ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver         newsletter # 42 - OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2007
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After October suspension ASCAS Newsletter returns in your PC with its October/November 2007 # 42 edition
My thanks for your many kind messages of encouragement and for the new material (received or promised) that make possible to publish this edition of ASCAS Newsletter and to create a small "reserve" of material for future editions.
I don't know if the "crisis" is definitively overcome. What I may assure is my renewed commitment in managing ASCAS website and any new web page that will be possible to realize using the "contents" that, I hope, you will continue to supply.
Giorgio Busetto
ASCAS Secretary

A new article for ASCAS website

Two forks from the Russian western provinces Willand Ringborg presents:

Russian Silver Assay Masters in the western provinces English version

The countries bordering the east Baltic Sea have a long history of being part of trade and transit area between west and east. The countries Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were in medieval times one by one under Danish, German and Polish influences. The Hansa League - a dominating trade monopoly of the Baltic Sea that ruled the economic life was under the protection and power of the German Temple Order......

click here English version


New members

Welcome to new ASCAS members:  

Brenda Burdick-Jones - USA
Tracey Davis - USA
Luis Miguel Escolar - England UK
Sue Harvey - England UK
Lori House - USA
John Jefferies - England UK
Lyndon Jones - England UK
Stephen Jones - England UK
Ole Lachmann - Denmark
Jan Reban - Czech Republic
Jose Rosas - Portugal
Earl Seber - USA
Pierre Strobbe - Belgium

Members' Window # 42

silver tobacco box

Fredric Sinfield presents:

A Tobacco Box English version

An unmarked silver box, probably dating from the last decade of the 18th century, engraved on the lid with scene featuring a bishop wearing a mitre blessing a kneeling supplicant with two supporters and two onlookers.

click here English version

Mail to ASCAS: e-mail

Dominique Bochet writes:
... I'm researching the origin of these silver sugar tongs. I believe they were made in the 18th century, but It has only the silversmith's mark.
Any suggestion or information would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you
Dominique Bochet

Robert Massart writes:
... I have a lot of questions concerning this French silver dance card. Indeed, the fact that the cartouche is signed with 2 different names and that a maker's mark is also present, makes it quite difficult to know which artist/craftsman executed what part of the dance card.
I tried to translate the Latin text as good as possible; but I am not quite sure that it really expresses the meaning of the artist.
Whenever you could help me out of these enigmas, I would appreciate it very much.
Robert Massart

Silver Dance Card - France 1890/1900
Marvellous ‘Art Nouveau’ dance card in solid silver with pencil, manufactured in France. The front face is richly decorated with repousse work in a cartouche, representing a nymph and a horse at the border of a water pool, and trees in the background. The scene is signed underneath on the left side by M. Renouf over EDFI (1) and at the right side of the cartouche with APS. (?) G. DUTRIAC for the artist Georges Pierre Dutriac (2), the designer of the scene. Under the cartouche an inscription in Latin reads "bagnolenses invenit fontes" (3). Marked on the front with the head of a wild boar (French hallmark for silver fineness of 800/1000, introduced for small silver articles on 10th May, 1838). The reverse side is marked with the boar’s head and the maker’s mark ‘Ald’ (?) in a lozenge and is beautifully decorated with thistle flowers and leaves, typical for the Art Nouveau period.
The dance card opens with a spring when the pencil is removed. The pencil itself bears no hallmarks and is still in good working condition.
Estimated to date from the period 1890-1900.
Dimensions: 48 mm high by 36 mm large.
Weigth: 17 gram.
(1) Probably the name of the engraver.
(2) Georges Pierre Dutriac, painter and renowned illustrator of his epoch as well as designer of posters, was born in Bordeaux during the 2nd half of the 19th century (Bénézit, tome 7, p 71).
(3) The translation means approximately that the Bagnolenses (Cathars from Bagnolo in Italy during the later Middle Ages) found the sources. However, the text can have an imaginary meaning. Invenit also indicates that the name it follows is that of the creator of the design (who is not necessarily the engraver or etcher) From The Thames and Hudson Dictionary of Art Terms (1984).
Dear Robert,
some information about your "carnet de bal":
- the translation of the Latin inscription is: (she or they) FOUND THE SOURCES OF BAGNOLO
- the maker is, on my opinion, "P revolver Q" inside a lozenge, that is QUITTE PRUDENT, fabriquant bijoutier, 42 Rue de Notre Dame de Nazareth, Paris. This mark was registered on November 15, 1882.
Incidentally, some days ago I saw in an Antique Market in Venice a quite similar representation and inscription on the cover of a silver stamp case (gilt interior, unmarked)

Allen Carlson writes:
... I have recently acquired a Sterling silver stuffing spoon a little over 12 inches long. It carries English hallmarks for London, Sterling and the date letter for 1876. It's in the Stag Hunt pattern. I can't get a clear picture of the makers mark. However it's IH over RR. The top of the punch seems to be a crown. I did find it in Wyler's Old Silver, under 1875 for London. Does anybody know who made it?
Thank you very much for any assistance that you can provide.

According to your description the makers are Hunt & Roskell. A wide list of English makers (including your) is available in my private website at
Giorgio Busetto

Jan writes:
... Can someone please give me any information on this piece? The markings say 875 yet the E with the other letter on the end lozenge has me thinking otherwise?
I appreciate any help.

Debbi Cracovia writes:
... I have an item that I am not sure of it use or maker. I purchased this at an estate sale because I like unusual sterling items. I thought it may have to do with wine, maybe a coaster/bottle holder? I would appreciate any information you may have.
Thank you
Debbi Cracovia

I believe that your item is a wine-bottle coaster (see my private website at made in Austria (1872/1922). The mark isn't easy to read but I try an identification as 800/1000 silver fineness (3), town of Vienna (A), silversmith Franz Rumwolf (FR), active 1899-1924.
Giorgio Busetto

Mario Galasso writes:
... I trying to identify the mark of a these candlesticks.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Mario Galasso

Robert Massart writes:
... Looking at the marks on a silver egg cup in my possession, I saw that five marks were punched underneath the rim:
'A' in a triangle, a horse head in a circle (town mark ?), FD (which I assume are the initials of the maker), M.H over 1880 for the initials of the assayer Mikael Mikailovich Karpinshii (I found this on your internet site of Russian antique hallmarks) and the year, and 84 for the silver fineness of 84/96 zolotniks.
Can you help me to define the unknown marks?
Thanks in advance and best regards,
Robert Massart

Seen the image of your beaker or possibly a charka (not an egg cup) my opinion is that your item is authentic ancient Russian silver. I believe that the assayer isn't Karpinshi (his initials are MK). In your mark the initials are M.H in cyrillic (looks as M.N in Latin alphabet) and the date isn't 1880 but 1820.
I found only one "FD" maker (FD is in Latin and not in cyrillic) corresponding to Johann Friedrich Drevsen (or Dreivsen), active in St.Petersburg 1818-1849.
The problem is that your marks are too worn and St.Petersburg town mark is hardly readable (but I believe to recognise it in the circular mark -not a horse head-). Unfortunately no MN (or MH) assayer mark I found cited in St.Peterburg.
My opinion is that your item was made in Russia at the beginning of the 19th century, but I'm sure that someone of the ASCAS members with a superior acquaintance with Russian silver will be more helpful for your research.
Giorgio Busetto

Alessandro Colemann writes:
... Last week I bought twelve silver spoons that I believe to be made in Austria. They have twist handle with hoof top and are gilt on the bowl. I'd wish to know more about these pieces.
Alessandro Colemann

The spoons are German (not Austrian). This is the information available in my website at
Koch & Bergfeld - Bremen 1899
Founded in 1829. Executed 1900-10 designs by Hugo Leven, Albin Muller and Henry van de Velde and in the twenties and thirties by Gustav Elsass and Berhardd Hotger
ref: Neuwirth/Markenlexikon für Edle und Unedle Metalle No.286
Art Nouveau and Art deco Silver - by Annelies Krekle-Aalberse, p. 256
Twist handle was in great fashion (mostly in the USA) in the last quarter of the 19th century
Giorgio Busetto


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Replies to questions

Alessandro Colemann receives these replies to his question about his Victorian ladle: ( see September Newsletter)
Robert Massart writes:
... I also like to react on the question of Alessandro Coleman. Indeed his spoon is a King's pattern salt spoon, made in London and dating from 1846-1847 (ref. Jackson's Hallmarks, edited by Ian Pickford).
The maker's mark (GA in 2 conjoining circles) is of George G. William Adams of Chawner & Company, Hosier Lane workshops, Smithfield; a most important mid 19th century firm of spoon makers.
The king's pattern design features honeysuckle flowers and shell motif. It was designed by brothers John and Henry Lyas in the 1830's when George IV was on the throne in England.
Robert Massart

Wendy Posner receives these replies to her question about her niello cigarette box: ( see September Newsletter)
Willand Ringborg writes:
... The silversmith AE could be either Alexander Sergeevich Yegonov 1868-1897 in Moscow, or Alexei Nikolaeievich Yegonov, mentioned 1912 in Moscow.
The assaymaster 1893 AC is Alexander Alexeevich Smirnov who was assayer in the Moscow 1860 - 1894 (1893 in the company of 4 other assayers, all with separate initials).
Willand Ringborg

Wendy Posner receives these replies to the question about her twelve charger plates: ( see September Newsletter)
Willand Ringborg writes:
... The plates are of Swedish origin, and the abbreviation GAB is to be interpreted as "Guldsmedsaktiebolaget", Gold smith's Ltd. The company was created in 1868 by several goldsmiths in Stockholm and it still remains. Its production has been mainly silver services and gold jewellery in bulk quantities.
The stamps on the pieces you have are to be understood: NS asan abbreviation for "nysilver" in Swedish ("new silver"), which then means plated silver and Alp of course for alpacca.
Willand Ringborg 



In this column we present a page (one page only) obtained from makers' brochures, books, auction catalogs or whatever other printed paper, which may be of particular interest for ASCAS members.
The images will be published at a "low resolution" level and for private and personal use only
an Anchor Silver Plate Co advertising in a 1905 (not identified) magazine This month ASCAS presents an ANCHOR SILVER PLATE CO. advertising in a 1905 (not identified) magazine, publicizing " ... our new line of Electro-Plated Holloware, 24 Karat Ormolu Gold Clocks, novelties of every description, Picture frames, etc. ... "
Anchor Silver Plate Co - Muncie, Indiana and St. Paul, Minnesota was listed in 1898 and 1904 Jewellers' Circular. Listed in 1909 JC as out of business.
(ref: Encyclopedia of American Silver Manufacturers)



In this column we presents an abstract from a page of the "What is? Silver Dictionary"
courtesy of home page
dish cross


this was a utilitarian piece of silver used during the last half of the 18th century.
The center held a spirit lamp or a candle so food could be kept warm.
The four arms could be spread and adjusted to hold either round or oblong dishes........



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.
(click to enlarge images)
The "book on the shelf" of this month is

by Fred. W. Burgess
printed by
E.P. DUTTON & CO New York
Silver: Pewter: Sheffield Plate: a book by Fred. W. Burgess Silver: Pewter: Sheffield Plate: a book by Fred. W. Burgess

The Silver Society of Australia Newsletter

On October 15th The Silver Society of Canada published its October 2007 Newsletter.
The Newsletter contains many informative pages about the matter of common interest (Members' Silver, Auction Results, Mail) and articles on "Silver with Personality", " Australian Spoon Identification" and "Sargison Workshop Hobart", quoting also September ASCAS Newsletter and its articles.
Australian (and non-Australian) members of ASCAS interested to subscribe to The Silver Society of Australia may contact John Heathers (Treasurer) at


Closing our OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2007 edition of ASCAS Newsletter I hope you have appreciated its content.
Your comments, suggestions and advice will be of great help.

My thanks to Dominique Bochet (France), Allen Carlson (USA), Alessandro Colemann (Italy), Debbi Cracovia (USA), Jayne Dye (USA), Mario Galasso (Italy), Robert Massart (Belgium), Willand Ringborg (Sweden), Fredric Sinfield (Australia) 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.
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.