ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver        newsletter # 77 October 2010     SITE MAP
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A new article for ASCAS website

Detail of Charles II silver toasting fork
Dorothea Burstyn presents:

Toasting forks English version

.....The majority of toasting forks were made of iron, brass or simple wire, this study only concerns itself with the use, styles and history of the silver toasting fork. It has been suggested that the silver toasting fork was intended to be used in the dining room "to give employment to amateur cooks" or was handled "by those who preferred to do their own toasting before the dining room or sitting room fire". These quotes seem to suggest that the choice of material - silver - was determined by the location in which this implement was to be used. In contrast, modern thought categorizes the silver toasting fork as kitchenware. The incentive to choose silver for so many medical and kitchenware utensils must be found in the hygienic properties of silver. Besides until the mid-nineteenth century (and possibly even later), people who could afford silver toasting forks had servants who did all the food preparation....
click here English version   

New members

Welcome to new ASCAS members:  

Ugo Bazzotti - Italy
Judit Darrah - Canada
Charles Daryl - Australia
Shelah Fondren - USA
Sharon Hoff - USA
Richard Knight - West Wales UK
Patricia Larson - USA
Rex Lloyd - New Zealand
Barbara Romeo - USA
Mike Smith - Thailand
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Members' Window # 77

The third Gallia mark (c.1900-1908)
Prof. David N. Nikogosyan presents:

Marks of European Silver Plate:
VII. Gallia, Alfenide/Christofle, France
 English version

Being a keen collector of silver-plated articles made by the famous French foundry Christofle, I ignored the items made from Gallia metal until the day I purchased, at an Internet auction, a marvellous Art Nouveau piece, probably a butter container, consisting of the base and its cover. The glass inset was missing, but I put instead a black cardboard band inside the base that allowed me to assemble the piece and to enjoy its beauty....
click here
 English version 

Mail to ASCAS: e-mail

Les Salvage writes:
... Referring to the article by Simon Buxton in your May 2010 Newsletter concerning silver plated ware, you may like to add that the various indicators of this type of product can also include just 'A1' with no other references to the process. I understand that A1 is for the highest grade of silverplate.
I have an electroplated Berry Spoon by John Henry Potter, the photos of which show a repoussé bowl and a handle with lap-over edges to a very nice design.
What I would like to know, is what do the first two symbols mean?
Les Salvage
About the symbols (I presume you refer to S and P gothic in Potter's mark): the S usually was used to indicate that the firm was active in Sheffield. This is a common practice used by Sheffield makers. The "L" was used by some of London Makers and the "G" by Glasgow makers (and in some cases I saw both "S" and "L", to indicate that the firm was active in Sheffield and in London). Instead, I never (or, maybe, only in one case) I saw a "B" for Birmingham.
In our case the S is coupled to a P: my hypothesis is that the meaning is "Sheffield Plate" (other suggestions would be appreciated).
Giorgio Busetto
PS: obviously in other cases the S indicates Son or Sons (but the "S" is preceded by &)

Barry Laidler writes:
... I wonder if someone would mind helping me with the attached? From my browsing on the Internet I feel it is Indian Silver, perhaps Raj period, and might be called a measuring peg. Obviously it is a double cup of some sort. It has the initials S.B.Y. (possibly V) stamped inside, on the bottom of the larger cup. I have begun cleaning it and it looks as if it will come up superbly well apart from the dents to the rims.
Best regards
Barry Laidler

Gary Price writes:
... Can you identify these items please?
They were made in Birmingham by James Swann and have the date letter "v" but what were they used for?
I hope you can shed some light on these items.
Gary Price
Your item is a baby feeding set with spoon and pusher.
Giorgio Busetto

Patrick Street writes:
... I have another item which I hope you will recognise the maker. It’s a sauce ladle with what looks like a heavy decoration in the Eastern manner. The marks on the back of the stem are 800, a five-pointed star and the initials SMT.
Any assistance you might give will be greatly appreciated.
Best regards,
I'm sorry, but I'm unable to identify the maker of your item.
The ladle is, possibly, of Italian manufacture (but I'm not so sure). In this case it was made in the period 1870-1935. Unfortunately there is no published literature about this period and I have no possibility to identify the mark.
Giorgio Busetto

M. Heumann writes:
... We recently purchased a lovely Aesthetic Movement Gorham Copper Teapot. Attached are 3 photos:
#1- The Teapot (total height 6.5" X total length 8")
#2 The makers mark, with anchor and Y75 (the Y is very worn)
#3- a solitary number 5 stamped at the top edge of the bottom surface
The handle appears to be alder, There is no indication that this was ever silver plated.
It seems to be missing some of the obvious dating prefixes that are posted online, so if anyone can help accurately date it or knows the significance of the marks, we'd appreciate it.
M. Heumann

Michael Smith writes:
... I have a silver Catholic Church triptych acquired in Manila, Philippines, in 1970s.
Interesting points
Made by reverse hammering into a mold? Seems heavily used/worn
Three interesting 'marks'
- one at high R ('LO and fish figure?') inside a pentagon box inside a rosette
- one at low centre ( pentagram)
- another ( unreadable)
Any information/opinion gratefully received.
Michael Smith
I believe that the marks of your item are Spanish. I trust in the help of ASCAS readers for further information
Giorgio Busetto

Lesley Frej writes:
... I am doing some research on my family tree and ancestors called Grostate. There appears to have been a silverware company called Grostate & Co in Madras circa 1800s and I was wondering if you had any further information about them.
Hope you can help!
Best Regards
Any information will be welcome.
Giorgio Busetto

Replies to questions

Peter Bower receives these answers to the question about his German silver plate tankard  
(see September 2010 Newsletter)
Dorothea Burstyn writes:
Peter Bower's query re German tankard, the sign says "Galvanische Nachbildung, Gew. Mus.quot; (Gewerbemuseum) - translated galvanic reproduction, museum of trades.
Galvanic reproductions were in great demands by museums all over for study purposes. The V&A, London, has a large collection and also a great display explaining the process.
Best regards,
Dorothea Burstyn
Oskar M. Zurell writes:
About the tankard Replica - Electro-Galvanic plastic, made by the "Bayerisches Gewerbemuseum" in Nürnberg, Germany.
Nürnberg was, next to Augsburg in the History the leading centre of metal wares - in Gold, Silver, copper, bronze, brass and tin.
For educational reason, the "Gewerbe-Museum" ("Handicraft-Museum") in Nürnberg (Nuremberg) made in her own Galvanic Laboratory replica of a huge amount of items - most of all were replica from historic metal wares; as in yours case.
To obtain a detailed and homogenous copy, it is necessary to use in the Galvanic Processing on the Anode a pure metal, e.g. silver, or in this case copper - hence the "verdigris" spots on the bottom of the tankard. Then after these items were on their surface plated with pure silver, if the original were silver, or gilded, if the original were made from gold. In your case the item is silver plated.
Because it is a replica, so also the maker's mark, town mark and assayers' zig-zag is copied as well. Actually I couldn't identify these two marks - also for my eyes they aren't clear enough.
To prevent that somebody claim, that it is an original - it's usual, to mark this kind of items very clear, to be a copy.
In this case is in a baroque shield centred the symbol of the Museum - and in the surrounding circle is written:
"GALV.(anische) NACHBILD.(ung) D.(es) B.(ayerischen) GEWERBEMUS.(eum)"
(Galvanic Reproduction of the Bavarian Handicraft Museum)
That's not a drinking association motto!
The item number or production number is scratched: 6415 - so maybe the tankards first station could be traced back; if the register isn't lost in the war times (especially in WWII).
The original tankard could be made in XVII century.
A very brief history of the former "Bayerisches Gewerbemuseum Nürnberg":
Founded 1869 - since 1987 integrated in the "Germanisches National Museum".
Kind regards,
Oskar M. Zurell

Claudio Morelli receives these answers to the question about his Russian spoon  
(see September 2010 Newsletter)
Postnikov writes:
To the Russian spoon in the late newsletter I have to say the following:
The town mark (see photo) is thought to be maybe one of the town marks from Odessa for the year 1890. Very, very dubious!
The silversmith is in this form not known, the assay master CO does not exist in Odessa.
The whole mark looks dubious to me. The monogram is Latin EB (Gothic) which was often used by customers from the Baltic states - but here it is crudely engraved and would not have been accepted. Further is the year 1888 with the Cyrillic letter for "year" engraved. Latin letters and Russian letter???
For me it is a fake spoon!
Kind regards
Kari Helenius writes:
Old Kostroma Town mark used to have a cross resembling the one on the spoon. The cross was used in different forms from 1746 till 1870. Especially the cross on the 1746 mark is quite close. It could be possible that the cross has been used also 1888.
There is this mark 719 Assay master "Cb" (1893). Could it be the same mark?
It is difficult to judge if the master's mark is IR or IG. There is a master's mark 913 IG, Ivan Gabrilov 1898.
(The numbers refer to Postnikova-Lossevas book)
Best regards

Bruno Bruni receives a further answer to the question about his unidentified silver plate mark  
(see August 2010 Newsletter)
Oskar M. Zurell writes:
The Continental European "Plated" producer had as quality sign the indication of gram. The American and English Plated producer had a letter code for their "Plated" quality; e.g. "A1" or "AI" as their ever best quality = quality grade of about medium level of Continental Europeans.
Lower level was "A", next level was "B", and then next level was "C", and lowest level "D".
A1 = Superior Quality = 32 grams on 12 pieces = 2 2/3 grams per table spoon or table fork
A = Standard Quality = 24 grams on 12 pieces = 2 grams per table spoon or table fork
B = Third Quality = 16 grams on 12 pieces = 1 1/3 grams per table spoon or table fork
C = Fourth Quality = 12 grams on 12 pieces = 1 grams per table spoon or table fork
D = Fifth Quality = 6 grams on 12 pieces = 0 1/2 grams per table spoon or table fork
(Example by Barker Brothers, Birmingham, around 1900).
Kind regards
Oskar M. Zurell


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
a trade card of Waterhouse & Son, Birmingham
This month we present an ancient trade card of


Silver & Plated Plate

The firm had Agents in London and Dublin


In this column we present an abstract from a page of the "What is? Silver Dictionary" 
courtesy of home page
tea urn, c. 1825


A type of vessel for dispensing, originally, hot water for making tea, that enable the content to be dispensed without lifting or tilting the heavy piece. This item held a place on the sideboards of the wealthier classes from about the middle of the 18th century.
Tea urns were made first of all without any heating accessories. Then appliances were introduced for keeping the water hot by the aid of a heating iron fixed in the upper part of the base. This iron penetrated into the lower part of body. Another system was a tube, fixed on to the base, which ran right up the body of the urn, carrying the heat from the charcoal to the body....


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
Adie & Lovekin animal shaped novelty pin cushion



The firm began its business as Adie & Lovekin and was active in Snape Street, Hockley, Birmingham (before 1872).
The firm became Adie & Lovekin Ltd in 1889.
The company manufactured a wide range of silver fancy goods at the end of the 19th century and had a factory in Regent Street, Hockley, Birmingham. In 1894 they commissioned Mansell & Mansell to design a new factory at 23, Frederick Street, Birmingham which became known as 'Trafalgar Works'....


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:
In Gold We Trust: book by Dario Gaggio
Social Capital and Economic Change
in the Italian Jewelry Towns
Dario Gaggio
Princeton University Press
Princeton And Oxford
In Gold We Trust is a historical and sociological account of how, by the late 1960s, three small Italian towns had come to lead the world in the production of gold jewelry -even tough they had virtually no jewelry industry less than a century before, and even tough Italy had western Europe's most restrictive gold laws. It is a distinctive but paradigmatic story of how northern Italy performed its post-World War II economic miracle by creating localized but globally connected informal economies, in which smuggling, tax evasion, and the violation of labour standards coexisted with ongoing deliberation over institutional change and the benefits of political participation...


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 tea box with Brodie crest, John Parker I and Edward Wakelin, London 1770

The crest of James-Campbell Brodie, Esquire, of Lethen and Coulmony, Nairn. A hand with a sheaf of arrows and motto "Be mindful to unite".
The crest was found in a silver tea box marked by John Parker I and Edward Wakelin, London 1770

A silver tea box with Brodie crest, John Parker I and Edward Wakelin, London 1770 A silver tea box with Brodie crest, John Parker I and Edward Wakelin, London 1770

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Closing our October 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 Dorothea Burstyn, Jayne Dye, Lesley Frej, Christophe Ginter, Kari Helenius, M. Heumann, Barry Laidler, Prof. David N. Nikogosyan, Postnikov, Gary Price, Les Salvage, Michael Smith, Patrick Street, Oskar M. Zurell for their invaluable contributions.

Giorgio Busetto
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