Malcolm Stander presents:
History through silver trowels
Since the early 19th century silver trowels were used in
ceremonial occasions to lay a foundation stone.
Usually they were engraved with an inscription
commemorating the event.
In this article a collection of seven silver trowels is
illustrated together with historical information about
Sri Lanka and its interesting background of the English,
Americans, Missionaries, etc, all adding up to some
thought provoking history of this country....
Welcome to new ASCAS members:
Glenys Bowtell - Australia
Justin Jack - Scotland UK
Christian Buffeteau - France
Derek Jones - Australia
Pat Maguire - Ireland
Robert Miller - USA
Sherry L. Rosemberger - USA
Sara L. Russel - England UK
John Shields - USA
Jaap van der Wal - the Netherlands
Marcel Vrouwenvelder - the Netherlands
Jenifer Zoutendyk - USA
Members' Window # 38
Luigi Masciullo writes:
... I bought two silver salt cellars that I believe to be
made in Palermo (Italy).
I'd need your help to identify the maker. On the mark I decipher
the letters GLV, while the letters under the eagle are "VP".
Under the eagle the letters are "RUP" (Regia Urbis
Panormi, (letter "U" looks as a "V").
This mark was used officially until 1826, but it was in use also
after this date as the new mark (Ceres head) was rarely used.
I'm unable to find silversmith's mark GLV.
Possibly it belongs to Giuseppe La Villa present in an 1826 list
of Palermo's silversmiths.
Mario Galasso writes:
... I'm looking for information about the maker of a silver
It has French hallmark "Minerva" (950/1000 silver) and
silversmith's mark (a lozenge with a rabbit in the centre, "VE"
above, "EC" below).
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
The only information I was able to find is silversmith's
name: Compère Leontine (veuve).
I hope that ASCAS members can supply some more information.
Kari Helenius writes:
.. Here I have two small cups, the usage or origin I do not
They look as being 17th century German cups. Both are unmarked.
The measures of the right hand cup are total length with handles
87 mm, width 59 mm and height without handles 14 mm.
Maybe somebody of our members would know the origin, use, and
the age of these cups.
Dave Elder writes:
.. I am attaching pictures of an antique silver warmer of
some type that I bought at a yard sale this weekend,
Are you able to tell me what this is?
height (unextended) - 5 inches
base width - 2 1/2 inches
lid width - 2 inches
height (extended) - 6 1/2 inches
Hallmarks are not well readable. Possibly they are London
1909, Harrod's Stores Ltd (mark registered on 28th November
I'm not aware of the use of this item. I hope that ASCAS members
may supply further information.
Robert Massart writes:
.. I would like to date a French silver mustard pot in my
It is marked with:
- A lozenge with the maker's mark P.C Cie and an anvil on both
the bottom and the outer side of the lid (I can't find the name
of the maker in my documentation), which could point to the
period that the pot was made.
-A man's head (mark introduced since 1st July 1879 for .950
silver), both on the outer body-side of the pot and the outer
side of the lid
There is also a Minerva head (somewhat faded) on the inside of
the pot and a mark on the inner side of the lid (faded), which I
can't find/define in the Tardy's International hallmarks on
Can you help me with this request ? Maybe the style and maker's
mark will be helpfull to define the period the mustard pot was
Regards and thank you already for your advice.
I've found some information about maker's mark:
Paul Canaux (& Cie)
succède à Mr Mégermond
Fabricant bijouterie orfèvre
Paris, 75 Boulevards Malesherbers
n. de garantie B 526
n. de Prefecture 10896
date d'insculpation 12 April 1892
date de biffage 20 July 1911
symbole une enclume.
Michael Yabsley writes:
..I'm researching any christening gifts given by Queen
Victoria to her godchildren for a new project starting soon
49 godchildren are listed
Please contact me through ASCAS if anyone has such an item or
knows of an items whereabouts.
Any help you can give that will make my project grow (i.e.
photos and descriptions of the various cups vases Victoria gave
her godchildren) would be very welcome.
A Victorian Christening cup is illustrated in Silver
Magazine, September-October 1981, on an article written by
Barbara Briggs (In the Life Of A Christening Cup).
The article deals with the silver Christening cup gifted in 1862
by Queen Victoria to Albert, Prince of Hawaii.
It's a sad story, as Prince Albert died on August 27, 1862 (at
the age of four years and three months) before the official
consignment of the cup by Mrs. William Webb Follet Synge (the
British Commissioner and Consul General to Hawaii). The cup is
exhibited in Honolulu, in the Queen Emma Summer Palace.
I believe that a copy of this article may still be obtained
through Silver Magazine website.
Bill Belisle writes:
.. I am trying to identify the marks on a pair of what appear
to be silver food warmers about 8 1/2 in. diameter. The body of
the pieces test for silver, but silver plated feet and handles
were soldered on (not with perfect workmanship) -- at a later
The hallmarks include what appears to be a cat with whiskers and
what may be a "CC" or "OO" or something similar below the image
on the left and right.
Also there is a mark with capital letters "IO" and some image to
I've searched Tardy's and Wyler's silver books but cannot find a
I thank anyone who can provide any help.
Leslie Gray writes:
.. Would anyone or more of our members be able to help with
the identification of the two apostle spoons which I have in my
The two names on the stems are "St.Jacobus DAE" (the AE joined
together) and "St.Johannes".
On the back of the bowls are "N" in a circle and "GS" in a
Size 7.6 inches overall. They look and seem like silver but I am
Replies to questions
Bresemann receives this reply about his question about
his Russian Basket:
( see May Newsletter)
Juhana kerppola writes:
... about 'Another question by Riccardo Bresemann ',
The maker is A.Gotkovskiy.
receives another reply about his WMF item
( see February Newsletter)
Krista Bartlett writes:
I read the answers by Ellen Fuerst and James Baldwin in newsletter #
35 stating that it is a biscuit box.
I can definitely confirm this, as I contacted WMF and
they sent me a copy of the 1903 catalogue, page 91,
where exactly this biscuit box is shown in closed and in
open state, the item bears no. 238. The material is
nickel silver plating (also called German silver), i.e.
copper-zinc-nickel alloy. It is all metal as there is
for instance no glass insertion.
Maybe this can complete the request.
Great interest for "One and All" article # 81 by Wayne
Bednersh published in
Norma Young writes:
No doubt a lot of people of Welsh, Scottish or Irish
descent will be writing.
The phrase "Meor Rasdhe Dheu" is an old phrase ---- it
means "The Great Grace of God" (ie be with you).
Another variation is Meor Ras Tha Duw (I'd think that is
a Welsh variation).
The Oslers indeed have links earlier to Swansea in Wales
before arriving in Canada.
The giveaway of 100% entirely British connection is the
Celtic crucifix. Its origin as a gift to celebrate Mrs.
Osler's 100th Birthday makes sense ------ a milestone
event for anyone to live that long in 1906.
As the Oslers were very "high Society", this would have
been something they would have commissioned to
distribute to all living offspring etc. as a memento
Will take argument with one bit of information: Britton
Vaughan far more likely be a male descendant (not female).
All the other early 20th century Osler descendants
having Britton as their first or 2nd Christian name were
male and continue to this date to be a male.
Georgina Pickton Osler, married the microbiologist
Alexander C.Abbott --- their son William Osler Abbott
was in the field of medicine with significant
association to Pennsylvania. There was a fair amount of
intermarriage between Canadians and Americans over that
1875-1925 period amongst Society.
My guess is that Britton Vaughan Abbott like so many
children died young and thus no track of his life exists
Georgina Osler Abbott would have equally dropped off the
radar screen as a lady in Society was only recorded for
events like birth, marriage, death and otherwise very
invisible. She died in the 1930s.
Its always easy to go into areas of exotic explanation,
sometimes they are plausible, but this spoon and its
simple clues over the design, motto and such tells us it
has far more to do with the old British traditions than
mystical or oriental association.
Norma L. Young
PS I have numbered, amongst my clients, descendants of
the Osler and other famous eastern Canadian families and
my father's mother was fluent Gaelic speaker.
Norma Young sends also another information:
just to say, Mr. Bednersh and I have been corresponded
more about my information also sent to him. The
difficulty with the motto translation is simply Gaelic
(as spoken in Wales, Ireland and Scotland) will have
many variations of spelling of words [in the written
form]. The Cornwall area of southern England has also
its own ancient language where a similar phrase was
used, but again the spelling similar but equally
Dorothea Burstyn (President of The Silver Society of
On Wayne Bednersh' article some corrections about
Canadian firms have to be made:
James E.Ellis - was a Toronto firm which existed from
1848 to 1881. After that a son carried on a partnership
with M.T. Cain and the firm became ELLIS & Co., J.E. and
existed from 1881 - 1901.
The mark of this company is JEE, a lion passant and a
beaver mark. This company has no connection with
P.W.Ellis & Company, which was founded in 1879 and
existed until 1928, when it was sold to W.N.Stock - it
was one of the most successful Toronto jewellery and
silver company, a partnership of twin brothers Philip W.
and Mathew C.Ellis. Their mark was an E in the maple
leaf, an anchor and a lion passant.
In 1904 Gorham sued P.W.Ellis because their trade mark
was very similar to the one of the American firm. P.W.
Ellis also manufactured many flatware patterns
strikingly similar to Gorham patterns. The case was
heard in Toronto and P.W.Ellis & Co. won.
Mr. Bednersh takes his info from the third edition of
Rainwater, I want to mention that in the Fourth Revised
Edition of Encyclopedia of American Silver Manufacturer
by Dorothy E. Rainwater and Judy Redfield - most of the
erroneous information re J.E. Ellis and P.W. Ellis &
Co., have been corrected.
"A PAGE per MONTH"
In this column we present a page (one
page only) obtained from makers' brochures, books, auction
catalogs or whatever other printed paper, which may be of
particular interest for ASCAS members.
The images will be published at a "low resolution" level and for
private and personal use only
ASCAS presents "GOLDSMITH" the reproduction of an
engraving on wood, designed and engraved by J. Amman, in
the Sixteenth Century, from "MANNERS, CUSTOMS, AND DRESS
DURING THE MIDDLE AGES, AND DURING THE RENAISSANCE
PERIOD" by Paul Lacroix, Curator of The Imperial Library
of The Arsenal Paris (edited in mid 19th century)
"A WORD per MONTH"
In this column we presents an abstract
from a page of the "What is? Silver Dictionary"
These pocket-sized cases for carrying matches took
their name from 'Vesta', the deity that presided over
the domestic focus (hearth) in Ancient Rome.
She was the only goddess of the Roman pantheon who
remained unformed and Her only contour emanated from Her
residence at Rome which housed Vesta's symbolic flame.
A 'match' was the modern representation of Vesta's
symbolic flame and was known as a 'vesta' up until
the twentieth century when 'match' and 'matchbox holder'
became the favoured term......
Closing our JUNE 2007 edition of ASCAS
Newsletter I hope you have appreciated its content.
Your comments, suggestions and advice will be of great help.
My thanks to Krista Bartlett (Germany), Bill Belisle (USA),
Dorothea Burstyn /Canada), Jayne Dye (USA), Dave Elder (USA),
Mario Galasso (Italy), Leslie Gray (England), Kari Helenius (Finland),
Juhana kerppola, Luigi Masciullo (Italy), Robert Massart (Belgium),
Malcolm Stander (South Africa), Michael Yabsley for their
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
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