ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silvernewsletter # 114 November 2013 SITE MAP
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A new article for ASCAS website

silver sugar tongs: Charles Hougham
Graham Hodges presents:

Miniature Georgian Silver Sugar Tongs English version

One hears much discussion about miniature or "small" Georgian silver sugar tongs. I do discuss the subject briefly in my book, stating:
"Georgian sugar tongs will generally be between 5 & 6 ins long, the most common length being approximately 5.1/2 ins long. Bearing in mind that they were all hand made, it is hardly surprising to note that the length is never exact. The longest pair seen are about 6.1/4 ins long, made by George Brasier and dated around 1790. There are also some very short pairs, perfect in every respect but only 3 to 4 ins long (I have even seen a pair of Georgian sugar tongs made by Dorothy Langlands of Newcastle that were only just over 2 ins long). There are several theories to explain why tongs were made this size, these include:
1. They were made for toy sets of silver-ware;
2. They were made as samples for travelling salesmen to display the maker's arts;
3. They were made by apprentices and made smaller to use less silver;
4. They were made for people to take on picnics, as part of a "travelling" set of silver-ware;
5. A patron had specifically tasked the maker with a commission for a smaller pair of tongs.
Any, or all, of these theories could be true, we will probably never know. In any event, short sugar tongs are quite rare, and do look very strange set against standard Georgian tongs. There is no doubt that they are genuine as they are fully hallmarked. It is also clear that they have not been repaired, i.e. a broken piece cut out. "
click here English version

New members

Welcome to new ASCAS members:

Katherine Davis - Australia
Anne Marie Hearn - Australia
Jill Lazard - South Africa
Alan Norris - USA
Claudio Pellegrino - Italy
Steven Leslie Peppet - England UK
Edmondo Sestini - Italy

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Riccardo Bonardi writes:
... I have a silver chalice (height 27 cm.) with hallmarks of the Kingdom of Belgium 1831/1868-fineness 950-guarantee large object.
I need information about these two marks placed on its base (left) and on the bowl (right).
Riccardo Bonardi

Susan Pfau writes:
...I am writing in the hope that you may be able to identify this silver piece.
It stands about 4" and is 3" across. There are no marks.
I've been told that it may be 18th c. French.
Any light you can shed will be appreciated.
Many thanks,
Susan Pfau
Your item is a sponge box, in the taste of similar objects made in France in the 18th century. In ancient times the set consisted of two spherical boxes (a soap box and a sponge box) often accompanying a silver shaving basin. The decorative piercing on the sponge box allowed air to circulate to dry the damp sponge. The unpierced box accommodated a piece of soap, which, in the eighteenth century, was purchased in a ball rather than a bar.
Giorgio Busetto

Patsy Suydam writes:
...I have a complete service... coffee, tea, sugar (2), creamer and tray. On the bottom it is marked "Sterling Silver Border", "Made in England" "Silver on Copper", " Chased by Hand". There are two crowns and the letters BSC. I particularly wonder what "Sterling Silver Border" means.... the rest I think to understand except for the Old English letters BSC that I assume to be the manufacturer.
Patsy Suydam
I believe that Sterling Silver Border is the equivalent of "Silver Mounts" sometimes used on electroplated ware (see my website at ).
On the mark there is the word "quadruple" (not well readable). "Quadruple plate" was used by American Manufacturers and not by English manufacturers. Notwithstanding the "MADE IN ENGLAND" I believe that your set is American, made by Birmingham Silver Co Inc of Yalesville CT. See my website at were I added the image of your mark.
I don't know if "MADE IN ENGLAND" was used to "embellish" the origin of your set or the firm had some link with Birmingham or England (but I didn't find any trace).
By the way, you quote "sugar (2)". But the "sugar (without lid)" in the background is actually a "spoon holder", sometimes present in late 19th/early 20th century American tea and coffee sets.
Giorgio Busetto

Helen Gex Greer writes:
...I have a silver plate ladle that I've identified as having marks from Deykin and Sons of Birmingham, UK. There are two unidentified marks, one of which is a letter "C.". Would this put it as being made about 1850?
There is an insignia "M" on the handle.
I have great-great-great grandparents whose last name was Myers and they were married in upstate New York on 11 November 1856. I suspect it was a wedding present.
Helen Gex Greer
The maker is James Dixon & Sons (see my website at )
The "C" is a quality symbol (see my website at )
Isn't possible an exact dating of silverplate ware, but a date about 1850 is correct.
Giorgio Busetto

Replies to questions

Peter Bower receives these answers about English pistols of the 18th century
(see October 2013 Newsletter)
Lisa Brown writes
In response to Peter Brower's request for dated 18th century pieces with specific motifs, I have 2 examples of the green man on Georgian spoons, but neither has a readable date mark (in one the maker seems to have been a duty dodger; the other's date letter is squished). Also, I'm not entirely sure that they weren't later decorated, but I believe the decoration to be original to the pieces.
Lisa Brown
Ludo D'Haese writes
Since you are interested in silver Pug masks, here is an 18th century English pistol.
The pistol is marked "IB" for James Barbar 'gentleman armorer to king George II' from 1741 to 1762
The silver is marked with "I.K" for Jeremiah King London and a date letter for 1746-1747.
Well, I hope you will enjoy the pictures.
Ludo D'Haese

Natali L. receives this comment about his pomander
(see October 2013 Newsletter)
Graham Stapleton writes
The pomander illustrated is particularly interesting, as it has a difference from earlier examples.
Normally the lids to the segments are engraved with the names of aromatic herbs or spices, but here we have the days of the week - excepting Sunday.
Given the imagery, I wonder if was intended to hold small pieces of The Host, so that a person could have Communion through the week between Sunday Masses?
It could be for more mundane medicines, but I've yet to see a weekly pill-box with less than seven compartments, further, I feel that such boxes are a more recent development.
Graham Stapleton

Daniel Hardy receives a these answers about his twin handled bowl
(see October 2013 Newsletter)
Martin Leushuis writes
What Daniel Hardy is showing on his photos is called a brandy bowl what we call in Dutch a 'brandewijnkom'
Martin Leushuis
Janjaap Luijt writes
Daniel Hardy's brandy bowl is probably Dutch, late 19th century. The marks on the bottom are fake marks that have to give the impression of being Frisian from the 17th century. But actually the marks make no sense.
This kind of objects was made to be exported. Abroad there was a great interest in Dutch 17th century antiques, but there were not enough real antiques.
So silversmiths started to make look-a-likes with imaginary marks.
If Daniel puts the brandybowl under better investigation, it is possible that he will find the official hallmarks somewhere hidden in the ornamentations of the sides.
Janjaap Luijt
Peter van Oel writes
Brandy bowl with a full row of Dutch pseudo or fake marks, probably made in the Dutch province of Friesland or Groningen, at the end of the 19th or early 20th century.
Dutch pseudo marks from left to right; crowns in a shield; pseudo city mark of Sneek, lion rampant in a crowned shield; pseudo standard mark used for 1st standard or 'grote keur' in the province of Holland, P crowned; pseudo year-letter, crown above an oak leaf: pseudo maker s mark and last but not least L under a fat dot pseudo year letter for the city of Zwolle used 1798.
Please check your brandy bowl for some official (little) Dutch hallmarks, those could be spread over the bowl and hidden in its decoration.
Peter van Oel


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 column is published under the kind permission of Giorgio Busetto's website home page

ancient image of M.S. Benedict Mfg Co, Syracuse NY, factory
This month ASCAS presents an ancient image of the factory of M.S. Benedict Mfg Co, Syracuse, NY


Syracuse NY

The business was founded in 1894 with M.Stewart Benedict as president. The firm was incorporated in 1902 and reorganized in 1906 as T.N. Benedict Mfg. Co.

This image (courtesy of Joanne Wiertella) is part of the FACTORIES, PLANTS, SALESROOMS, SHOPS AND WORKSHOPS section of website


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
EPNS mark: John Turton & Co Ltd

EPNS Electro Plated Nickel Silver
EPBM Electro Plated Britannia Metal

Modern electroplating was invented by Italian chemist Luigi V. Brugnatelli in 1805. Brugnatelli used his colleague Alessandro Volta's invention of five years earlier, the voltaic pile, to facilitate the first electro-deposition. Unfortunately, Brugnatelli's inventions were repressed by the French Academy of Sciences and did not become used in general industry for the following thirty years.
Silver plate or electroplate is formed when a thin layer of pure or sterling silver is deposited electrolytically on the surface of a base metal. ...... 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



Adey Bellamy Savory (member of a family of Huguenot origin) established his business in 1812 at 14 Cornhill, City.
Until 1833 he was variously listed as goldsmith (1812), dealer in foreign coins (1815) and spoons and forks manufacturer (1831).
In 1833 his sons, Joseph Savory (Sr) and Albert Savory, entered in the business and the firm changed its name to A.B. Savory & Sons.
Their silver manufactory (gold and silver, jewellery, electro and Sheffield plate, watches and clocks) was at 5 Finsbury Place South. Meanwhile they continued to operate as dealers at various addresses in Cornhill.
In 1866 A.B. Savory & Sons was converted into a limited liability company and changed the name to Goldsmiths' Alliance Ltd. They operated in the new factory at 18 Red Lion Street, Clerkenwell.
In 1893 the firm went voluntarily out of business and the activity was incorporated by the Goldsmiths & Silversmiths 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.
This column is published under the kind permission of Giorgio Busetto's website home page



family crest: TURNBULL

A Scottish family

A bull's head erased. The Latin motto is "Audaci favet fortuna" (Fortune favours the brave)

The crest was found in a silver salver, hallmarked London 1888, maker Goldsmiths' Alliance Ltd (Joseph & Horace Savory)
salver with family crest TURNBULL: hallmarks

salver with family crest TURNBULL

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Closing our NOVEMBER 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 Riccardo Bonardi, Lisa Brown, Ludo D'Haese, Helen Gex Greer, Graham Hodges, Martin Leushuis, Janjaap Luijt, Susan Pfau, Graham Stapleton, Patsy Suydam and Peter van Oel for their precious contributions.

Giorgio Busetto
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