ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver        newsletter # 70 MARCH 2010     SITE MAP
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A new article for ASCAS website

Marguerite BOURGEOIS, Veuve RENAUD
Christophe Ginter presents an article written in three versions (English, French and Italian):

The hallmarks of silversmiths' widows in the Kingdom of France English version
Les poinçons des veuves d'orfèvres sous l'Ancien Régime français Français
I punzoni delle vedove dei maestri argentieri nella Francia del XVIII secolo versione italiana

.....In the Kingdom of France, no region excluded, no woman in the 18th century could be appointed a master silversmith. However, many wives of master silversmiths were themselves daughters of silversmiths and participated in the day-to-day management of the workshop alongside their husbands. If they rarely practiced the trade, at the least they were cognizant of the techniques, the accounts, and/or the relationships with the clientele.....

click here English version     click here French version     click here Italian version

New members

Welcome to new ASCAS members:  

Lance Bogan - USA
Anne-Françoise Cadoret - France
Neil Eisenberg - USA
Mark Hall - USA
Jolyon Warwick James - Australia
Shirley Nesbitt - Australia
Joyce North - USA
Peter Van Adrichem - Canada
Beth Walker- USA
top page - page map

Members' Window # 70

Ricci coffee pot (from Ricci 1966 catalog)
Pietro Fantazzini and Giorgio Busetto present:

The Mysterious mark on an Italian coffee pot English version

Now, after four years, the little mystery can be solved and the mark identified. The lozenge with 'R' and 'C' with an '&' in the middle is the trade mark used by RICCI & C., Fabbrica Argenterie Posaterie, Corso Acqui 41/A, Alessandria.
Ricci & C. was active in Alessandria since 1931 and after the introduction in Italy of the new hallmarking system (law February 5, 1934, n. 305) its production used the mark "20 AL" (with a "fascio" in the middle until 1945c.).....
click here English version 

Mail to ASCAS: e-mail

Darren Marais writes:
...I wonder if you can help, I have a very old Antique Victorian silver plated thimble box. It has marks "J.S, a lion and C F and a shield with a leopard head".
I believe it may have been made by Charles Fox, famous silversmith of the 1800s.
Many thanks and kind regards
Darren Marais
Your pill box wasn’t made by Charles Fox. It is an imported item (presumably from Germany) and its marks signify:
- leopard head = London
- c= date 1898
- F=imported item
- J.S = John George Smith & Co (as importer).
This business of shipping and forwarding agents was founded in 1849 in London and Dover when John Friend (trading as Friend & Co) went into partnership with John Piddington. In 1865 John George Smith sr. (son-in-law of Piddington) became proprietor and was succeeded in 1890 by John George Smith jr. The firm is noted to have imported a great deal of silver until 1939 (from 1918 was active under the style Continental Daily Parcels Express Ltd and from 1921 as Continental Express Ltd).
Giorgio Busetto

Tyr Baudouin-Lowet de Wotrenge writes:
...I have a Russian chalice with three silver marks on it:
a date ('1729') and the other two must indicate maker and city,
but I am no expert on this matter.
Could you help me?
Kind regards,
Tyr Baudouin-Lowet de Wotrenge 
The marks of your chalice are rubbed and I'm unable to help you. I try to publish your photos in ASCAS Newsletter, but I'm doubtful that will be possible to identify your marks.
Giorgio Busetto

Sara Dilewski writes:
Dear Mr Busetto,
Perhaps you could help me date and identify the following item which I believe to be a set of sugar crushers used to break down lumps of sugar for use in tea.
Up until now their usage has remained a family mystery!
They are 15 cm long. I apologise for the markings which are not easy to distinguish but I think one is a leopards head. Could they be silver and is it possible to put a date to them?
The second item is a circular toast rack with four "fish feet" and two more adorning the handle.
Again the markings are worn and I rather think this item is silver plate but would appreciate any information you or ASCAS members could offer.
With best wishes
Sara Dilewski
Both items are silver plate and not solid silver.
The mysterious item bears a mark (indeed not well readable in your photo) that I believe to be one of the many variants of John Round & Son (see my web site at
I don't know what is the use of these items (something to use with asparagus?).
I hope that someone of ASCAS members will be more informed about their use.

The rubbed mark on toast rack I believe to belong to Henry Wilkinson & Co. See my website at
Giorgio Busetto

John Yale writes:
...I've never seen one like this before...have you?
Partially covered bowl that is pierced to the underside, 55mm long and weighs 4.9 grams
John Yale
My first idea was a "moustache spoon", but the holes on the bottom exclude this hypothesis.
Another hypothesis is to use the spoon to collect tea leaves in the teapot in a modern interpretation of a mote spoon.
Presumably the spoon was made in the USA where so many oddities were made in 19th century's flatware.
I trust for identification in someone of ASCAS members more acquainted about the use of these spoons.
Giorgio Busetto

Caroline Padavano S. writes:
...I have a tray 800 silver marked: &Tco with a passant, anchor, and I believe the letter 'G' also the letter 'D' with the number 35 below it.
Can you tell me when the tray was made? And who made it?
I have searched anywhere but cannot find the 800 tray's mark '&Tco'.
Thank you for your assistance,
Caroline Padavano S.
The lion passant, anchor, etc. is the mark of Gorham. The "D" dates your tray to 1871 (see in my website at
The T&Co is, possibly, a retailer's mark (Edward Todd & Co used a similar mark).
I'm don't see any mark referring to silver fineness 800/1000 (and I'm not aware of 800/1000 silver manufactured by Gorham). Possibly the tray is silver plate
Giorgio Busetto

Mario Galasso writes:
...I'd wish to identify the maker of this ladle bearing 19th century French marks.
Any help will be highly appreciated.
Mario Galasso

Carolyn Meacham writes:
...I have run across a couple of maker's marks and one hallmark that I can't identify and I was wondering if any are familiar to you.
They are:
- (left) on a c. 1900 American piece. It looks like a CT with an ...acorn?... between,
- (center) German c. 1850 - maker?
- (right) looks like a wolf or dog and is on a c. 1890 thimble. Is it a hallmark?
It's unusual for me to run across this many hallmark mysteries in one week.
In any event, I would appreciate any help you can provide.

Paola Continella writes:
...I research information about the origin of this beaker marked '800'. I was unable to find any information about its mark.
Thanks in advance.
Paola Continella
Possibly the 800/1000 silver beaker s Italian, but I don't know its mark. Any suggestion will be welcome.
Giorgio Busetto

Luigi Speziale writes:
...Hi, I have recently become a new member of the association and prior to this was delighted to see the quality, insight and intelligence shown on your sight, regarding silver. I am a small collector of inkwells, writing instruments and related ephemera. Silver and silver plate inkwells have also given me an appreciation for silver in general and therefore I collect other items as you will see in this example...
Here are few photos of a teapot I wish some help on in identifying maker, origin and date item was made. The height is 6 3/4"/17.15 cm x 9"/22.9 cm (end of spout to end of handle) and weight of 590 grams. This is all I can tell you. It came with no provenance.
It seems like silver plate or electroplate but I am not sure. The insulators on the handle are ivory.
This has stumped me for over 2 years in trying to identify it. There does not seem to be a listing of the maker's initials anywhere (S & B) at least the way it's shown in the marks?
Again this is why I seek your help and hopefully you can provide some.
Thank you.
My warmest regards,
Luigi Speziale
The piece is, almost surely, English and made in Sheffield. If so, the piece was made before 1896 c. as its mark bears the "crown", the symbol of Sheffield Assay Office. In 1896 the use of this symbol on silver plate was forbidden to avoid misunderstanding with sterling silver items.
I'm unable to identify the maker and I trust in the cooperation of ASCAS members
Giorgio Busetto

Bryan Abbott writes:
....I am curious about this mark which I found on your site. The HA and 88 Kokoshnik marks I recognize. But what are the other three marks the "P" and the other mark in Cyrillic?
I have a piece that has similar marks and I am unable to find any relevant information.
If you can help, I would appreciate your time.
Thank you,
Bryan Abbott
The information about your marks:
1.) Moscow, Kokoshnik in use 1896-1908, 88 Zolotniki = 916/1000 silver content
2.) Master: Aleksejev, Nicolaj Wasiliewitsch 1885 - 1896, working mostly in salts, flacons and kovhsi in enamel - he is very well known!
3.) re-assayed, worker´s head with hammer in use1927 - 54, 916/1000 silver content
4.) P in circle = mark for "restored goods", in use 1951
5.) Moskowskaja Juwelirnaja Fabrika mark = Moskowskaja Juwelirnaja Fabrika = Moscow Jewellers Factory
Now you know the following:
This object was made in the year 1896 in Moscow by the well known silversmith Aleksejev N. W. and was in the year 1951 restored and re-assayed with the communistic mark in the Moscow Jewellers Factory.

Ilsiya Gloova writes:
....Can you help me to identify the marks of this sugar castor?
There is also a strange mark at the bottom which I never saw in silver hallmarks classification.
Sincerely yours,
Ilsiya Gloova
The maker's mark W.A into an oblong oval belongs to William Aitken, 37.38 Vyse Street and Eagle Works, 78 Summer Row, Birmingham. This mark was entered in Chester Assay Office in 1901 and 1902, but a similar mark was used also in Birmingham Assay Office.
The date letter isn't well readable, but I believe it is around 1905.
You can see the Birmingham mark in my website at
The R isn't a mark (possibly, a symbol identifying the model or the journeyman).
Giorgio Busetto

Jolyon Warwick James writes:
...I've got a little spoon with a mark I'd like to have identified.
The mark is on a very ordinary fiddle pattern teaspoon! I have no idea where I got it. It has been in my mystery box for years!
Jolyon Warwick James
A mystery that ASCAS members are invited to solve!
Giorgio Busetto

Replies to questions

Jim Nord receives these replies about his Swedish ladle 
(see February 2010 Newsletter)
Charles C. Cage writes:
Jim Nord's 1849 Swedish ladle is indeed from Söderhamn, though the city mark is upside-down. It shows the city arms of two crossed rifles over a ship (indicative of the city’s primary industries, arms manufacture and shipbuilding). The maker "AW" is Anders Wedin. He was born in Forsa in 1812, and in assumed the Söderhamn workshop of Erik Rengman in 1836. Unfortunately, he was apparently less than honest: he was convicted on 26 November 1860 for inferior, unmarked and falsely marked goods, and was sentenced to two and a half years in jail and fined 50 riksdaler. His workshop was assumed by Jonas Gustav Lock (1839-1903) in 1864. Ref: Kersti Holmquist, Svenskt Silversmide: Guld- och silverstamplar, 1850-1912 (Stockholm: Nordiksa Museets, 1995), p. 250.
Charles C. Cage
Fritz Guercke writes:
The punch-ladle from Sweden was manufactured in 1849 (=T4).
In the book SVENSKT SILVERSMIDE - Guld- och silverstämplar 1850-1912 by Kersti Holmquist you can find 8 different initials "AW" for 8 different silversmiths, but only two fit to the year 1849:" - Anders Wessmann, Kristianstad. The stamps were used 1839 - 1867.
- Anders Wedin, Söderhamn. The stamps were used 1838 - 1864.
The second one, Anders Wedin, made your ladle. He can be identified by the mark of Söderhamn, the left mark on your picture (a ship and two guns crossing).
Anders Wedin has an interesting history: He was born 11.3.1812 in Forsa. He took over the workshop of E. Regmann in Söderhamn using the stamp "AW" from 1838 to 1864. He became member of the council of Söderhamn. But his career ended on 26.11. 1860: He was condemned to 2 ½ year prison and 50 Swedish riksdaler penalty because of wrong examination of gold works. His workshop went over to J. Lock in Söderhamn in 1864.
All information are from Kersti Holmquist's book SVENSKT SILVERSMIDE.
Best wishes
Fritz Guercke

H.Dinerstein receive these replies about his two-handled cup 
(see February 2010 Newsletter)
Charles C. Cage writes:
H. Dinerstein’s cup is Spanish. The city mark of a bull over a stone bridge is an abbreviated form of the arms of the city of Salamanca in Castille and Leon. "59/MTRO" is the mark of Juan Ignacio Montero, who served as assayer in Salamanca, 1759-1781. I do not see a maker’s mark. Ref: A. Fernandez, R. Munoa & J. Rabasco, Marcas de la Plata Española y Virreinal (Madrid: Antiqvaria, 1999), pp. 96-100.
Charles C. Cage
José Luis Muñoz writes:
The marks on H.Dinerstein cup are Spanish, town of Salamanca, assayer Juan Ignacio Montero, year 1759 (see an image in my attachment).

Nancy Stuckwisch receive these replies about her tray 
(see February 2010 Newsletter)

Johanna Gehrlein writes:

The tray of Nancy Stuckwisch is - already mentioned by Giorgio Busetto - a product from Hanau, Germany. It's made by J. D. Schleissner & Söhne (J. D. Schleissner & Sons). Shown mark's attributed by "Scheffler" to "Schleissner": Bird's mark = # 453; crowned letter V = # 469.
The right hand shown mark could be a very bad struck maker's mark of the well known "Schleissner" sickle.
Johanna Gehrlein


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
PETER L. KRIEDER ancient advertisement  
This month ASCAS presents an ancient advertising by

manufacturer of
Artisan Hall 618, Chesnut St., Philadelphia

The firm, established in 1850 by Peter L. Krieder, became Krieder & Biddle (1860-1870c.), Peter L. Krieder & Co (c.1870-1888, managed Krieder), Peter L. Krieder & Co (1888-1903, managed by Weber) and Simon Bros Co (from 1903).
In addition to making a regular line of silverware, flatware and hollowware, the firm was the largest medal plant in the U.S.


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


Unlike silver items, there is no date letter on silverplate that allows to recognize the date of its manufacture.
For silverplate items the patent's date of registered models may be useful for an approximate dating.....



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
Wiener Werkstatte monogram


The Wiener Werkstatte (Vienna Workshop) exerted an enormous influence on artists and designers throughout the first part of the 20th century. In 1897 a group of progressive artists and designers, led by architect Josef Hoffman and painter Koloman Moser, formed the Vienna Secession which became the Wiener Werkstätte Produktiv-Gemeinschaft von Kunsthandwerken, Wien (the Viennese Workshop and Production Cooperative of Art Works in Vienna) in 1903 when they received backing from a prominent businessman. This enabled them to equip workshops especially for working on modern design in a range of applied arts like glass, metalwork and jewellery....



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:
A Directory of American silver, pewter and silver plate: by Ralph M. and Terry H. Kovel, 1979 book
Someone wrote about this book:
This is the most comprehensive guide to the subject ever published. It lists all known makers of American silver, pewter and silver plate who worked prior to 1900. There are thousands of entries, many more than in any other book. All the makers' birth and death dates are given, where possible, as well as the period in which they practised their craft. All known marks are listed and cross-indexed. In short, A Directory of American silver, pewter and silver plate makes it simple to identify virtually every piece made by the silversmiths of America.


In this column we present images and descriptions of Crests and Mottoes of British, Irish and Scottish families as engraved on silver items.
square shaped salver with Lambert crest



of Killhead, Baronet.
The crest is described as "A human heart, gules (red), bezantée (a heraldic term, for a form of decoration, resembling circular discs, to a division or field contained in a coat of arms), imperially crowned, and winged, or (gold)."
The crest is engraved on an unmarked Old Sheffiel Plate salt cellar.
square shaped salver with Lambert crest


Closing our March 2010 edition of ASCAS Newsletter I hope you have appreciated its content.
Your comments, suggestions and advice will be of great help.

My thanks to Bryan Abbott, Tyr Baudouin-Lowet de Wotrenge, Charles C. Cage, Paola Continella, Sara Dilewski, Jayne Dye, Pietro Fantazzini, Mario Galasso, Johanna Gehrlein, Christophe Ginter, Ilsiya Gloova, Fritz Guercke, Jolyon Warwick James, Darren Marais, Carolyn Meacham, José Luis Muñoz, Caroline Padavano, Postnikov, Luigi Speziale, John Yale for their invaluable contributions.

Giorgio Busetto
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