ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver newsletter # 98 July 2012     SITE MAP
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A new article for ASCAS website

The Romanov Gold Martelé Tea set by Gorham
Dorothea Burstyn presents:

A mysterious Martelé Tea set
Book review of S.J.Hough: The Romanov Gold Martelé Tea set by Gorham
English version

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.....
click here English version

New members

Welcome to new ASCAS members:

Dan Free - USA
John Houmoller - England UK
Lindsay Jones - USA
Egert Klaas - Estonia
Elena Matukhina - Russia
Christopher Murphy - USA
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Members' Window # 98

fiddle thread and shell  pattern dessert spoon, marked Khecheong, Canton, 1840/70
Alan Yates presents:

Chinese Flatware from India English version

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.......
click here
English version

Mail to ASCAS: e-mail

Leslie Koelsch writes:
...Could you identify a silver mark, IDG, on this Portuguese Toothpick, circa 1840-50?
It measures 7 1/2" high x 3" square at the base. The weight is 7.86 troy ounces. I purchased it from a dealer from Arizona who had no idea what it was. A local silver expert told me that it was Portuguese, and I have since researched it and noted the examples in your site.
This one is not listed, however, but it's very similar to some illustrated in your website.
Thank you.
Leslie Koelsch

John Strynkowski writes:
... As a member for 5 years, I have always enjoyed the reader's questions, but this is the first question I have submitted myself!!
I hope you or the other members can help me.
This partial gilt pedestal centerpiece has 4 marks. The German crown and moon, 800, and what appears to be the silversmith's name, and a tiny touchmark. I have difficulty reading the old gothic print, but believe the name to be Ch. Beden. To the left of the name is a very small six sided mark with an AI in the center and a tiny B to the upper left of the A.
Any information about this silversmith would be appreciated.
Thank you,
John Strynkowski
The little six sides mark is the Austrian import mark used in the period 1891-1901. Any information about the maker will be welcome.
Giorgio Busetto

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 assistance.
Giorgio Busetto
Encyclopédie Diderot & D'Alambert: Orfèvre-Bijoutier: Planche V Encyclopédie Diderot & D'Alambert: Orfèvre-Bijoutier: Planche V (description)
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 pitch pot).
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 coarse files)
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.
Donald Whitney

Replies to questions

Benedict Gagelmann receives this answer about his silver teapot
(see June 2012 Newsletter)
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.
Christophe Ginter

Maurice R. Meslans receives this answer about his silver wine tester
(see June 2012 Newsletter)
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.
Robert Massart


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 1927 advertisement of International Silver Company
This month ASCAS presents a 1927 advertisement of International Silver Company of Meriden, Conn.


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, Conn.


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
Foreign mark on London 1880 hallmark, importer Gustave Guilaudet


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.... 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
Sibray, Hall & Co hallmark


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.....



In this column we present images and descriptions of Crests and Mottoes of British, Irish and Scottish families as engraved on silver items.


The Bazeley or Bazley family crest

The crest is described as "in hand a chapeau, between two branches of laurel, in orle".
The Latin motto is Finem Respice (Consider the end)
This motto was used also by Bligh and Patterson families
The crest was found on an 'Old Sheffield' domed plate cover

domed plate cover with Bazeley or Bazley family crest

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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.

Giorgio Busetto
ASCAS is a community of people having a common interest in antique silver.
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