ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver newsletter # 106 March 2013 SITE MAP
YOUR GUIDE TO MARCH NEWSLETTER: articles new members members' window
mail to ASCAS replies a page per month a silversmith per month a word per month
a book on my shelf a crest per month contributors to this Newsletter search engine

A new article for ASCAS website

snuff box: c.1700
Bill Poynton presents:

Dating Unmarked Late 17th/Early 18th Century English Snuff Boxes English version

What is a snuff box?
Let's call it a small, usually ornamented, box for holding snuff (a scented, powdered tobacco). The practice of sniffing or inhaling a pinch of snuff was common in England around the 17th century and in the early 18th century. It became widespread in other countries, when the demand for decorated snuffboxes, which were considered valuable gifts, increased. Some were small enough to fit in a waistcoat pocket, and others were larger. All gave 17th and 18th century craftsmen an opportunity to execute rich and elaborate designs......
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English version

New members

Welcome to new ASCAS members:

Amberly Charter - USA
Gregorio Circo - Italy
Francois Costes - USA
Shirley Curry - USA
Jiri Kolar - Czech Republic
Deborah Lowry - USA
Kathy Linskey - Australia
George Morris - USA
Christine Wilson - Australia
Philip Windsor - England UK

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Mail to ASCAS: e-mail

Pietro Rampazzo writes:
... I need information about the maker of this tea spoons set.
Thanks for your help
Pietro Rampazzo
The date is London 1816 and the hallmark belongs to William Eley I and William Fearn. The first mark of this partnership was registered in 1797, but I believe that your mark is that registered as spoonmaker on October 6, 1814 when the triple partnership with William Chawner was closed. The three "William" (Eley, Fearn and Chawner) worked together from 1808 to 1814.
Giorgio Busetto

Javier Galán writes:
... I need to know who made the cup of the image attached in this email and the type of silver it is made.
I also include a drawing of the bottom of the cup.
I was searching for hours into your website, but I didn't come out with the answers.
Please, help me! Thank you in advance
Javier Galán
The maker is Wm. Gale & Son, New York. The "52" (or "51") refers to the date 1852. The metal is presumably coin silver (but the firm advertised also as manufacturer of "Rich Plated Wares").
Giorgio Busetto

Ulyana Pustoshnay writes:
...I'd wish to have some information about this item (a tea glass holder?) I inherited from my father. It is marked Walker & Hall and I'd wish to know when it was made.
I would greatly appreciate any input from you or other members.
Thank you in advance for your help.
Best regards
Ulyana Pustoshnay
Your item looks as a tea glass holder made by Walker & Hall (an item not frequent in UK silver plate) It was made, presumably, at the end of the 19th/beginning of the 20th century. Unfortunately I'm unable to date it as, to my knowledge, the key to decipher the "date letter" (present in the shield under the pennant) is still unknown.
Giorgio Busetto

Bill Poynton writes:
...I’ve purchased this Gold Etui without knowing too much about it, except that it, with its complete set of tools, is in perfect condition.
As far as I can make out it is Austrian or Austro-Hungarian, dating from 1788, although I'm uncertain about the Town or Maker's marks.
Any help members can offer would be highly appreciated.
Bill Poynton

Martine Plouvier writes:

Dictionnaire des orfèvres de la juridiction d'Amiens

Depuis dix ans je travaille à la rédaction et fabrication d'un dictionnaire des orfèvres de la juridiction d'Amiens (France, Somme) qui comprend une quinzaine de villes: Amiens, Abbeville, Péronne, Montdidier, Calais, Montreuil, Boulogne, Noyon et Saint-Quentin pour les principales.
Je compte terminer mon travail cette année: si certains de vos membres étaient intéressés par mon étude en me montrant des poinçons et des pièces non répertoriées, je pourrai les aider à les identifier et ils participeraient du même coup à la progression de mon ouvrage.
J'ai recensé aujourd'hui 1500 orfèvres et à peu près 400 pièces.
Vous remerciant les uns et les autres, et dans l'espoir d'avoir un retour, avec mes salutations les meilleures.
Martine Plouvier

Replies to questions

John Lawrence receives this answer about his 'Russian' flatware set
(see February 2013 Newsletter)
Dr. David N. Nikogosyan writes:
... These cutlery pieces on the photos are look as silver plate and THEY ARE silver plated.
The mark MET is a Polish mark, established in 1920 for the production made on Warsaw factories from non-precious metals covered by thin layer of silver (or gold).
Therefore, the presence of "kokoshnik" is a forgery stamp applied to make the product looks like silver.
The steel on the knife could be made earlier in Tsar time (before 1914) and used after 1920, when there was a lack of such kind of materials in Poland.
David Nikogosyan


In this column we presents 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
an ancient advertisement of Derry and Jones, Birmingham and London
This month ASCAS presents an ancient advertisement of Derry and Jones, Birmingham and London


(late John Sheldon & Co)
55, Great Hampton Street, Birmingham
and 33 Bucklersbury, Cheapside, London
According to another advertisement, the business was established in 1825 as John Sheldon & Co but little is known of this manufacturer of plated electroplated on purely refined nickel silver and Albata plate.
They advertised as inventors and sole manufacturers of the newly discovered patent Spanish Silver which is twenty per cent Whiter, Harder and More Silver-like than any substitute for Silver ever discovered.
The trade mark of the partnership of Frederick Derry and Henry Jones (c. 1861/1871) was a "D" overlapping a "J" inside a diamond shape


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
berry spoon, Edinburgh c. 1805


Berry spoon is a type of spoon having on the bowl an embossed decoration of berries or fruits and, sometimes, gilded interior of the bowl.

Most of these spoons were obtained embossing and chasing earlier plain spoons with fruit and foliate scrolls....... 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


George Unite and James Hilliard founded the business in 1825 in Birmingham. The partnership was closed before 1845 and the business was continued by George Unite until 1865 c.
In 1854 the firm was active at 65 Caroline Street, Birmingham and in London at Thavies Inn, Holborn through its agents George Groom (1852) and J.T. Chapman (1854).
The firm advertised as manufacturer of Gold and Silver brooches, bracelets, fish carvers, dessert knives and forks, card cases, cake knives, knife fork and spoon, fruit knives, butter knives, pickle forks, caddy shells, sugar scoops and sifters, cups, cigar cases, pens, etc.....


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 ASCAS presents:
a book per month: Spoons 1650-2000 a book per month: Spoons 1650-2000

SPOONS 1650 - 2000

by Simon Moore
Shire Publications Ltd
Midland House, West Way, Bottley Oxford
Spoons have perhaps the longest history of any artefact, having been forged ever since man discovered the importance of handling liquids.
Simon Moore traces the history of English spoons, explaining the many changes in style and form, and exploring their corresponding social position through the ages. Spoons that once graced medieval ducal tables appear alongside those of base metal used by commoners in this beautiful history of an implement that has always held great fascination for collectors.
The author examines the Arts and Crafts Movement's contribution to European designs at the end of the nineteenth century and shows how this influence was revisited by British designs over the following decades, whilst also offering the collector guidelines to follow should they find an antique spoon of unknown origin and date.
Simon Moore has been interested in antique eating cutlery since the late 1960s. A study of pocket fruit knives began with a gift from a friend and led to a wider interest, encompassing first spoons and then knives and forks. He is currently researching the origins that influence spoon design of the twentieth-century


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


The Landale family crest

A Scottish family.
The crest is described as "a dexter arm, embowed, hand holding up two branches of laurel crown".
The Latin motto is Pax aut defensio (Peace or defence)
The crest was found on a sterling silver hip flask hallmarked London, 1883, silversmith maker George Unite

George Unite: London hallmark 1863

Hip flask with Landale family crest; George Unite, London hallmark 1863

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Closing our MARCH 2013 edition of ASCAS Newsletter I hope you have appreciated its content.
Your comments, suggestions and advice will be of great help.

My thanks to Javier Galán, Dr. David N. Nikogosyan, Martine Plouvier, Bill Poynton, Ulyana Pustoshnay, Pietro Rampazzo for their precious 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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