Bill Poynton presents:
Dating Unmarked Late 17th/Early 18th Century English
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
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
Pietro Rampazzo writes:
... I need information about the maker of this tea spoons set.
Thanks for your help
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
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
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.
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.
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
As far as I can make out it is Austrian or Austro-Hungarian,
dating from 1788, although I'm uncertain about the Town or
Any help members can offer would be highly appreciated.
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.
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.
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
This month ASCAS presents an ancient advertisement
of Derry and Jones, Birmingham and London
DERRY AND JONES
(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
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
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
"A WORD per MONTH"
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.......
"A SILVERSMITH per MONTH"
GEORGE UNITE & JAMES HILLIARD - GEORGE UNITE -
GEORGE UNITE & SONS - GEORGE UNITE SONS & LYDE LTD
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.....
"A BOOK ON MY SHELF"
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:
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
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
"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.
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
The crest was found on a sterling silver hip flask
hallmarked London, 1883, silversmith maker George Unite
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.
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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and ignores and is not responsible for any other
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who, in any case, maintain the property of their works
and assure the respect of national and international
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