David McKinley presents:
The English Silver Caster
.....It seems that the human race has always had a need
to sweeten the food we eat and for centuries, although
sugar was imported into England from at least the
16th.century, this was achieved, for most people, by
using honey which was produced within the country's own
With the founding of the West Indian sugar plantations
c1642 (Barbados had been settled in 1626), however,
sugar soon became the preferred agent for sweetening all
sorts of food and by the end of the 17th century, when
the tonnage of sugar imported had risen from less than
800 tons a year in 1665 to 10,000 tons
(note 1) it
was not only being put into food, and used to make all
sorts of confections and cordials, but was being shaken
over it as well.....
Welcome to new ASCAS members:
Luc Baudry - France
Philippe Crapie - France
Jeff Hopkins - USA
Kim Middleton - England UK
Bader Ahmed Mubarak - Bahrain
Linda NGuyen - France
Christiane Soubeyrand - France
Peter Tilley - England UK
Members' Window # 85
Joanne and Emmett Eldred
Our Collecting Guidelines - part 1: Form
The following is the first in a series of papers,
which discuss several of the criteria we use in
evaluating pieces we collect. These discussions will
highlight our approach when considering form,
originality of teapot and stand combinations, engraving,
hallmarks, condition, and crests & coats-of-arms. In
most cases we have used pictures from our modest but
growing collection to illustrate what is being described.
As is the case with collecting almost anything, the
initial learning curve can be quite steep. Being fairly
new to the subject it certainly applied to us. Our
initial screen involved only two basic areas; form and
hallmarks. Our assessment of form was subjective and
based solely on our personal tastes at the time. Of
course having seen only a few examples we did not have a
broad reference base and therefore were unaware of the
variety of designs produced during the later part of the
18th century. Our second screen was centered on
hallmarks. As noted earlier, one advantage in collecting
English silver is its hallmarking system. Fortunately we
were able to locate several excellent Websites for
researching hallmarks, especially maker's marks. ....
Mike Miller writes:
...I recently came across this spoon in a batch of silverware I
purchased, and I cannot for the life of me find out where/when
the markings on the back originate.
Can you help me?
I believe that your spoon is James Leslie, Elgin
over-stamping John Sellar, Elgin. See the Scottish Provincial
section on my web site at
Tonny Geysen writes:
...I have a couple of silver Italian statues. The hallmark is
the 'star' 904MI. The list on your site only goes up to 892 (see
Do you have any information on the 904MI?
It would be greatly appreciated.
The maker is Arte del Quarzo srl - Via Merlo 3 - Milano. The
firm entered its mark c. 1970 and was out of business between
1990 and 2000.
Adam Goldsmith writes:
...It is my turn to try and get information from the members of
ASCAS. I have a Russian silver coffee pot from Riga dated with
the 1908/17 mark which has a family crest on it. I have always
wondered whose crest this was and was very excited to see a few
months ago when one of the members gave information on a family
crest. I am hoping that I too could be helped. Hope these
attached photos are good enough to show the coffee pot and crest.
Thanks again for a great newsletter
Another challenge for ASCAS members!
"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 an ancient advertisement
EDMUND HEELEY AND CO
Wholesale Jewellers, Platers,
Argentina (or Merry's Plate) Spoons, Forks
Pencil Cases, &c.
25 Union Street, Birmingham
In its advertisement the firm complained that
"The Piracies to which E.H. & Co have been subjected,
not only in their Inventions, but in some instances
by a slight orthographical variation in their name,
render it imperative upon them to request purchasers
will observe, that on any GENUINE BOX OR CARD is
printed EDMUND HEELEY & CO., and further to protect
the Public from a spurious and imperfect article,
they have struck their name upon every 'Patent Still
Quill Pen', to copy which is punishable by law..."
"A WORD per MONTH"
Samorodok is a Russian word meaning that the metal is in its pure or
The samorodok (reticulation) technique produces a
textured nugget like effect simulating a molten surface.
This result is obtained by heating gold or silver to a
temperature near the melting point and cooling it
abruptly in water......
"A SILVERSMITH per MONTH"
The founder of the firm was
Robert Wallace that, after his apprenticeship to Captain
William Mix, began in 1833 his own manufacture of
Britannia (a pewter alloy) spoons. In 1834 Wallace started the
manufacture of spoons in German silver, supplying his
production to Hall, Elton & Co until 1849.
In 1849 Wallace entered in partnership with J.B. Pomeroy
manufacturing German silver spoons on contract for Fred
R. Curtis & Co of Hartford and Britannia spoons for
Hall, Elton & Co and Edgar Atwater of Wallingford.
In 1855 was formed the R. Wallace & Co in partnership
with Samuel Simpson, H.C. Wilcox, W.W. Lyman and Isaac
C. Lewis (partners in the Meriden Britannia Co) .....
"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)
In the "book on my shelf" of this month Karin Sixl-Daniell
The Nicolas M.Salgo Collection
by Judit H. Kolba
Editor Thomas Heneage
The stormy and often wartorn history of
Hungary has paradoxically been the background
for a flourishing industry of gold- and
silversmiths' work. Throughout the long Turkish
occupation, for example, there were Hungarian
masters working in the towns of Transylvania and
the northern region, making the most exquisite
masterpieces for the aristocracy, for the
bourgeoisie, and also for the Transylvanian
princes. Hungarian silver is unfortunately
little known outside Hungary, but the
outstanding collection of pieces acquired in the
west over the last three decades by Nicolas
Salgo and spanning more than four centuries of
the goldsmith's craft provides a highly
representative survey of the remarkable work of
Closing our June 2011 edition of ASCAS
Newsletter I hope you have appreciated its content.
Your comments, suggestions and advice will be of great help.
My thanks to Bruno Bruni, Simon Buxton, Jayne Dye, Joanne and
Emmett Eldred, Tonny Geysen, Adam Goldsmith, David McKinley,
Mike Miller and Karin Sixl-Daniell 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