ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver        newsletter # 85 June 2011     SITE MAP
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A new article for ASCAS website

Lighthouse Caster by 'CA' London 1693
David McKinley presents:

The English Silver Caster  English version
.....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 shores.

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.....

click here English version

New members

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
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Members' Window # 85

 Peter and Anne Bateman 1798
Joanne and Emmett Eldred present:

Our Collecting Guidelines - part 1: Form  English version

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. ....

click here
 English version 

Mail to ASCAS: e-mail

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?
Thank you,
I believe that your spoon is James Leslie, Elgin over-stamping John Sellar, Elgin. See the Scottish Provincial section on my web site at
Giorgio Busetto

Simon Buxton writes:
...I wonder whether you or one of your members can assist in solving a mystery relating to a 30 cm Old Sheffield Plate salver.
I attach a photo where you can see an attached central circular disc about 3cm in diameter on its top surface. This serves no obvious purpose and could be a nuisance when placing items on the salver. My guesses are that it was either original, where its purpose would be to enable an armorial to be engraved without cutting through to the underlying copper, or added later for the opposite reason, in other words to hide a pre-existing armorial! There is no sign of it on the back, so it would not appear to be hiding a repair. I date the salver to the 1765-1780 period, prior to the use of rubbed in silver shields or the insertion of more heavily plated discs for engraving. Some OSP of the 1790 period had silver additions, like the "cut card" work seen on early sterling silver, to show decorative engraving, but this is earlier.
Can anyone help on the purpose of the disc?
Simon Buxton

Bruno Bruni writes:
...I'm trying to identify the maker of this French Vesta case.
Any help would be highly appreciated.
Thank you,
Bruno Bruni

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 at .
Do you have any information on the 904MI?
It would be greatly appreciated.
Best Regards,
Tonny Geysen
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.
Giorgio Busetto

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
Adam Goldsmith
Another challenge for ASCAS members!
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, 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
a 19th century advertisement of Edmund Heeley and Co
This month ASCAS presents an ancient advertisement of
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..."


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
cigarette case in samorodok technique


Samorodok is a Russian word meaning that the metal is in its pure or natural state.
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...... 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 leave your LIKE on facebook
Wallace trade mark  



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) .....


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 presents:
a book per month: Hungarin Silver

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 Hungarian craftsmen.....

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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 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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