Russian Cigarette Lighters
The first known lighters were invented in the 16th
century and were nothing other than converted flintlock
pistols that used gunpowder. One of the first "real"
lighters was invented by the German chemist Johann
Wolfgang Döbereiner in the year 1823 and was called "Döbereiner
Lamp". This lighter worked by a reaction of hydrogen to
a platinum sponge, which gave a great amount of heat.
This construction was very large and highly dangerous.
Production ceased by the end of the 19th century.
The first version of a wick lighter came on the market
in 1880 and the spark to ignite the wick was obtained by
a piece of pyrite.....
Welcome to new ASCAS members:
Michael Bathrick - USA
Lisa Burns - USA
Michael Carter - USA
Charles Delicata - Malta
Alessandro De Peppo - Italy
Mehdi Gee - England UK
Alice H. Esbenshade - USA
David Harris - USA
Jeffrey Herman - USA
Bill Jackman - England UK
Barbara Jensen-Seymour - USA
Fiona Kenny - Canada
Carolyn Meacham - USA
Betsy Packard - USA
Luigi Speziale - Canada
Nancy Stuckwisch - USA
Penny Wilson - USA
Jacinta Zogg - New Zealand
Members' Window # 69
Robert Massart presents:
Three Centuries of Cauldron Salts
At the beginning of the Middle Ages Anglo-Saxons started
to develop table manners in old England. The table
setting for a guest consisted of a trencher, a pointed
knife and a spoon.
Trenchers were made of hard bread (later of wood) and
eaten as part of the meal, given to the poor, or tossed
to dogs. Changing habits and new practices resulted in a
rich array of different kinds of hollowware and flatware.
Whereas knife and spoon were already in use, the fork
appeared only at the beginning of the 16th century in
Philippe Dupont writes:
...I have a French silver 18th century plate bearing on the
bottom a set of figures of which I'm unable to understand the
meaning (possibly an ancient weight's measure).
The plate's diameter is 28 cm. and its weight is 876 grams.
Any information will be highly appreciated.
The figures are a later addition (19th-20th
century) and refer to common weight measures:
- the "M" identifies the "marc" (1 marc = 8 onces)
- the "O" identifies the "once" (ounce) (1 once = 576 grains)
- the "G" identifies the "grain".
The weight of these measures is slightly different according to
the Region. Assuming 30,59 grams per once the weight of the
plate was 887,50 grams (3 marcs, 5 onces, 7 1/2 grains).
The hallmarks correspond to: Dijon 1759-1760 (G), silversmith
Mathieu Brunot, active for 50 years, from 1732 to 1782.
Jessica Lovett writes:
...Long ago, my great grandmother had a silver cross. We had
several pictures of her wearing it. Her name was Florence Jessie
Sims Reed. My grandmother had been allowed to wear it a few
times. Unfortunately, no one knows what has happened to the
cross since my great grandmother passed away in Wales in 1945.
We found an old letter that had described the cross as if it was
of some significance, and while researching the family tree
thought we should track the meaning of the figures on the back
of the cross. On the back of the cross, it looked like there
were several images punched into the metal.
The first square had the letters TJS...or FJS it is really hard
to tell from the handwriting. Then there were a series of 3
punched marks: an Anchor, a lion and a small "b". From your site
it looks like this description best matches Birmingham 1901????
Can you verify if that sounds accurate???
But I still have no Idea what the TJS or FJS in the first square
stands for..... if it is FJS.... could it be her
initials...Florence Jessie Sims ??????
I also found your site very interesting due to my family
history... Florence Jessie Sims was married to Ralph Newbury
Reed. He was the son of William Bateman Reed. William Bateman
Reed was the son of Thomas Reed and Matilda Bateman. Matilda
Bateman was the Daughter of William and Ann Bateman. Could there
be any connection to the Bateman and Reed Silversmiths???
I am very anxious for your reply.
A small "b" was used in 1799 and 1876 but in both
cases the hallmark was accompanied by the "duty mark" in the
shape of the "King's or Queen's head". The duty mark isn't
quoted in your document and the only compatible date is 1901.
The maker’s mark TJS belongs to Thomas James Skelton, Vyse
Street, Birmingham. Skelton was recorded as jeweller (he
registered his mark also in Chester Assay Office) and is
reasonable to think that the cross was made short before the
date of hallmarking.
I have no information about links between Bateman and Reed (by
the way, William Bateman I was the son of Jonathan and Ann
Bateman while William Bateman II was the son of William Bateman
I'm unable to supply further information about the maker or the
object (moreover without an image of it).
Any further suggestion or correction by ASCAS members will be
I trust in ASCAS members to answer your question
Carmelo Bruno Bruni writes:
...I am researching information about the marks of this vesta
case. I identified the town mark (London), duty mark (Queen
Victoria) and date letter (G=1882).
I'm unable to identify the other marks (F inside a circle and
maker's mark J.E). Thanks for your help.
The J.E mark refers to Joseph Ettlinger partner of
Triefus & Ettlinger, 103 Rue du Temple, Paris. The "F"
identifies an imported item.
Joao Garcia Branco writes:
...I live in Portugal and I purchased a Sterling Silver Sugar
Caster. However, I don't recognize the Marks.
Can you please help me identify the marks of this piece?
Your caster was presumably made in the U.S., but I'm
unable to identify the maker.
I trust in the help of ASCAS members.
Philippe Cocriamont writes:
...Can someone tell me how old those spoons are, and does
somebody know who the silversmith is? The spoons have all one
hallmark, a bird walking to the right. I researched everywhere,
even in the Silvermuseum Sterckshof in Antwerpen: nobody can
help me. It is a mystery.
The spoons have different owner marks, and were bought in
different shops, although all in Ghent (Belgium).
Thanks for your help.
Spoons and fork of "dog-nose" shape (read further
A new challenge for our experts on Belgian/Flemish silver.
Andrew Brasch writes:
...Dear Giorgio, I recently purchased this beautiful silver tray
but I am a little confused with the silver mark. I recognise the
Austro-Hungarian Diana head but I can't locate the "pitcher"
next to it.
I checked it, it is not from Montpellier.
If you want, place it on the monthly Newsletter.
Your help is appreciated, I always enjoy all the comments in the
The "pitcher" is the figural maker's mark of Eduard
Friedman, active in Vienna from 1881 to 1919.
Your item is a "Hanau silver" made in Germany at the end
of the 19th c/ beginning 20th c.
In ASCAS website you can find articles dealing with this matter
I'm unable to identify the maker.
Adriaan ter Meulen writes:
...This epergne was purchased in Rye, East Sussex, UK from an
My wife had been looking for one as she was taking lessons in
flower arranging. This antique dealer found one and I believe we
paid about 20 Pound Sterling for it.
This was in the 1986 to 1990 period. There are no markings on it
and as the copper base material is visible in a few spots, it is
obviously plated. The plating seems primitive as in a few areas
drop-like streaks are visible, suggesting that the silver is
thicker in those areas.
I would be pleased to learn more about it.
There are photos attached of the epergne. It is 29 cm high.
Thank you for your help.
Adriaan ter Meulen
I believe that without any mark isn't possible to trace
the origin of your epergne (or posy holder).
I publish these images, but I'm highly doubtful that
satisfactory answers to this question will be forthcoming.
Meagan (Bee) O'Hara writes:
...Hello, and thank you in advance for any help or assistance
you may be able to offer me. I have stumbled across a gorgeous
pendant, and though my education as a gemmologist is priceless
to me, I am unable to determine the correct origin/person/etc of
the maker's mark.
I have included a few pictures some taken through my microscope.
The pendant features a 1/2 nude woman with detail that is
impeccable. There are 3 pigeon's blood rubies (all bezel set one
of which is set into the bail), 2 opals (both bezel set), 29
hand cut diamonds (all VVS1-SI1 ranging on color from D-G), and
a fresh water pearl drop at the bottom.
It is stamped "Sterling" and also with an "H" that has the
numbers "7" and "3" - the 7 in the top area of the H and the 3
in the lower area.
The H with the 7 and 3 I have assumed means this piece was made
I am curious to know if this is what I have years ago seen
referred to as a "date ladder"? I assume this pendant's age in
part because each of the 29 diamonds are hand cut, and no two of
them are cut to the same exact specifications.
(I know without a shadow of a doubt that this pendant isn't from
1973). I may be wrong, yet I could have sworn that Nouveau
(which this seems to stylistically fit to perfection) started
around 1890. Can you please help me?
Any information you could offer me about this piece would be
I do not feel that I can accurately appraise the piece with so
little knowledge of its creation.
Thank you, again.
Meagan (Bee) O'Hara
Any information will be welcome.
The mark is totally unknown to me. The help of ASCAS
members is needed.
Helen Eyre writes:
...I’ve been trying to research a silver apostle spoon that an
old lady left to me and quite by accident found a picture of a
similar spoon on your website
http://www.silvercollection.it/pagina55.html. The hallmarks
on my spoon are almost identical to the one you describe as a
Dutch import of 1892 – lion, letter R, letter F etc.
I wonder if you can tell me anything more about it? I’ve
attached a picture – not very good I’m afraid!
My web page is now updated with further information about
The English import marks refers to London, 1892, sponsor's mark
of Lewis Lewis (mark entered in 1887).
The origin of this firm refers to Hyman Lewis and Benjamin Lewis
(jewellers and silversmiths) trading in Brighton , Sussex, as
Lewis & Son. Their partnership was dissolved in 1849 and the
business was continued by Benjamin Lewis.
After the death of Benjamin Lewis the trade continued as Lewis &
Son, gold and silversmiths, dealers and importers of antique
plate, etc. From 1887 the business was managed by Barrow Lewis,
Lewis Lewis and Herbert Hyman Lewis. Lewis Lewis died in 1908.
This is the mark of my spoon
Replies to questions
Here is the answer for the request of Jan & Tony Spicer:
This is one of the many total fakes on the market. The object is
plain fantasy and there are no similar exemplars existing in
The round stamp (kokoshnik with dot on the left) should be the
regional confirming stamp of Moscow 1899-1908 for small parts.
The other mark should be the master mark of the silversmith,
unfortunately his name is unknown, working in the year 1744 (!)
and the 84 should be the silver content (875/1000), in this form
never used. An obligatory assay master is totally missing. All
the marks are totally senseless and wrong/non-existing. The
whole object is fantasy, the style and bad quality typical for
the countless Polish forgeries. Mostly the parts are not silver
or silver with very low content.
Hope this helps
"A PAGE per MONTH"
In this column we present 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 month ASCAS presents a page of an ancient
catalog edited c. 1925 by
19 Boulevard St Denis, Paris
"A WORD per MONTH"
or wavy-end is a spoon having a flat stem widening
towards the terminal which then narrows to a rounded
point. This shape resembles to a dog's head viewed from
Usually it has a long rat-tail to the reverse of the
bowl, occasionally decorated.
This spoon is similar to the "Trifid spoon" with the two
This pattern was used from 1695c. to 1715c., coinciding
with the period when Britannia Standard (95.8% pure) was
used, hence the spoons produced at this time will carry
"A SILVERSMITH per MONTH"
EDWARD BARNARD & SONS
Possibly the oldest
manufacturing silversmith in the world, the origin of
this business having been established by Anthony Nelme
c. 1680. Francis Nelme succeeded the business on the
death of his father in 1722 and continued until 1739
when Thomas Whipham took over the business. On his death
in 1756 his son Thomas Whipham jr took into partnership
Charles Wright. Thomas retired in 1775 and the business
was continued by Charles Wright. The business was
amalgamated by Henry Chawner in 1786....
"A BOOK ON MY SHELF"
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:
(Cutlery in Roses Pattern)
ISBN # 978-3-9813273-0-4
To where the love tends -
there rise flowers.
A short while ago, just before X-mass, a monographic
work on cutlery with "Roses" pattern was published by
For quick information look: www.rosen-bestecke.de
This monographic work is also a kind of "love story" -
story started by seeing a sugar spoon in rose pattern in
the window of a main shop in Frankfort.
So far so good. Every one of us started once to be a
novice silver lover. Some collect a little bit; some
also be interested to get more knowledge, and some start
to differ details as well.
I had always the feeling of mine, to be detail oriented.
But this past half year, more involved in the community
of silver lovers, I've met three outstanding researchers,
I like to name: Prof. Nikogosyan who measure also
punches dimension, "buckler" in "925-1000" who register
every detail of a punch like Sherlock Holmes, and last
but not least Johanna Gehrlein.
Mrs. Gehrlein chose to buy some companion to her sugar
spoon - and maybe it was for her the same experience as
we have, when we are visit outside country, e.g. like
But if we fall in love like she, we start to observe
details, differences, learn origin of family and their
member as well. Mrs. Gehrlein observed detail by detail
of these rose pattern cutlery and went to be a collector
first of cast silver.
By time and while she has learned to
count every rose leaf, rose hip, flower's number of petal,
branches surface be rough or smooth, branches structure twisted
like in "Sleeping Beauty" or straight like skyscraper? Structure
of handle in jig saw pattern or closed?
Then she has started to look where these "Sleeping Beauty" come
from. How they were designed, mould made, cast, finished by jig
saw, file, then polished up, textured by oxidation and signed as
well. Each of these is "unique"!
She found a main source of production in Hanau area of Germany -
products distributed in Germany, as well to the globes
population. And there were many other sources in Germany to -
like from Pforzheim, e.g. CW (W in a "circle") = Christoph
Mrs. Gehrlein were so fascinated, that these "Sleeping Beauty"
came out of little workshop, as well out of big factory of
cutlery maker. And she started to research not only origin of
"Sleeping Beauty"; but also history of maker, their marks, their
whole seller and their marks. Here now she describes about 100
company and workshop, their ancestor and descendant as well - on
some of them never before was anything published!
Maker's mark is shown from every company or workshop, if ever
these marks have existed. Because some never have marked her
products - reason e.g. they were producer for others e.g. whole
This is a strong output of Mrs. Gehrlein work: You could find
the source of many not marked item to; because she has observed
every detail of item not marked and has described and
photographed very detailed these differences of not marked ones.
But the ever best one I've found in her book is, she show also
BAD STRUCK MARK'S - now some nightmare and collector's headache
be solved before they start! Nothing could be better - maybe she
is the first who has introduced this collector's assistance in a
My favour pattern is "Rose 300" of Wilhelm Ludwig, designed in
1949 by Prof. Bernd Oehmichen, then after, second time he is
director of "Hanauer Zeichenakademie". I'm fascinated because
this is a part of a "Corporate Image" he developed in Products,
Packaging, Prints and Presentation on the market - like Peter
Behrens for AEG.
There is one lemon sweet: It's in German - but from prehistory
on our ancestors and now we are in kindergarten look to and
learn from pictures. I think if you be really interested, you
would learn very quickly the meaning of main word in
descriptions, if you look to the shown photo.
That's now compressed in a book of 304 pages, more then 1,000
black and white, duotone and colour illustration; many of these
photos in original dimension for direct opportunity of
comparisons with self collected item. 1,380 g - of course not a
collector's pocket book, if you like to stroll with this on flea
Oskar M. Zurell
"A CREST per MONTH"
In this column we present images and
descriptions of Crests and Mottoes of British, Irish and
Scottish families as engraved on silver items.
A Yorkshire family. A lion
The crest is engraved on a Two Handled Cup and Cover
with Fuller White, London 1752 hallmarks
Closing our February 2010 edition of ASCAS
Newsletter I hope you have appreciated its content.
Your comments, suggestions and advice will be of great help.
My thanks to Joao Garcia
Branco, Andrew Brasch, Carmelo Bruno Bruni, Philippe Cocriamont,
H. Dinerstein, Philippe Dupont, Jayne Dye, Helen Eyre, Jessica
Lovett, Robert Massart, Adriaan ter Meulen, Jim Nord, Meagan (Bee)
O'Hara, Postnikov, Nancy Stuckwisch for their invaluable
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
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