ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver

newsletter # 173 October 2018
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A new article for ASCAS website

Giorgio Busetto presents:


The fineness of a precious metal object (coin, bar, jewelry, etc.) represents the weight of fine metal therein, in proportion to the total weight which includes alloying base metals and any impurities. Alloy metals are added to increase hardness and durability of coins and jewelry, alter colors, decrease the cost per weight, or avoid the cost of high-purity refinement.
Most countries have silver standards based on the parts per thousand of pure metal by mass in the alloy. Other systems express the silver standard in other ways as "zolotnick" (Russia) and "loth" (loth in Austria and German area, luoti in Finland, lődig in Norway). Various other standards were used in the past centuries in other European countries (e.g. Italy, France, Portugal, Spain).
The marks used to certify the level of silver purity are the corresponding number, a number and one or more letters, a symbol or a mix of symbol/number/letter.....
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New members

Welcome to new ASCAS members:

Joe Capone - USA
Elizabeth DuPreez - USA
Loic Radenen - France
John Sagl - USA
Edward Scott - England UK
Ad Verhaaf - The Netherlands
Paul Wisley - USA

Mail to ASCAS: e-mail

Beachville District Museum in Ontario writes:
...I am emailing you from Beachville District Museum in Ontario. We have unearthed a fragment of an old piece of flatware and are searching for more information about the fragment's provenance.
The handle's five markings proceed from top to bottom as follows:
i) a capital letter "E" in a crest-like shape (maybe a date letter?)
ii) a circular stamp with a small arrow-shape (?) extending from it
iii) an upper-case "J" in an oval perimeter
iv) a similarly shaped upper case "E" in an oval perimeter
v) an "M" or "W" or some other icon (maybe a city mark?) in a heart-shaped outline
Would anyone in your organization have any initial thoughts on what country this piece might have come from?
Many thanks for your guidance,
BDM Staff

Francisco J. Morales writes:
... I purchased a limited edition Faberge Tea and Coffee Set at auction.
I am now trying to gather information on who actually made it, when it was made, etc., etc., etc.
All pieces in the set are marked identically as follows:
FABERGÉ 925 "A Five Pointed Star" 1985 MI
Here's what I do know:
- Limited Edition Set sold by Fabergé within the past 25 +/- years
- 925/1000 Sterling Silver
- Five Pointed Star corresponds to 1968 Italian hallmark legislation, so it was made after 1968
- 1985 is the silversmith's unique identifying number, but I have not been able to pinpoint exactly who that silversmith actually is
- Set was made in Milan (MI)
Any information you can help me with is greatly appreciated.
Thank you,
Francisco J. Morales

The maker is AR ARGENTERIA snc di Simone Predaglio e Ivan Agnesi, Via Zucchi 39 A, Cusano Milanino (Milano). The mark MI1985 was assigned 3 September 2002.
More at
Giorgio Busetto

Pierre Saric writes:
... I cannot identify the attached punches.
Is it possible that my research is once again brought to the attention of the members of the Association?
With my greetings,
Pierre Saric

Looks as Matthew Boulton Old Sheffield Plate mark, see my website at
Giorgio Busetto

Maude Franceschina writes:
... I am trying to determine the maker of this salver tray.
I think it may be D Kott /Dominikus Kott of Germany. I can't find any information on the silversmith except that the factory was purchased by William Binder.
Any info appreciated. Have not seen this exact mark anywhere
Maude Franceschina

Ludo D'Haese writes:
... Is there a member of the society who can help to identify these two marks on a pair of candlesticks?
There are some restorations on the inner side of the base, so it is possible that one of more marks is disappeared.
Ludo D'Haese

Replies to questions

Gianmarco Baldini receives this answer about his silver toothpick holder (see September 2018 Newsletter)

Luis Castelo Lopes writes
The hallmarks on this piece are the ones used in 19th century Brazil, especially in the city of Rio de Janeiro, to simulate the Portuguese ones, in this case the crowned L for Lisbon (but the crown is wrong), the FDG mark was used by a Brazilian silversmith named Francisco Duarte Graça, circa 1854.
At that time there was no official silver control in Brazil, so they would emulate hallmarks from Portugal, France and the UK to better sell their products. In fact the quality of the work was good but the public, apparently, preferred foreign hallmarks, even fake ones.
Best regards
Luis Castelo Lopes

Andrew J. Brasch receives this answer about his silver pitcher (see February 2018 Newsletter)

Krisztián Fekete writes
In the 2018.febr newsletter I see a question about a Hungarian silversmith:
HI, next to the 1937-1966 Diana hallmark was the mark of Hajós Imre.
He worked in Budapest. First mentioning in the Hungarian registration in 1927 with a similar mark, like in the post. His forge was in the Síp street 6, and worked till the socialization by the communist state (1948).
Hope this helps.
Best regards!
Krisztián Fekete


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



This month ASCAS presents a page from a 1677 book

method of wrapping a sample submitted to the Assay Office for a private assay

The page shows how in the 18th century a sample should be submitted to the Assay Office for a private assay.

method of wrapping a sample submitted to the Assay Office for a private assay

The same method of wrapping a sample is still used 250 years later at London Assay Office.


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


The love token is a coin that has been smoothed flat on one or both sides and has been hand-engraved with sentimental messages, names, love signs as hearts and knots, various symbols, initials of the giver or intertwined initials of giver and receiver.
The practice of engraving the coins began during the late 1600s, with coins being crafted by experienced artisans as well as individual amateurs. One of the most recognisable styles used to mark coins was "prickling", a technique of decorating a silver object by series of small dots by needle-point by persons who were unskilled in engraving....


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


William Spratling (1900-1967) was an architect, artist, author and instructor in the School of Architecture at Tulane University, New Orleans.
In 1929 he decided to stay in Mexico and purchased a house in the silver mining town of Taxco where he opened a small silver workshop to produce items of his own design.
Spratling based his designs on Pre-Columbian Mexican art objects and jewelry unearthed in archaeological excavations obtaining great commercial success.
By the 1940s he was employing 300 artisans to produce silver jewelry, flatware and holloware, frequently working with locally found materials. He began to decorate his production with azure-malachite, tortoiseshell, rosewood and ebony using a technique that required great cutting skill to render them flush with the object's surface.
Spratling's success in Taxco helped revive interest in Mesoamerican design motifs and launched in Mexico an industry that attracted a number of talented designer and craftsmen (Hector Aguilar was Sprating's workshop manager prior to leaving and establishing his own workshop).
In 1940 Spratling entered into partnership with Victor Silson of New York. Spratling supplied designs and original pieces from which dies could be made. Silson manufactured the jewelry out of pot metal and then silverplated it. The partnership continued until the late 1940s..... MORE...


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: SCOTT

The crest of Scott family.
The Latin motto is "Amo" (I love).
The crest is described as "A gryphon passant supporting with the dexter fore-claw a swallow tailed banner inscribed with the word NAGPOOR".
The crest has been found on a sterling silver spoon hallmarked London 1867, maker George William Adams, Chawner & Co

family crest: SCOTT
family crest: SCOTT

- 1793 -

This table is obtained from The Book of Entries of the Names, Places of abode and Marks of the several Silversmiths and Plate Workers residing in Sheffield, or within twenty miles thereof, who are required to send their goods to the Assay Office, lately established in the Town of Sheffield by an Act of Parliament lately passed in the Thirteenth Year of the Reign of King George the Third intituled:
An Act for appointing Wardens and Assaymasters for
Assaying Wrought Plate in the Towns of Sheffield
and Birmingham

YEAR 1793

Sheffield Assay Office: hallmarks register
Sheffield Assay Office: 1793 hallmarks register
Sheffield Assay Office: 1793 hallmarks register

Closing our October 2018 edition of ASCAS Newsletter I hope you have appreciated its content.
Your comments, suggestions and advice will be of great help.

My thanks to Beachville District Museum, Luis Castelo Lopes, Ludo D'Haese, Krisztián Fekete, Maude Franceschina, Francisco J. Morales and Pierre Saric 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.
ASCAS does not have the full addresses of its members (only town, country and e-mail address are requested for membership).
ASCAS handles and protects with care its members' e-mail addresses, will not disclose the addresses to third parties, will use this information only to reply to requests received from members and for communications strictly related to its activity.
These rules are expressly accepted by submitting the membership request.

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