ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver         newsletter # 56 - JANUARY 2009
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2009 ASCAS membership

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Please IGNORE this anouncement if you have confirmed your interest, by email, within the last month.
Giorgio Busetto
ASCAS Secretary

Two new articles for ASCAS website

  The Moody Standing Salt or ceremonial salt cellar: 1664-1665,  London
Rod Elser and Jane Carroll present:
Silver Open Salts at The Victoria & Albert Museum
(part 1)
English version

The Victoria and Albert Museum -or just the "V&A" as it is more commonly known- is located on Cromwell Road in London and was established in 1852. It started as the Museum of Manufactures but was soon renamed the South Kensington Museum. Over the next few decades its collections expanded rapidly so that by the end of the century a new building was designed and built......

click here English version
  hallmarks on the sweetmeat dish
Christophe Ginter presents

An Imitation of Louis XV Hallmarks English version
Une imitation de poinçons Louis XV page en français

... In this page I analyze the hallmarks of a silver sweetmeat dish decorated with rich embossing of cherubs and floral motifs, apparently marked with French 18th century hallmarks.....

click here English version         click here page en français

New members

Welcome to new ASCAS members:  

Bette G. Bell - USA
Debbie Bonner - USA
Jean Brouns - the Netherlands
M J Coles - England UK
Trevor A. Cozyris - USA
Ken Davies - Canada
John Wade Long Jr - England UK
Laura Long - USA
David McKinley - England UK
Massimo Novero - Italy
Eric Roberts - USA
Diane Winter - USA
top page - page map

Members' Window # 56

cigarette/cheroot case: Birmingham 1882
Robert Massart presents:

A Silver Cigarette/Cheroot Case: Birmingham 1882 English version

An early Victorian Arts & Crafts solid silver cigarette or cheroot case in outstanding condition, assayed in Birmingham in 1882.
The maker, silversmith Constantine & Floyd, still operated at Caroline Street, Birmingham in 1882....      click here English version

Mail to ASCAS: e-mail

Kelli Rooney writes:
... A couple of years ago, I was lucky enough to find a wonderful piece of antique glass, a Wedding Bowl that sits in a beautiful repousse silver 'frame'. I've done some research on this piece with the help of an acquaintance in France who is considered an expert on Czech Glass - but I don't know much about the frame.
The frame has the NOACK mark, as well as the 'three castle' mark signifying the city of Hamburg, Germany. The castle mark has a 'C' in the gate, which I'm told is the symbol for the assayer of a particular year/group of years.
Can anyone tell me the year or year span of this assayer? Also - would this be considered sterling? There are no other marks on the frame other than the two shown here.
Many thanks for any input on this unusual piece!
Kelli Rooney
according to 'Tardy' the Hamburg mark castle with "C" refers to 1711 (but I'm perplexed about this dating. The taste of your piece seems to be 19th century).
I hope to receive further information also about the maker.
Giorgio Busetto

Terry Morgan writes:
... I recently purchased a silver toggle which has the hallmark shown. Can you help in identifying the hallmarks? It looks like a £ sign followed by an onion shape followed by 800.
There are crossed ribbon swags around the toggle.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Regards and best wishes
Terry Morgan
the mark of your napkin ring is German and belongs to Lutz & Weiss. You may find information and images in my private website at
Giorgio Busetto

Francesca Rapposelli writes:
... recently I had the opportunity to observe a "vase" of which I'm unable to identify the marks.
I join some photos hoping that someone will be able to identify its marks.
Francesca Rapposelli
I believe that your "vase" is a "portable font in pail form". About its marks, I have only a hypothesis about their origin:
- mark at the center: its a cross used in Malta (with an outline or without an outline) from mid 18th century, and inside a circular outline from 1857 to 1922;
- mark on the right: "open left hand inside a shield": it's the mark used in Malta from 1798 to 1800 ( Napoleonic invasion) and from 1801 to 1809 inside a different outline;
- mark on the left: it's hardly readable, but in my opinion it may be a mark of the Kingdom of Naples (Maltese silver with Naples marks is often found).
Any further suggestion, addition or correction about these marks will be greatly appreciated.
Giorgio Busetto

Michael Deshaies writes:
... I just picked up mystery piece with the hallmarks deliberately grinded off. I have searched the entire piece and see no other hallmarks.
It is a "huge" bowl at just over 9" wide not including handles and about 4 inches deep and very thick and solid weight is "35.5" o.z.
My acid test shows it is a high grade silver probably over 900. Can you please post this on the next newsletter and can you let me know what you think.
My friend told me maybe Russian or Islamic, I thought maybe Mexican.
Thanks again,
Michael Deshaies
it's difficult to reply to your question. I have no idea about the origin of your piece. (your hypothesis is possibly right).
I'll publish your question in January Newsletter.
Giorgio Busetto

Luca Mastrodonato writes:
... I recently bought an object of which I'm unable to identify use and function. It is in made of solid silver but it is unmarked. I exclude it can be a holy water font and I was suggested it may be a stirrup(???)
Do you have any idea about its use?
Thanks for your help.
Luca Mastrodonato
it is indeed a silver stirrup. It's typical artifact made in South America and I saw some other examples in catalogs of South American Silver Exhibition.
This is the description found on two similar examples exhibited in "Trois siècles d'orfèvrerie Hispano-Americaine"(Paris, 1986):
Etrier de femme, Rio de la Plata,(?) première moitié du XIX siècle (Stirrup of Woman, Rio de la Plata (?), first half of the 19th century)
Giorgio Busetto

Penney Cabrera writes:
... I was wondering if you could help me identify a silver marking. I cannot find this anywhere. Only thing close I found is from Tiffany with the initials jcm.
I have attached two photos of this bracelet.
Thank you so much!!
Penney Cabrera
the maker is an unidentified silversmith of Mexico (Guadalajara: eagle 157).
Giorgio Busetto

Paola Continella writes:
... I'm trying to identify the marks of this set of spoons.
Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.
Paola Continella
the mark with female head is the "head of Ceres toward left" used in the Regno delle Due Sicilie (Sicily). This mark was used in the Assay Offices of Catania, Messina, Palermo and Trapani, from c. 1830 to May 31, 1873.
On the bottom right corner of this mark there is a number (7 or 8) or a letter (E) that I'm unable to identify from your photo.
The mark "JPT" is maker's mark while the other mark should be assayer's symbol.
Giorgio Busetto

Debbie Bonner writes:
... I need help in identifying a silver plate tray I have that is 65 years old. I thought it was Georg Jensen, from design, but it is only marked "MADE IN DENMARK" and below that is a small whale with an upturned tail.
Thank you,
Debbie Bonner
Your item is undoubtedly of Scandinavian taste but I have no idea about its mark.
I trust in ASCAS members for the identification of this mark
Giorgio Busetto

Luciano Fiorentini writes:
... I recently bought a pocket watch and I'm researching information about its marks.
I hope that someone can be of help.
All the best.
Luciano Fiorentini
I'm not well aware on the marking of gold items, particularly about the use of date letters.
Anyway I can supply this information about the marks of your watch:
- crown, leopard's head and 18, are London marks for 18 carat gold. This "crown" was used from 1798 to 1931;
- date letter (I believe to be a gothic "U"): year 1855;
- maker's mark "HG inside an oval": Henry S. Gilling, gold case maker, mark registered on 6 October 1848.
Henry Slader Gilling is first recorded as a rose engine-turner from 1839 to 1845 at 41 King Square and then in 1846 and 1847 as an engine-turner at 2 Upper Charles Street, Northampton Square, Clerkenwell.
He then went in business with Peter Clerc, trading as Gilling & Clerc, listed as watch case and dial makers at 1 Upper Charles Street. The partnership was dissolved in 1848 after which H.S. Gilling continued as a watch case and dial maker at the same address. He was succeeded in 1862 by Percy Gilling.
Giorgio Busetto

Nikica Vuletic writes:
... I bought an object that I really don't know what to do with. But there is a serious question in accordance with this object.
Description: Silver-plate or silver cocktail shaker.
Form: octagonal, 25 cm high, weight 750 gr.
Stile: Art Deco
1. Menner Stuttgart - O.K. famous retailer for jewellery, gold, silver etc.
2. Logo containing a fox and letter M that corresponds to Menner workshop
3 Crescent and crown hallmark standard German silver hallmark
4. Fineness incused oval form with text A800 - this makes me believe that this is silver plate rather than solid silver.
In fact question is if a German silver or 'silver' object is hallmarked with Crescent and Crown hallmark if there is any chance that it is not solid silver. If, let's say, object was Italian and has only A800 sign I would promptly say 'silver-plate' because all forums and reference books say A800, Arg800, EP800 etc - no chance to be solid silver.
I hope you understood my doubt regarding this.
Moreover the shaker is made from three separate parts. Only the biggest is hallmarked. Is it normal for German silver objects that some smaller pats of a multipart object are not marked at all?
Yours or your member’s answers are welcome even if not positive.
Best regards
Italian items marked ARG800 or similar aren't accompanied by official maker's identification mark (number and province code). Your item bears official German marks of silver (crescent and crown).
Any suggestion about the meaning of A800 mark will be welcome.
Giorgio Busetto


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 an ancient advertising of WALKER & HALL
Electro Works N° 11 Howard Street SHEFFIELD
ancient advertising of WALKER &	HALLy
Walker & Hall was established in Sheffield by George Walker. Becoming an assistant to Dr. John Wright, who had conducted important experiments in electroplating, he secured the royalty of electro plating for Sheffield and began the business in 1845 as electroplater trading as Walker & Co and from 1848 as Walker, Caulson & Hall. In 1853, in partnership with Henry Hall, the trade was continued under the style of Walker & Hall, being joined later by John Edward Bingham. The firm was described "electroplaters, gilders and bronzers, manufacturers of spoons, forks and silver plated cutlery at Electro Works, 9,11, 13 & 15 Howard Street, Sheffield". After the retirement of J. Walker (1864) and of H. Hall (1873), the business was continued by J.E. Bingham who was joined by his brother Charles Henry Bingham and, later, by his son Albert Edward Bingham. In 1892 Walker & Hall purchased the old manufacturing business of Henry Wilkinson & Co.
In 1920 the Walker & Hall was converted into a limited liability company under the style Walker & Hall Ltd. In 1963 Walker & Hall Ltd was combined with Mappin & Webb Ltd and Elkington & Co Ltd into the British Silverware Ltd which closed in 1971. Afterwards Walker & Hall Ltd came under the control of Mappin & Webb Ltd group and was reformed into a solely retail outlet for jewellery


In this column we presents an abstract from a page of the "What is? Silver Dictionary"
courtesy of home page
Russian silver glass holder


The Russian silversmiths created pieces which were found no place else on the world.
The Russians, unlike others Europeans who drink their tea from handled cups, use to drink tea from a glass. Obviously this creates a heat problem. The podstakannik or tea glass holder is a vessel used to hold the glass avoiding the hot tea to scald the hand.
It is a cylindrical container with a handle on the side properly shaped to hold the tea glass........


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 presents:

Guide to Russian Silver Hallmarks by Paul L. Paulson Guide to Russian Silver Hallmarks by Paul L. Paulson


Closing our JANUARY 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 Debbie Bonner, Penney Cabrera, Jane Carroll, Paola Continella, Michael Deshaies, Jayne Dye, Rod Elser, Luciano Fiorentini, Christophe Ginter, Robert Massart, Luca Mastrodonato, Terry Morgan, Francesca Rapposelli, Kelli Rooney, JoAnne Wilkinson, for their invaluable contributions.

Giorgio Busetto
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