ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver         newsletter # 14 JUNE 2005


Members who have not yet sent their confirmation are invited to renew their membership to ASCAS by replying to this e-mail (just use the 'reply' function to this email).
Shipping of ASCAS Nerwsletter to non-confirmed members will be suspended next month.
My thanks for many confirmations, encouragements and offers of collaboration I've received by members. I hope that June will be the last Newsletter with an excess of Giorgio Busetto's articles.
Thanks for your attention.
Giorgio Busetto
ASCAS Secretary

A new article for ASCAS website

An ancient liturgical object: the PAX Giorgio Guida and Giorgio Busetto present
'An ancient liturgical object: the PAX' - 'Un antico oggetto liturgico: la 'Pace'.

An ancient object used in liturgical ceremonies.

This article is available in double version
English English text - Italiano versione italiana

List of members

Welcome to new ASCAS members:  

Viviana Alonso Muso - Argentina
Paul Blitzblau - USA
Ronald H. Boyce - Canada
Suzanne De Vall - USA
Owen Dobson - England UK
Terry Haines - England UK
Mary Hopper - USA
Hugo Keymeulen - Belgium
Margaret Lewis - USA
Lauri McCormick - USA
Anna Miles - USA
Cecilia Moguilansky - Argentina
Bernard Molloy - England UK
Audrey Pilling - USA
Sandra Pollero - USA
Leslie Salvage - England UK
Kim EW Shell - USA
Susan D. Sinclair - USA
Hester Valckenier Kips - the Netherlands


Members' Window # 14

Austrian antique silver sugar tongs with masks and floral motifs Giorgio Busetto presents:
CARL ADOLF KOHL: silversmith and ... cartoonist
unusual resemblances on Austrian sugar tongs of 19th century.
click here


Questions from ASCAS members

Jayne Dye writes:
Giorgio, and readers,
question #1: Maybe you would be so kind as to consider publishing this spoon. We bought it 1n 1996 in a very tiny 'junk' store in a little alley in Helsinki, Finland from the the shop's Russian owner. 

silver spoon silver spoon

reply #1: your spoon was made in Finland and hallmarks correspond (from left to right):
silversmith (I'm unable to attribute) - National mark - purity degree (in thousands) - town mark (Turku) - year (1964)

question #2: This second spoon was also purchased in the little shop in the little alley in Helsinki, Finland from the same Russian shop owner. Some of the marks are the same. Some are very difficult to see clearly. The spoons are quite different in style and design.

silver spoon silver spoon

reply #2: hallmarks are similar to #1- The only difference is the 'date letter' Z7 corresponding to 1977

Question #3: We bought four spoons the same day and here is the third one. It is Supposed to be Russian also. If one of them is Finish, Norwegian or Swedish that would be fine with us. None of the marks look Finish or Swedish to me. This one has a design technique which I do not have a name for. Black etching pattern.

silver spoon silver spoon

reply #3: this is a Russian spoon, but it is a silver piece from Soviet Russia and not from Tsarist Russia.
The mark on the left, representing two cyrillic letters (S and CH) and number 6, is the mark of VelikoOustiuskaia Fabrika (presumably Veliki Ustiug town's Factory) Severiaia Chernb
The mark on the right is a male head and 875 (875 per thousand, as Soviet Russia left the use of zolotnik for silver purity degree). This mark was in use (between 1927 and 1958).
The decoration of the spoon is on 'niello' (from latin nigellum), a tecnique which consists in filling silver engraving with a special amalgam of silver, lead, copper and sulphur, obtaining decoration of different shades depending on sulphur percentage.
Niello is a typical decoration of Russian silver.
You may see another Russian nielloed spoon of unusual shape on my private website at
Giorgio Busetto


Hymie Dinerstein writes:
I need some help on this piece.
Size from handle to handle is 11"
The silver oval dish is 4 3/4" long, 3 1/2" wude and stands approxiametly 2 1/4" tall and the only mark underneath is "PONCE"?.
Any one any ideas- Spanish, Portuguese, Italian?

Spanish 18th century ember bowl Spanish 18th century ember bowl
Spanish 18th century ember bowl hallmark Spanish 18th century ember bowl hallmark

Your item is a brasero (chofeta, ember bowl) made in Spain by silversmith Ponce Manuel (town: Palencia, province: Castilla-Leon, year: 1779). For more information and images about ember bowls you may see my private website at
Giorgio Busetto

Mark Mandel writes:
hello Giorgio, I wrote in response to issue #13, and included a question about a german 800 silver pastry server.
My question was if it would be alright to post the question without having a picture, as I do not have access to a digital camera. I can date the object between 1888 and 1920 approx because of the crescent moon and crown.
I can describe the piece which is pierced and cast and has a curious mixture of neoclassical and romantic elements. The maker's mark is a six sided star of david with a Z inside. What is his name, and what other info can i learn about him?
I await your reply. Thank you.
Mark Mandel

I'd be curious to see your pastry server and this mixture of neoclassical and romantic elements.
Unfortunately I don't know the 'star of david and Z' mark but I hope that ASCAS members will reply to your question (a similar mark, but with G inside, belongs to Jakob Grimminger:
Giorgio Busetto


What is this piece ???

Fred Sinfield writes:
A Mystery Cup.
Does any one recognise this cup?
Standing 115mm tall, the bowl is 85mm wide and its weight is just under 300grams.
The inside of the bowl is gilded and rather unexpectedly so is the inside of the base.
There are gilded highlights on the “XXXX” around the shoulder and the trefoils on the base.
An unusual feature is the single curved 40mm wide grip with trefoil and fern-like engraving.
The maker’s mark is SB&S LTD, the Birmingham based S. Blanckensee & Son Ltd.who had this item assayed in Chester in 1927-28.
The cup appears to be either a reproduction of a piece from antiquity or made for some special event, so any clues will be appreciated

Mystery Cup Mystery Cup


Replies to members' questions

The spoon of Christine and Denis Mercier on May Newsletter has received three replies by our members:

nursemaid spoon hallmarks cnursemaid spoon nursemaid spoon hallmarks cnursemaid spoon

Maurizio Perota writes:
description of spoon's hallmarks of the spoon of Christine and Denis Mercier from top to bottom
1: unreadable - presumably it's a 'decharge' hallmark
2: 'Jurande' of Grenoble from 1708 to 1712
3: 'charge' of Grenoble from 1700 to 1715
4: silversmith Michel Millerand père, member of the guild of Grenoble about 1695 - dead 1751

Olivier Moulines writes:
This spoon was made in Grenoble (France) between 1709 and 1715 by silversmith Michel Millerand (1671-1751).
The hallmarks are described in the book of Mrs Godefroy, “Les orfèvres du Dauphiné” – Librairie DROZ – Genève.
The spoon bears:
the 'charge' hallmark (Z and 2 D interwoven)
the 'décharge' (a crowned fleur-de-lis and a star) of Grenoble's 'fermier de la marque' des Vaux des Ayberts,
the 'jurande' of Grenoble (a dolphin and letter 'M') in use between 1709 and 1715
the silversmith's mark of Michel Millerand (crowned letters MM over an Acanthus leaf).
Michel Millerand was an important Grenoble silversmith and worked for high level customers.
I'd add that this spoon may not be a Royal gift as the King was exempted from paying the duty mark and, moreover, he used Paris silversmiths for his orders. On the contrary it's possible that this spoon was use by the nursemaid of the Royal children, born in 1710.
Was this spoon used by Louis XV? It is possible. Who knows?

(texte français)
Cette cuillère porte les poinçons de charge (Z et 2 D entrelacés) et de décharge (une fleur de lis couronnée et une étoile) du fermier de la marque pour Grenoble : des Vaux des Auberts, le poinçon de jurande de Grenoble (un dauphin et la lettre M) utilisé entre 1709 et 1715, et le poinçon de maître orfèvre de Michel Millerand (lettres MM couronnées surmontant une feuille d’acanthe).
Michel Millerand était un orfèvre important de Grenoble et a travaillé pour une clientèle de condition.
Je voudrais ajouter qu’il ne peut s’agir d’un cadeau royal puisque la Couronne ne payait pas les droits de marque et qu’elle commandait à cette époque à des orfèvres parisiens. Il est par contre possible que cette cuillère ait été utilisée par la nourrice de l’enfant royal, né comme chacun le sait en 1710. A-t-elle servi à Louis XV ? C’est possible. Chi lo sa ?
Olivier Moulines

Pierre Debaillie writes:
Here is the reply to Mercier's question.
The first mark (faint) is the 'decharge' mark
The second is the 'Maison Commune' mark of Grenoble 1708/1712
The third is the 'Poinçon de charge' of 'Juridiction de Grenoble' 1700/1715
The fourth is the mark of silversmith Michel MILLERAND père, born about 1695, dead in 1751 Reference book: Dictionnaire des poinçons des Provinces Françaises, Jacques HELFT- F de NOLELE édit.1968 Paris. Best regards.

(texte français)
Voici la réponse à la demande de Mercier.
Le premier poinçon de gauche est un poinçon de décharge ( peu lisible)
Le second est le poinçon est la Maison Commune de Grenoble 1708/1712
Le troisiemme est le poinçon de charge de la Juridiction de Grenoble 1700/1715
Le quatriemme est le poinçon de l'orfèvre Michel MILLERAND père, reçu vers 1695, décédé en 1751.
Référence: Dictionnaire des poinçons des Provinces Françaises, Jacques HELFT- F de NOLELE édit.1968 Paris.


Further informations about the hallmarks of Ann Schrad's gravy boat (April Newsletter)

Andrea Perego writes:
the gravy boat was made in Paris in 1745 (date letter 'E' and 'charge' mark 'A' used between 1745 and 1749).
Silversmith Charles Cèsar Haudry - Paris (his hallmark was registered on July 28, 1732.
The gravy boat is lacking the 'decharge' mark (greyhound running toward right).
Fredric Sinfield writes:
....The maker of Ann Schrad's piece appears to be Charles Cesar Haudry of Paris who registered in 1732....

A reply to Kavin & Cynthia Johnson for their candlestick holder (April Newsletter)

candlestick holder candlestick holder candlestick holder
candlestick unknown hallmark

Karin Sixl-Daniell writes:
Kavin & Cynthia Johnson asked for some information on their candle stick in the newsletter: It is made by Prill Silver Co. in New York (who took over Edward Prill Inc. in 1940).

Some replies to Maurizio Perota's 'What is this item? on May Newsletter

what is this item?

E. Jones writes:
Reference the enquiry from Maurizio Perota regarding the delightful bee, firstly, I would assume it is either a container for pins and came from a sewing work-basket as in 'Busy Bee', or a paper-weight designed to hold paper clips.
Either way, it looks as if the clips may have held another layer in place, maybe papers of sewing needles, or pen nibs?
As there is an English patent mark, why not check out the patent on the web and find out about this item's registration?
I am curious to know the answer so please pursue it.

Brian Ransom writes:
The bee shaped case, in addition to the other two boxes by W. Avery & Son, is most likely the sewing accessory, a 'needle case'.
Brian Ransom


ASCAS member Giovanni Ciceri has enriched his website with the English version of the pages devoted to English silver hallmarks (British hall-marks system, main assay offices, Provincial assay offices, etc.)
The web address of the new English section is
Giovanni Ciceri is the author of the article TEN STEPS TO VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY OF ANTIQUE SILVERWARES, published on April 2005 Newsletter.

Closing our June newsletter I hope you have appreciated its content.
Your comments, suggestions and advice will be of great help.
My thanks to Giovanni Ciceri, Pierre Debaillie, Hymie Dinerstein, Jayne Dye, Giorgio Guida, E. Jones, Mark Mandel, Olivier Moulines, Andrea Perego, Brian Ransom, Fredric Sinfield and Karin Sixl-Daniell for their precious contributions.

Giorgio Busetto
email:         blog: ascasblog