Dorothea Burstyn presents:
A mysterious Martelé Tea set
Book review of S.J.Hough: The Romanov Gold Martelé Tea
set by Gorham
This book tells the intriguing story of a gold tea set
bearing the Romanov coat of arms. It reads like a
thriller - at least for people who enjoy silver research.
Consigned to Skinner's Auction House, Boston, in 1996
this tea set was unmarked and had a somewhat nebulous
provenance of having been the property of a distant and
very eccentric relative of the Romanovs. An "X" mark on
the kettle alerted a Skinner silver expert. He suspected
it to be Gorham's code for gold work.....
Welcome to new ASCAS members:
Dan Free - USA
John Houmoller - England UK
Lindsay Jones - USA
Egert Klaas - Estonia
Elena Matukhina - Russia
Christopher Murphy - USA
Members' Window # 98
Alan Yates presents:
Chinese Flatware from India
Although I accumulate silver in general, and have for
about 40 years, my main interest is Indian colonial
silver. In my experience, the best place to find it is
England, and London in particular, but South Africa can
also be a happy hunting ground.
While in India during the year 2000, I travelled
extensively in Kerala in the south as well as in the
so-called 'golden triangle' of Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur
in central India.......
The little six sides mark is the Austrian import mark
used in the period 1891-1901. Any information about the maker
will be welcome.
In Newsletter # 24 I presented the images of ancient
silversmith's tools from Planche V 'Outils' of L'Encyclopèdie
Diderot & D'Alambert and the corresponding 'legend'
containing the French name of each tool.
I was unable to offer a proper English translation of the page
and help of ASCAS readers was requested.
A mail received by Donald Whitney answers to my request of
Donald Whitney writes:
Giorgio, I'm just finishing up intermediate silversmithing at my
local Gem & Mineral club, and can identify what a number of
these items are:
Fig 2: flat faced metal anvil, as for riveting
Fig 3: jeweler's anvil
Fig 4: could be a chasing bag - a leather bag filled with steel
shot and sewn shut used for Chasing & Repousse'. If this is the
case then the thick part on top is to rest the piece on while
striking it with chasing tools (sometimes used in place of a
Fig 7, 8: small and large hammers
Fig 9: dapping block
Fig 10-12: burin (punch of some sort - notice the wide end for
striking with a hammer)
Fig 13-17: cifelets (punch of some sort - notice the wide end
for striking with a hammer)
Fig 18-20: boutrolles (punch of some sort - notice the wide end
for striking with a hammer)
Not sure about the Forets - Fig 20 & 21
Not sure about the purpose of Fig 23: Arcet o arcons
Fig 24-25: Pointes a emailler (Awl/Graver)
Fig 26: riffler file
Figures 30-47 are files (37 and 31 are actually rasps - very
The B items in 30-47 and 27-28 are handles.
Looking at this makes me really appreciate modern online jewelry
tool catalogs. When including a punch/stamp, they will often
include not only a picture of the tool but also a close-up of
the shape that is produced by that punch/stamp.
Please note that when these were included in the catalog, these
were state-of-the-art for 18th century France.
Hope this helps.
Christophe Ginter writes:
... regarding Benedict's request:
Swiss made, town Bern, end of 19th century. The silversmith is
presumably Pochon Frères.
The mark at the bottom indicates the silver content.
Robert Massart writes:
... As Maurice R. Meslans states himself the guarantee mark does not
look like a Strasbourg mark 65 (see attached picture of a
Strasbourg mark 65).
The guarantee mark is the punch 35 for the department
Indre-et-Loire, city of Tours. I also added a picture of a
guarantee mark 35 of Tours to compare it with the picture of the
mark on the wine taster.
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 a 1927 advertisement of
International Silver Company of Meriden, Conn.
HAVE BOTH DIGNITY
Whether you select a small remembrance or
make a rather important purchase, you will take
pleasure in choosing and giving International
Silverplate. It is sold in leading shops all
over the country, at most reasonable prices. The
name is your guarantee of quality and permanent
satisfaction... Further suggestions for gifts,
beautiful and useful, in a little booklet HW100,
Dept. E, International Silver Company, Meriden,
"A WORD per MONTH"
MARKS ON SILVER IMPORTED IN THE UK FROM 1867 TO 1998
The Custom Act of 1842 ordered that imported gold
and silver couldn't be sold in Great Britain and Ireland
unless it had been assayed at a British Office.
In 1867 the Foreign Mark was introduced adding a "F" to
the appropriate British hallmark....
"A SILVERSMITH per MONTH"
SIBRAY, HALL & CO LTD
The firm was founded in
Sheffield by Frederick Sibray and Job Frank Hall and was
active as manufacturing silversmiths and electroplaters
at Fitzwalter Works, 111 St Mary's Road and in its
London showrooms at 30 Ely Place, Holborn (c. 1890).
Frederick Sibray died in 1891 and Charles Clement
Pilling entered in the partnership with Job Frank Hall
until (1896) the firm was converted into a limited
liability company as Sibray, Hall & Co Ltd.....
"A CREST per MONTH"
In this column we present images and
descriptions of Crests and Mottoes of British, Irish and
Scottish families as engraved on silver items.
BAZELEY or BAZLEY
The crest is described as "in
hand a chapeau, between two branches of laurel, in orle".
The Latin motto is Finem Respice (Consider the
This motto was used also by Bligh and Patterson families
The crest was found on an 'Old Sheffield' domed plate
Closing our July 2012 edition of ASCAS Newsletter I hope
you have appreciated its content.
Your comments, suggestions and advice will be of great help.
My thanks to Dorothea Burstyn, Christophe Ginter, Leslie Koelsch,
Robert Massart, John Strynkowski, Donald Whitney and Alan Yates
for their invaluable contributions.
ASCAS is a community of people having a common
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