ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver         newsletter # 60 MAY 2009     SITE MAP
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A new article for ASCAS website

  spoon, fake mote spoon, genuine mote spoon
David McKinley presents:

Mote Spoon: A fraudulent conversion English version

I think that ASCAS readers might be interested to know about a fraud that is common and appears to go unnoticed by many experts in auction houses and elsewhere.
It is all too easy to obtain a mid 18th century teaspoon through the internet or even in a junk shop for about £10.00 or £20.00 and then, for very little effort, turn this investment into £110.00 or £120.00 by reshaping the handle and piercing a few holes in the bowl. Thus creating a mote spoon......
click here English version

New members

Welcome to new ASCAS members:  

Lyn Brown - England UK
David R. Childs - England UK
Trent Downing - USA
Julien Hilber de Alberg - France
William P. Hood Jr - USA
Igor Peremislov - USA
Sofia Ramos - USA
David Rubin - England UK
Irene Schwall - USA
Sandra Summers - USA
Prabagaran Thiyagarajan - India
John J. Yale - England UK

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Members' Window # 60

One of two Governor Cup presented  in 1913 by Lord Carmichael
Siddarth Chand Lall and Giorgio Busetto present:

Sterling silver trophies for Indian Thoroughbreds English version

Thoroughbreds tend to root back to three stallions imported into England from the Middle East in the late 17th and early 18th centuries: the Byerley Turk (1680s), the Darley Arabian (1704), and the Godolphin Arabian (1729).
They were bred essentially for maximum speed and having achieved this, the modern thoroughbred now aims to combine speed with stamina.
Although less dangerous than Byzantine chariot racing, and perhaps less political, there lies a common appreciation for horses. Romans went to great lengths to keep records of names and pedigrees of successful racing horses.....     
click here
English version

Mail to ASCAS: e-mail

Larry Gralla writes:
...How do you like a mystery? I have an Elkington piece, an orange peeler/fruit knife with an Elkington date mark I cannot find. The piece is marked in 2 separate rectangular lozenges, ELKINGTON, PLATE. It has a Pat. No. 3812 (1881 I believe) and the date letter is a "C". But the lozenge is a circle with semi circle push outs on the left and right. It almost resembles, and you will have to pardon me, a Mickey Mouse head with ears on both sides. I have looked in every reference I have, to include Bradbury, Pitcher and Wyler. So far, no luck. The piece may be a "one of" as none of the fruit knife collectors I have talked to have ever seen it?
I can send pictures if you like and by the way, great web site.
Thank you,
Larry Gralla
....and after Bradbury, Pitcher, Wyler... you arrived in the right place!
The mark was used in the UK to identify the "patent". Detailed information about these marks are available in my website at
Giorgio Busetto

Diana Hamann writes:
...I am sending you pictures of silver hallmarks from a pair of candleholders. I work in a museum in Argentina.
In your website I found that assayer Romanov worked in 1885, but the town mark seems to be from Moscow or St. Petersburg, 1899-1908. The round mark is very strange. Could it be a fake?
Thank you for your advice.
Best regards,
Diana Hamann
The round mark (Postnikova-Loseva # 3871) is an assay mark coherent with the kokoshnik mark (P-L # 3882). Both were used by assayer Alexandra Romanova, St. Petersburg 1899-1908. I didn't find information about the silversmith (Shkarlat).
Giorgio Busetto

The circular mark was a garniture mark struck on small items or on auxiliary parts of an ensemble en suite.
Here the assay office was indicated by a Morse-code like series of dots and dashes around the perimeter of the mark.

St. Petersburg hallmark
Moskow hallmark
Odessa hallmark
Kiev hallmark
Kavkaz hallmark
Kavkaz ?
Vilensk hallmark
Riga hallmark
Kostroma hallmark
Kazan hallmark
Don? hallmark
Don ?

Cristophe Ginter writes:
...Please see the picture enclosed. I try to identify who is the Belgian silversmith and when he was active.
Many thanks in advance.
Christophe I hope that someone of our Belgian experts will be able to help you
Giorgio Busetto

Anthony de Goutière writes:
...Can you help me identify the hall marks on this silver NEF. And possibly give a date? Could it be around the middle of the 19th century? It is solid silver but there isn't a silver quality stamp.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Yours sincerely
Anthony de Goutière

Stephan writes:
...I have a wonderful "centro de mesa" (I live in Spain) and I'd need your help to identify the origin of this item. It's pure silver, aprx. 700 gr. and a diameter from 34 cm. I know that isn't from Spain, I think, it's possibly Mexico.
Any suggestion will be greatly appreciated.

Robert Matheny writes:
...I have 6 spoons all alike. I received them over 25 years ago, and had them appraised about 15 years ago.
I did not keep the information, but I have been looking for the origins every since, without wanting to leave the spoons away from me again.
Do you or anyone in your club have an idea as to the origins and meaning in the markings?
I remember it was Dutch, and worth 150 dollars in 1993.
Robert Matheny

Rudy Driessen writes:
...Can you tell me or explain the symbols on a bracelet what is made of a bible lock. I already discovered that the lion is a synonym for sterling silver, the "I" is for age.
The symbol I can not find is the makers mark.
Rudy Driessen

Your bracelet was made in the Netherlands (possibly in 1868). I trust in ASCAS members' knowledge for further information
Giorgio Busetto

Igor Peremislov writes:
...I'm small private silver collector, this set is most confusing item in my collection - please help!
1. This set comes from one family, all items (about 75 items) have same pattern.
2. Some of the items have Russian hallmarks (84 and Head)
3. Some items have Polish (Poland) marks.
4. Some items have mystery mark, looks like S!84, I have no idea what is it...
5. ALL ITEMS have SAME hallmarks AN, maybe for Anders Johan Navalinen (P-L #1483), which worked some period for Faberge.
6. Few items have same monograms, AN (maybe private collection of Navalinen itself,... it's too good to be true...)
Could you please try to explain all that - who is the silversmith, why some items were made in Russia, some in Poland, what is it S!84, where we can find biography of Navalinen, maybe it can help...
Thank you so much, your permanent reader,
Dr. Peremislov

Some of ASCAS members have a deep knowledge of Russian Silver. I trust in their contribution to reply to your questions.
Giorgio Busetto

Replies to questions

Erwin Mast receives this reply about his mysterious object
(see April 2009 Newsletter)

Hugo Keymeulen writes:
...I presume that this is a thing to collect some liquid, wine, alcohol etc. You drop it in the liquid so it can fill itself in the bowl en than close the top with your thumb, you can displace the recipient to your glass, remove your thumb and the liquid flows into

Adam Goldsmith writes:
...The items that Tony Mason was querying are used by Sephardic Jews (from the Middle East, Spain , Portugal and Northern Africa ) on a Saturday afternoon at the end of Sabbath for a ritual known as Havdallah. It is difficult to date the piece and Mr. Mason could either google Judaica or make contact with antique dealers who deal with Judaica.
Adam Goldsmith

Barry Arnol receives this reply about his silver oddity
(see April 2009 Newsletter)

Dorothea Burstyn writes:
...about Barry Arnol's inquiry, I think this item is an electroplated shaving mug

Pamela Coates writes:
... about Barry Arnol question. This is a scuttle shaving mug - most handsome. The "shaving soap" is placed on top, brush lathered up, and soaped up to shave. My dad had one in "china" The "pourer" spout is where the shaving brush is stored. It looks as if the top (soap holder) comes off; this is to remove the "drippings" of the soap.
Pamela Coates

Roderick Hall writes:
...Barry Arnol mystery object in this months newsletter is a shaving mug, used for holding soap suds when wet-shaving. The shaving brush was loaded with soap by inserting it into the enlarged spout of the mug/jug. It is English silver plate, E.P.B.M. standing for Electro Plated Britannia Metal. Britannia metal is a tin-based alloy, similar to pewter, but harder, and was extensively used in England as a base for silverplated goods from ca 1880 to 1920 and beyond.
Best Regards
Roderick Hall

Bette G. Bell writes:
...The piece Barry Arnol was inquiring about is a shaving scuttle. If you Google "shaving scuttle" you will find many in porcelain in the same shape.
Bette G. Bell

Adam Goldsmith writes:
...The item that Barry Arnol has is a holder for an old fashion shaving brush as I would suspect that the top has ‘drainage holes’
Adam Goldsmith

Kimberly Karkov receives this reply about his Gorham object
(see April 2009 Newsletter)

Pamela Coates writes:
... about Kimberly Karkov question. This item is indeed a SILVERPLATED NUT CRACKER. These are usually very heavy in weight. If you visit, hit the silver tab, go to Gorham tab and then hit the blue stripe on left side and all the pattern photos will pop up.
You should we able to identify the pattern there
Pamela Coates

The Silver Society of Canada Inc. has a new interactive website

It is completely accessible to the public -to use the website just create a username and password (we need only your valid email address). Membership in the SSC is not a requirement, but can be taken out any time -ongoing events are posted on the website and a complimentary one-time participation at an event is extended to future members as well as to out-of-towners.
The website administrators are Dorothea Burstyn and Kathryn Vaughn. New articles every month will make for interesting reading, please also make use of Your space for bloging about interesting events and places, or anything connected with silver. The website also has a Gallery, should you wish to show interesting silver photos and there is of course a Questions and Answers space, where you can post your questions -everybody who has the right answer or thinks he has something to contribute can post a comment here. We hope for your active participation, we know we will have fun with our new site and we all will hopefully benefit by learning more about our favorite subject: antique and modern silver.
Dorothea Burstyn


In this column we present a page obtained from makers' brochures, books, auction catalogs, advertising or whatever other printed paper related to silver, which 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 set of advertising of George Butler & Co Ltd, Sheffield, lasting from 1922 to 1945 and to 1951. The firm was founded in 1681 and in 1922 was active in its Trinity Works in Sheffield with Showroom at 62 Holborn Viaduct, London.
George Butler & Co Ltd had a wide range of patterns of stainless, silver plate and sterling silver flatware.

Butler's advertising 1922

George Butler & Co, Sheffield England  
Butler's advertising 1922

Butler's advertising 1922


In this column we presents an abstract from a page of the "What is? Silver Dictionary"
courtesy of home page

silver pocket folding knife: Sheffield 1905


this is a type of small knife with folding blade. They were made since ancient times and Roman examples of first century A.D. knives are exhibited in British museums.
In medieval and later times such knives were produced in many countries.
In the 19th century, Sheffield and Birmingham in England were the greatest centers for production of silver folding pocket knives........


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)

The "book on my shelf" of this month presents:



Closing our MAY 2009 edition of ASCAS Newsletter I hope you have appreciated its content.
Your comments, suggestions and advice will be of great help.

My thanks to Bette G. Bell, Dorothea Burstyn, Pamela Coates, Rudy Driessen, Jayne Dye, Cristophe Ginter, Adam Goldsmith, Anthony de Goutière, Roderick Hall, Hugo Keymeulen, Larry Gralla, Diana Hamann, Siddarth Chand Lall, Robert Matheny, David McKinley, Igor Peremislov 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.
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