ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver        newsletter # 78 November 2010     SITE MAP
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Two new articles for ASCAS website

poinçon de l'orfèvre répété trois fois
Lise Moor presents:

The triple master silversmith mark on French silver artifacts: The marking of subscriber-masters under the "Ancien Régime" (1672-1798) English version
Le marquage par le maitres-abonnés sous l'Ancien Régime: L'Empreinte du Maitre-Orfevre repetée trois fois à l'exclusion de tout autre poinçon sur l'orfevrerie française de 1672 à 1798) version française

.....It is not rare for collectors and dealers to find French silver artifacts of the 18th century bearing the master silversmith mark repeated three times. When an object bears only the master's mark repeated three times (of the whole series of marks), usually the piece is attributed to a subscriber-master ("Maître-Abonné") ....
click here English version    click here version française
faux poinçon
Christophe Ginter presents:

An imitation of Louis XV hallmarks (II) - The example of Paris, 1768-1774 English version
Une imitation de poinçons Louis XV (II) - L'exemple de Paris, 1768-1774 version française

.....Among the objects of the French "Ancien Régime", the production of the long reign of King Louis XV (1722-1774) is the most frequent victim of forgeries and fraudulent attributions. This phenomenon, interesting particularly the furniture, widely affects also the silverware, with a special predilection for the prestigious production of Paris....
click here English version    click here version française

New members

Welcome to new ASCAS members:  

John Alejandro - USA
Linda Bryan - USA
Amanda Conran - USA
Norah Cooper - USA
Marsha M. Davis - USA
Netta Dobson - France
Bill Pirkle - USA
Madhuri Raavi - India
Leo van Retep - The Netherlands
Keith A. Saville - England UK
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Members' Window # 78

Silver Mustard Pot, Birmingham 1906
Robert Massart presents:

A Silver Mustard Pot - Birmingham 1906 English version

An Edwardian solid sterling silver mustard pot with original cobalt blue glass liner, made in 1906 by the famous silversmith William Aitken in his workshops 'Eagle Works', 78 Summer Row Birmingham.
The body is hand chased with a decoration of garlands of foliage and flowers. The domed hinged lid is raised by means of a thumbpiece and the spoon aperture is cut in the shape of a keyhole opposite the scroll handle. The original Bristol blue glass liner is in perfect condition and free of chips or flea bites....
click here
 English version 

Mail to ASCAS: e-mail

Piero Eduardo writes:
... Caro Giorgio, recently I made another of my strolls among the old and antique shops and flea markets and I found a case with a mouthpiece made of pure amber, meerschaum and accessories in silver. I was unable to find any reference about the maker (S to RM in a Diamond??). Perhaps you can read something else? The date is Birmingham 1897.
Do you have any information about this silversmith?
Ti ringrazio e saluto cordialmente
Caro Piero,
The mark is RHS (and not RMS). The makers are Robert, Albert and Charles William Hovenden, trading as R. Hovenden & Sons. The firm was active in 1894 at 91, 95 City Road, Finsbury, London when the firm entered (as merchant) a mark (RH over S into a lozenge) in Chester Assay Office. Another similar mark was entered in 1900 in London Assay Office as R. Hovenden & Sons Ltd, gold and silver workers.
Another mark (R.H & Ss Ltd into a rectangle) was entered in 1905 in Chester Assay Office, as R. Hovenden & Sons Ltd, 29/33 Berners Road and 89/95 City Road, London (general merchants and warehousemen).
Cordiali saluti
Giorgio Busetto

Eddie Robinson writes:
... I have an egg cup, spoon and footed> It has the initials [B1 in a shield][W][&][H][S] [SYMBOL] [W&H INSIDE A FLAG]. I assume W&H is William Hall!
What does [B1] stand for, is it similar to A1?
What is the symbol after the 'S'
It seems that the hallmark "W&HS" were used between 1852-1897 is this correct, or am I barking up the wrong tree?
Best regards.
Eddie Robinson
From Down Under
The maker is not William Hall but Walker & Hall, Sheffield (see my web site at ).
I believe that B1 is a quality mark (as A, A1 etc) while S was used to indicate the town (Sheffield).
I recently realized a web page dealing with the meaning of alphabetic symbols in British silver plate. The link is available in the "A World per Month" column of this newsletter (see below).
Giorgio Busetto

Haroune Toumani writes:
...I need help in the identification of the master silversmith and date of these spoon and fork.
Any help will be welcome.
Haroune Toumani

Jayshree Desai writes:
... I would like to share this "Antique find" of mine with all the members. These lovely Art Nouveau coasters are signed WMFM I/o OX. It is in two tones. Silver & Gold. I was searching for the meaning of WMFM on the Internet and came across this Silver Association ASCAS. It is a very knowledgeable site. I hope every one will enjoy my find. The larger coaster on the left is in German silver with Art Deco design.
Thank you
Jayshree Desai
The "M" means "brass base". You can see this and other information about WMF marks in Prof. Nikogosian article at
Giorgio Busetto

Samantha Macnally writes:
... I hope you might be able to help me.
I purchased a silver? teapot/ coffee pot/ water pot/ sugar bowl/creamer and tray that is marked "Sir John Benwell" Ltd on the base of each item, with A1 in the centre of the base brand on each item - and some writing saying "British Made" stamped into the brand/ stamp/ trade mark.
I have polished it with Silver polish and it has come up beautifully. And looks quite stunning.
Can you tell me anything more about the maker? Is it actually silver - and if not, what metal would you suggest it is?
Thank you
Samantha Macnally
Your tea/coffee set is silver plate and not sterling or solid silver.
This is what I found about the possible maker of your set: The Trade mark is "Sir John Bennett" and not Benwell. The wholesale business J.B. Bennett & Co Ltd was founded in London in 1907 by John Baker Bennett.
In 1908 the firm, described as manufacturing jewellers, changed its name to Bennett (1907) Ltd but was forced into voluntary liquidation in 1909 and the goodwill and the stock-in-trade were acquired by Fredericks Ltd. A sterling silver hallmark (SIR J.B.Ltd) was entered in c. 1932 in the London Assay Office by Sir John Bennett Ltd.
Presumably the trade mark "Sir John Bennett" was used by retailer shops in the UK and, possibly, in Sydney (Australia).
Giorgio Busetto

Malcolm Stander writes:
... Dear Giorgio,
Maybe you or your fellow collectors can help me out with this identification or use of these letters.
I have just found these Russian Cyrillic letters with niello filling and what appears to be crudely hand cut and hand made. If you put these letters together it spells out kabka3 except that I am missing the 2nd letter a in the word. Kabka3 and have 2 letters B. I understand the word kabka3 translates as the Caucasus.
They are hallmarked on the reverse with what appears to be the town mark for Novocherkassk & 84 zolotniks & the maker's mark that I can't identify.
unknown Russian maker mark
The letters are all 3 cm tall and are rounded. They have two rings on the reverse where one is able to link the letters together in some sort of fashion.
Any info for what this would have been used for and what period if we can identify the maker.
My thoughts are maybe it was part of a belt with the spelt out word kabka3 and, who knows, maybe worn by a Cossack?
Novocherkassk is a small town in the South of Russia, also known as the unofficial capital of the Cossacks.
Pictures attached for identification purposes & any ideas from the members
Kind regards
from a wet Cape Town
Malcolm Stander
The "belt" is a credible hypothesis. Any suggestion will be welcome
Giorgio Busetto

Replies to questions

Michael Smith receives this answer to the question about his Catholic Church triptych  
(see October 2010 Newsletter)
José Luis Muñoz writes:
... About the silver piece of Michael Smith I can confirm that the mark is Spanish and refers to silversmith LOPEZ (LO - PEZ). Pez in Spanish means "fish" and this justifies the presence of a "fish" in the mark.
The silversmith is still active and further information is available in his web site at
Best regards,
José Luis

Patrick Street receives this answer to the question about his sauce ladle  
(see October 2010 Newsletter)
Shawn Holatko writes:
... In response to the 800 Silver Sauce Ladle belonging to Patrick Street:
The ladle appears to be the work of Yogya (Jogya) silversmiths in Indonesia. The "800" silver mark is typical of Yogya silver made after circa 1930, but I am unsure of the maker's mark. The detailed floral decoration is also typical of Yogya silver. The website has a brief, but informative, page on Yogya silver.
Shawn Holatko

M. Heumann receives this answer to the question about his Gorham copper teapot 
(see October 2010 Newsletter)
Les Salvage writes:
... Regarding October Newsletter, if M.Heumann uses the following link, it will show a copper kettle by Gorham with similar marks except for '10' instead of '5'. This may suggest the kettle is from 1880s or before?
Hope this helps.
Les Salvage


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
an 1881 advertisement of Walter Thornhill, London
This month we present an 1881 advertisement of


Cutler to the Queen
Silversmith, dressing-case Maker, Engraver, &c.
44 New Bond Street, London
The announcement advertises the strange NORWEGIAN BELTS "worn by their Royal Highnesses the Prince and the Princess of Wales".
The belts could be used "by Gentlemen for Hunting, Shooting, Fishing, &c., and by Ladies as an improved kind of Chatelain".


In this column we present an abstract from a page of the "What is? Silver Dictionary" 
courtesy of home page
silver plate mark: metal alloy/plating process EPNS


The marks of electroplated silver were often inspired to the hallmarking used for sterling silver, but, unlike this system, no codified rule was followed by silver plate makers.
Nonetheless, besides the trade mark, many electroplaters used alphabetic symbols to identify the town of origin, the quantity of the silver used in plating and, in some cases, the date of manufacture.
The purpose of these marks was, mostly, of promotional nature and hid the unacknowledged goal of confusing the customer about the nature of the metal alloy....


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
Atkin Brothers, silver plate mark



Atkin Brothers business traces his origin to Thomas Law, a silversmith active in Sheffield from c. 1750 to 1775. He was one of the only two firms combining the trades of cutlers and general silversmiths.
The business was continued by his sons John and William, and later by Joseph Law (probably the son of John, as in an 1830 directory he is quoted as "Joseph Law, late John Law & Son").
In 1824 was entered the mark of Jos. Law, Jn Oxley & Henry Atkin (oddly the mark was "LL", possibly for Law & Law) and in 1829 Henry Atkin and John Oxley, trading as Atkin, Oxley & Co, succeeded to the original firm. They dissolved their partnership c. 1840....


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:
East Anglian Silver - 1550-1750 a book edited by Christopher Hartop
edited by
Christopher Hartop
John Adamson - Cambridge
The beauty of stunning craftsmanship of silver made in East Anglia have long been celebrated by scholars and collectors. This book describes in depth a wealth of important silver articles made in the region which are now to be found in museums and private collections in Britain, America and Australia, as well as in churches in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex. Many of the objects featured have never been published before, including a beaker in the Royal Collection by Elizabeth Haslewood, Norwich's only woman silversmith of the Stuart period, and a magnificent Charles II tankard from the Gregory Peck collection...


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


A silver spoon crest, with an arm, in armour, issuing, in hand a sword
The crest of Alexander (many families: Dublin, Kent, Caledonia, London of Scottish descent), Dupre-Alexander, Row (Scotland), Whetham.
An arm, in armour, issuing, in hand a sword.
The crest was found in a silver spoon hallmarked London 1821, makers Sarah and John William Blake

A silver spoon crest, with an arm, in armour, issuing, in hand a sword

A silver spoon hallmarked London 1821, maker Sarah and John William Blake

A silver spoon crest, with an arm, in armour, issuing, in hand a sword

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Closing our November 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 Jayshree Desai, Jayne Dye, Piero Eduardo, Samantha Macnally, Robert Massart, Lise Moor, Eddie Robinson, Les Salvage, Malcolm Stander, Haroune Toumani 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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