ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver        newsletter # 89 October 2011     SITE MAP
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A new article for ASCAS website

Main exhibition hall
Dorothea Burstyn presents:

Exhibition: Fabulous Flatware - Non-traditional Tools of the Table
The William P. Hood Jr. collection of contemporary flatware
 English version

The opening party of the exhibition Fabulous Flatware - Non-traditional Tools of the Table at the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum, Lafayette, Louisiana, on August 19, 2011, was a glittering affair sponsored by the eminent Gorham Martelé collectors Jolie and Robert Shelton of Lafayette and attended by many donors to and members of the Hilliard and the New Orleans Museum of Art....

click here English version     

New members

Welcome to new ASCAS members:  

Colin Allen - England UK
Jean C. Anderson - USA
Marcet Bliss - USA
Deborah Chester - USA
George Drakulic - USA
John Sherwood - England UK
Ramon N. Villegas - Philippines
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Members' Window # 89

Bottom of Chawner stand showing assay scrapings (light colored area)
Joanne and Emmett Eldred present the fourth part of:

Our Collecting Guidelines (4) - Hallmarks  English version

Typically the hallmarks on the bottom of teapots are distributed while those on the bottom of stands are in a row. There are a few examples where this format was not followed. However, we feel it is important to check out teapots where the touch-marks are in a row since it is possible to cut out a section in the bottom and solder in a fragment with hallmarks obtained from a small item like a spoon. It is interesting that the orientation of the maker's mark can be the same as the assay office hallmarks or inverted.....
click here
 English version 

Mail to ASCAS: e-mail

Fran Isaacson writes:
...I have attached a photo of an unusual cigar lighter and the Gorham hallmark on it.
What is puzzling to me is that it is marked with the word "Silver" only and my question is it sterling silver or silver plate?
I read your very informative article on the Gorham marks but I was unable to find any reference to the mark this piece bears.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you,
Fran Isaacson

Andrea Menarini writes:
... when I find old Italian silver objects, mainly tableware, I try to identify the marks with the help of various books (Donaver-Dabbene, Bulgari, etc.). Unfortunately, very few of these marks are quoted in the books and, evidently, there are lots of still unknown marks.
Sometimes from a flatware set some clue can be found. For example, I forward the photos of 16 flatware pieces bearing all the same monogram. In my opinion they were made at the beginning of the 19th century, although the knife blades were replaced. The forks and spoons bear various marks, including one that I could reconstruct by combining the marks of two different pieces.
The set comes from a house in Bologna and there is reasonable to suppose that it was made in this town. Moreover in Bologna was active a workshop under the sign of the pomegranate (information available only from 1859).
What do you think about?
Andrea Menarini
The mark with "GD" more than a pomegranate seems to me a flower.
Looking on Donaver Dabbene book it could correspond to the description of the mark (without image) of Giuseppe Ducci of Senigallia (early nineteenth century). But I do not have information about this maker, I never saw his mark and I ignore if he actually manufactured flatware.
Could be useful for the identification to read the letters inside the "diamond" on the left. The shape is that used in the Papal State, bearing two letters identifying the town (on the center) and the initials of the maker (on the sides).
I hope this will be useful.
Pietro Fantazzini

Olivier Dumas writes:
... Near Paris (France) I found a little fork with metal detector. It is 10 cm wide and weighs 10 grams. I'm looking for information about its origin and age.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Olivier Dumas

Joan Sunderland writes:
...I have diligently gone over your site for hours and have not yet been able to identify the hallmark on my Grandmother's silver or silverplated teapot. She lived in England 1850-1948.
I have provided pictures of the teapot but the hallmark is difficult to see except for the numbers 1852 and the patent mark for the handle. There appears to be a number 3 with a dot below left above the hallmark.
The hallmark is a rectangle (difficult to read), a square with an [&] another square which appears to have an ornate R or B, another square with an ornate S and finally what appears to be a square with an A.
Can you provide information on who the silversmith was?
Joan Sunderland
The mark is not well readable. Anyway I believe that it belongs to Walker & Hall, Sheffield. You can find this mark and detailed information about the firm in my web pages at and
By the way, the patent number 12759 was attributed in 1884 (see my web site at ).
Obviously 1884 is not when the teapot (or coffee pot) was made but the date in which the model was registered.
Giorgio Busetto

Manuel Lema writes:
...I tried to identify the maker and year of this spoon but not luck. The hallmarks are a bit worn out but the lion and the letter 'b' can be seen clearly.
Any idea as to who the maker was and the year of this spoon.
Many thanks.
Manuel Lema
Your spoon is hallmarked London 1857. The maker’s mark (HL over HL) belongs to Henry John Lias & son. A detailed information about this firm, whose origins go back to 1791 and is still active as Wakely & Wheeler Ltd, is available in my web site at
Giorgio Busetto

Carol Silverman writes:
...I trust in the help of member of ASCAS for information about these candelabra:
The marks on this candlestick are prominent; above the decoration on the foot; a cross between two stars with an object above.
Nothing shows up in my silver books.
The sticks of this couple of candlesticks have a Scandinavian look; I can't figure out the marks.
Hope someone is familiar with these marks; I am stumped!

Piero Eduardo writes:
...I need your help to identify the maker of the silver mount of an old pipe, brand Morell MacKenzie.
This is a line produced by BBB - Blumfeld's Best Briars in the '20s in order to honor Dr.Sir Morell Mackenzie (July 7, 1837 - February 3, 1892), a British physician, one of the pioneers of laryngology in the United Kingdom.
The silver hallmark is London 1926, maker's mark HS (over) MS inside a swastika!!
Piero Eduardo
The maker is Maurice Strauss & Henry Simon, 108-110 Golden Lane, London. The firm entered a similar hallmark in Chester Assay Office on March 13, 1914.
The presence of the swastika is not surprising in a hallmark entered in 1914, as this is an ancient symbol frequently used before the advent of Nazism (and fascism).
It was often adopted (as well as the "fascio") also in the trademark of British and American silver manufacturers (e.g. in the US, are that of Albert G. Gannon -swastika- and Wm. B. Kerr & Co -'fascio'-)
Giorgio Busetto


SAVE THE HALLMARK! an appeal of The Goldsmiths Company Assay Office Victory for hallmarking

The bulletin of The Goldsmiths Company Assay Office reports that its appeal (see our May Newsletter) obtained a positive result.
The British Government has completed their deliberations regarding the Red Tape Challenge on hallmarking recognising it as a "good regulation" and therefore it will be maintained.
The entire results of the "retail" round have now been reviewed and the Government has confirmed that they are proposing to "simplify, improve or abolish two-thirds of the retail regulations". Minister for Business and Enterprise, Mark Prisk, said, "we are preserving good regulation, such as the hallmarking regime, for which there was strong support."
Dr Robert Organ, Deputy Warden, said, "without the huge support of the trade the result of the Red Tape Challenge could have been very different. We would therefore like to say a very big thank you to all of those who registered their support for hallmarking on the Red Tape Challenge website. We are lucky that we are in an industry that pulls together at times like this and from a personal point of view it is reassuring that hallmarking is viewed as being so important."


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 ancient advertisement of L.A. Littlefield Silver Co
This month ASCAS presents an ancient advertisement of
makers of
High-Grade Silver-Plated Holloware
Office and Factory, NEW BEDFORD, MASS.
The firm was established in 1884 by Needham and L.A. Littlefield. The firm became Littlefield Silver Co in 1905 and moved to Rockford, IL, in 1909 when it was consolidated with the Rockford Silver Plate Co.


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
rectangular entrée dish


The entrée dish is shallow rectangular (sometimes oval or octagonal) container employed in early English usage to serve at the dinner the first cooked course.
The bottom is flat or stands on four low feet. The entrée dish has a low-domed flat-top cover with a detachable ring handle. Removing the handle/finial the cover can be inverted and used as a serving dish.
In some cases they had at each end a handle by which to carry the dish....... 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 leave your LIKE on facebook
Towle Manufacturing Company stock certificate  


The origin of the business dates back to the Moulton family who settled in Newbury, Massachusetts (later Newburyport) at the end of the 18th century.
After six generations of Moulton silversmiths, Joseph Moulton sold in 1857 the silver business he inherited from William Moulton IV, to his father's two apprentices, Anthony Francis Towle and William P. Jones to form Towle & Jones, Co.
In 1873, the son of Anthony Francis Towle, Edward Bass Towle, was added to the business, and the name was changed to A.F. Towle & Son. It was in business through 1902, at which point their dies were purchased by Rogers, Lunt and Bowlen, who were later to become Lunt Silversmiths.....


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)
In the "book on my shelf" of this month ASCAS presents:
a book per month: Goldsmiths and Silversmiths of England


by Christopher Lever
Hutchinson & Co Ltd - London
- 1975 -
Arthur G. Grimwade wrote in his foreword
a book per month: Goldsmiths and Silversmiths of England


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


The Erne family crest

Martin, Hall & Co hallmark on a Erne's family candlestick
An Irish family (Creighton), Earl of, Viscount and Baron.
A dragon's head, fire issuing from mouth.
Motto: God send grace
The crest was found on a silver chamber candlestick hallmarked Sheffield 1897, maker Martin, Hall & Co Ltd, Shrewsbury Works, Broad Street, Park, Sheffield. The mark was entered in Sheffield Assay Office on February 2, 1880

A candlestick with  Erne's family crest


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Closing our October 2011 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, Olivier Dumas, Piero Eduardo, Joanne and Emmett Eldred, Pietro Fantazzini, Fran Isaacson, Manuel Lema, Andrea Menarini, Carol Silverman, Joan Sunderland for their invaluable contributions.

Giorgio Busetto
ASCAS is a community of people having a common interest in antique silver.
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