ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver

newsletter # 157 June 2017
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A new article for ASCAS website

Magdalena and William Isbister present:

Novelty Thimbles English version

Although 'Novelty' thimbles or 'Sewing Toys', as they have been called, are principally associated with the late 18c and early 19c they were being made in Nürnberg as early as the late 16c. The first description of a novelty thimble that we were able to find was written by Johann Christoph Weigel, a German copper engraver, art dealer and publisher. He was born in Bohemia in 1654 and died in Nürnberg some 70 years later. In 1698 he wrote one of his most important works, Abbildung Der Gemein-Nützlichen Haupt-Stände Von denen Regenten Und ihren So in Friedens- als Kriegs-Zeiten zugeordneten Bedienten an, biß auf alle Künstler Und Handwerker (reference 1). (Illustrations of common utilitarian occupations of the Regent and his servants in both peace and in wartime including all the artists and hand workers). It was published in Regensburg and in it he described more than 200 artisans and craft workers whom he had observed personally in their workshops and other workplaces. Each description was accompanied by an engraving of the activity......
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English version

New members

Welcome to new ASCAS members:

Chris Donovan - England UK

Mail to ASCAS: e-mail

Nelly Wolfenden writes:
...Could you please put some light on this item as we have no idea what it is
Nelly Wolfenden

I'm unable to identify your item (Sheffield Assay Office, date 1907, maker Walker & Hall).
Any suggestion will be welcome
Giorgio Busetto

Sarah Timewell writes:
...I am a big fan of your extraordinarily comprehensive website. I cannot imagine how long it took you to amass all that knowledge! I am very grateful you have shared it, however.
I attach two photographs of an item I believe to be a silverplate inkstand. The top rolls back, and I presume once had a glass pot inside. The interior and the base are a bit rusty now.
I have identified Birmingham, 1921/22, all but the maker's mark. It is rather worn, but the attached photograph is as good as I can get it. I read this as (W)(M)(Co).
It's not mentioned on your site as such, but I wonder if you have heard of it lately?
With many thanks,
Kind regards
Sarah Timewell

The maker of your inkwell is Wilmot Manufacturing Co, Camden Street, Birmingham
Giorgio Busetto

Maurice Meslans writes:
Here is a mark I have not been able to find in 30 years.
This is a rather small (dia. 23.5 cm) 18th. c. solid silver dish. It is what I would call a dish (compotier) as opposed to a plate (plat rond). It is typically French or European.
The centering punch is on the top and it is marked on the back. The mark BH is rather large, 7.5 mm long, and does not look like a normal French mark. There are no control marks.
It was purchased in America. American plates or dishes are very rare. There is always the possibility of French Colonial, but I have had no luck finding anything similar. It has a lot of patina, and I could find no scratch engraving anywhere.
Best regards,
Maurice Meslans


In this column we presents 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 column is published under the kind permission of Giorgio Busetto's website home page

This month ASCAS presents two ancient advertisements of

Niagara Silver Co, ancient advertisement Niagara Silver Co, ancient advertisement
A silverware manufacturer active in late 19th century in Niagara Falls, NY.
In early 20th century the firm was succeeded by Wm. A. Rogers Ltd.
The discontinued Niagara Silver Co trademark was acquired by Oneida Silversmiths in 1929 through the purchase of Wm. A. Rogers Ltd.


In this column we present an abstract from a page of the "What is? Silver Dictionary"
courtesy of home page leave your LIKE on facebook


A style of reticulated decoration on silver articles, featuring openings in the body of the piece which permits the passage of light.
Openwork in silver is the technique that produces decoration by creating holes, piercings, or gaps that go right through the metal obtaining the effect on the viewer to see right through the object.
In this case the work is executed with various techniques as piercing (metal pierced to make a pattern of small holes), saw cutting (using a saw to make holes of irregular and decorative shape) or wirework (creating decoration made of silver or plated wire).... MORE...


In this column we present marks, information and history of silversmiths and silver manufacturers.
This column is published under the kind permission of Giorgio Busetto's website home page


Henry Griffith (born 1825) opened his silver business in 1850 registering his first hallmark in Birmingham Assay Office in November 1858. Further similar marks were entered in 1861 and 1862.
The firm was active at 161 Warstone Lane, Birmingham (1861) and later at No. 149 and No. 131 (1903).
Henry Griffith was joined in the partnership by John Henry Griffith (son), Edward Sermon (son-in-law, until 1881) and later by Frederic Griffith (another son). In this period the firm carried out the business as Henry Griffith & Son and later as Henry Griffith & Sons.
Various marks were entered in Chester Assay Office in 1887 and 1890 (Henry Griffith & Sons) and in London (1891, Henry Griffith)).
In 1898 Henry Griffith retired and the business was converted into a limited liability company under the style Henry Griffith & Sons Ltd (in 1899 Frederic Griffith was the director).
New hallmarks were entered in Chester Assay Office in 1898, 1899 and 1906..... MORE...


In this column we present images and descriptions of Crests and Mottoes of British, Irish and Scottish families as engraved on silver items.
This column is published under the kind permission of Giorgio Busetto's website home page



family crest: LITTLE

The crest of Little family (England and Ireland).
The Latin motto is 'Magnum in Parvo' (Much in Little)
The crest is described as 'a demi-bull'
The crest was found on a silver pepperette hallmarked London 1904 maker Thomas Bradbury & Sons

Thomas Bradbury & Sons on a sterling silver pepperette with Little family crest
sterling silver pepperette with Little family crest

- 1777 -

This table is obtained from The Book of Entries of the Names, Places of abode and Marks of the several Silversmiths and Plate Workers residing in Sheffield, or within twenty miles thereof, who are required to send their goods to the Assay Office, lately established in the Town of Sheffield by an Act of Parliament lately passed in the Thirteenth Year of the Reign of King George the Third intituled:
An Act for appointing Wardens and Assaymasters for
Assaying Wrought Plate in the Towns of Sheffield
and Birmingham

YEAR 1777

Sheffield Assay Office:hallmarks register
Sheffield Assay Office: 1777 hallmarks register

Closing our June 2017 edition of ASCAS Newsletter I hope you have appreciated its content.
Your comments, suggestions and advice will be of great help.

My thanks to Magdalena and William Isbister, Maurice Meslans, Sarah Timewell and Nelly Wolfenden for their precious 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.
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 membership).
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 membership request.

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