mark of Germany after 1888. I'm having trouble locating information about this particular silversmith.
The tray is 13.5" long, and weighs in at 390 grams.
Perhaps someone will know about this company, and the mark can be used for further study?
Thank so much!
Kelli Rooney
I'm sorry but I have no information about this maker.
I'll publish your question in February Newsletter trusting in thehelp of ASCAS members.
Giorgio Busetto

Sue Tiffin writes:
... I am curious to know what this long, thin, sterling piece is. It is 10" long and is almost too thin for the stem of a flower. It is open at both ends and will not stand alone. It has been engraved around the inside of the top, "EGP, June 18, 1874 - 1899".
The hallmarks are Sterling, WW or WHW, 278. I thought of a candle snuffer but haven't seen one straight like this piece.
Any help greatly appreciated!
Sue Tiffin
I believe that it is, possibly, a monaural stethoscope, but I'm not sure. Anyway I'll publish your question in next newsletter.
If so, a gift for a 25th anniversary of work or degree of a doctor (an unlikely gift for a 25th wedding anniversary).
I hope to receive further information about your item and its identification
Giorgio Busetto

Robert L. Downing writes:
... Giorgio:
Lately I have spent a good bit of time thinking about how best to dispose of my collection of smokers braziers, AKA pipelighters, when I am gone. I am 77 years old, in failing health and have no wife or children. Because my background is in research and education, I favor donating them to a university or research museum that would use them to increase our knowledge of the form and its makers.
Alternatively, I could use the money and might decide to sell them. If so, should they be sold as one lot, thereby keeping the collection intact or should I break it up and thereby put the individual pieces back in circulation, available for purchase by future collectors.
Every collector will eventually confront this problem and I would like to hear what they decided to do and why. Are there reasons to favor a university rather than a museum? Should the items be returned to their country of origin, if possible?
Let your readers "kick this around" a bit, please.
PS To view most of my collection, search "google" for "smokers braziers"
Robert L. Downing (
Above two images from Robert L. Downing website (
Your comments will be welcome
Giorgio Busetto

Dariusz Malinowski writes:
I recently purchased a silver candlestick which has the hallmark like in attachment. The maker name is Szkarlat.
Can you help me in identifying the hallmarks.
Dariusz Malinowski
I'm sorry but I'm unable to identify the marks of your Russian candlestick.
Any help will be welcome
Giorgio Busetto

Hymie Dinerstein writes:
I have the attached small piece of Italian (I think) silver and I believe the maker is 'YL'
Looks like 1830's but what was it for? It is 4" tall and 3" wide and weighs only 10 grams. Was it a religous piece worn by someone?
It would be nice to know anything about it.
Hymie Dinerstein
Your item is an ex-voto. I do not believe it is Italian as the letter "Y" do not exists in Italian alphabet and is highly improbable an Italian first or last name beginning with Y.
The ex-voto was offered to a church or to a sanctuary as a token to a Saint or to Our Lady for a "grace received". The ex-voto was often accompanied by a painting describing the episode (health recovered, shipwreck, etc.).
Giorgio Busetto
Anthony Friedman writes:
I found your website, and I was very excited about the Tiffany Hallmarks page.
I am trying to authenticate a Tiffany Faneuil Infant Feeding Spoon (presumably, 1993 edition). The spoon is stamped on the back "Tiffany & Co. Sterling". There are no other markings on the spoon.
I took it to the local Tiffany and the saleswoman compared it to the current edition and said that the spoon I have is not authentic, because the current spoon is stamped "Tiffany & Co. Spain .925". She said that all Tiffany silverware should say .925. I know that some Tiffany pieces do not say .925 (I saw it on your website). I also know that the stamps can change. Since the saleswoman did not seem like she's worked at Tiffany for 15 years, I question her familiarity with the stamp from 15 years ago.
Do you know if it is possible that a genuine 1993 edition Faneuil Infant Feeding Spoon was stamped just "Tiffany & Co. Sterling"? Alternatively, how can I find out what the stamp should be on that spoon and whether there are variations in stamps for that item.
Thank you very much in advance,
Anthony Friedman

Jose Rene Burgos writes:
... What is this object? From where it's coming from?
Regards Jose Rene Burgos
I believe it is a nargilé (narghilé), "a single or multi-stemmed water pipe for smoking. Originally from India, It has gained immense popularity, especially in the middle east. It operates by water filtration and indirect heat and can be used for smoking herbal fruits, tobacco, or cannabis" (information obtained from Wikipedia).
The marks are Egypt, after 1916.
Giorgio Busetto

Replies to questions

Kelli Rooney receives this reply about her silver and glass bowl (see January Newsletter)
Charles C. Cage writes:
...Regarding Kelly Rudi’s Hamburg silver & glass bowl in newsletter #56, Tardy’s listing of the Hamburg assayer’s letters is very superficial. The letter "C" here is from the third cycle of letters, and was that of assayer Friedrich Christoph Greve, working 1829-1854. The maker "NOACK" is Johann Friedrich August Noack (ca. 1788-1856), Master 1816 and retired 1847. The bowl, therefore, can be dated to the more reasonable range of 1829-1847.
Best wishes
Charles C. Cage


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 1900 advertising of Wm. KENDRICK'S SONS, Jewelers and Silversmiths, 333 Fourth Avenue, Louisville, Ky.
advertising of Wm. KENDRICK'S SONS
The leaflet advertises Silver collapsion cigarette or cigar Holder in silver case ($ 2.00), silver snake match box ($ 5.50).
" On receipt of money, money order or stamps, will send articles ordered at our risk and expense. If not satisfactory, will refund amount paid. Our catalogue for the fall of 1901 now ready. Will mail to you on receipt of your address."


In this column we presents an abstract from a page of the "What is? Silver Dictionary"
courtesy of home page
silver zarf - coffee cup holder


A Zarf is a holder, usually of ornamental metal, for a coffee cup without a handle. Although coffee was probably discovered in Ethiopia, it was in Turkey at around the thirteenth century that it became popular as a beverage. As with the serving of tea in China and Japan, the serving of coffee in Turkey was a complex, ritualized process. It was served in small cups without handles (known as fincan), which were placed in holders known as zarf (from the Arabic word, meaning container, envelope) to protect the cup and also the fingers of the drinker from the hot fluid. Cups were typically made of porcelain, but also of glass and wood, however since it was the holder that was more visible, it was typically more heavily ornamented.........


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:

Early American Silver by Martha Gandy Fales, 1970 Early American Silver by Martha Gandy Fales, 1970
A commentator writes about this book: The author surveys the historical development of Americam silver -including domestic silver, church silver, official silver, and presentation silver,- explaining why the various forms were developed and why they disappeared, how they were used, anf how they were made. She describes the specific characteristics of different regions and the work of different designers. She also discusses the role of the American silversith -his training, his shop and tools, the manner in which he conducted the business, the allied crafts that often engaged in- and gives a fascinating picture of one of our country's most important group of artisans.


Closing our FEBRUARY 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 Jose Rene Burgos, Charles C. Cage, Hymie Dinerstein, Edward Doherty, Robert L. Downing, Jayne Dye, Rod Elser, Anthony Friedman, Dariusz Malinowski, David McKinley, David N. Nikogosyan, Kelli Rooney, Paul Shields, Sue Tiffin, JoAnne Wilkinson, for their invaluable contributions.

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