David McKinley presents:
A Reappraisal of the Marks Used in the Harache
.....In November 1681 fire swept through Goldsmiths?
Hall in London destroying much which would have been of
great interest and importance to historians and
collectors alike. One of our greatest losses from the
point of view of those interested in identifying the
makers of silver plate of this period is the loss of the
records of makers' marks. Although a new mark plate was
raised in 1682 (according to Chaffers the 1675 plate
survived) and the makers struck their marks on this, the
mark book in which their names would have been recorded
has not survived..........
Lazar Freidgeim presents a lovely side of
American every day way of life scarcely known by most of
ASCAS members living outside the US:
Garage Sale Saga
.....Like an orthodox Jew follows his traditions I, too,
rise every Saturday morning as an employee goes to work
and get ready for my good luck hunting, the hunting with
an unpredictable result - I go to garage sales. My
company almost never changes as well as the activity.
Two marvellous friends of mine usually join me. One of
them, her name is Alla, I know since the time we built
sand castles together. And to be more precise, we are
the second generation of family friendship. Alla studied
humanities in Russia, worked in a museum, but she is
also a born actress always thrilled about life and those
little surprises hidden in garage sales.........
Welcome to new ASCAS members:
Jeff Christensen - Australia
Natalie M. Dupre - USA
George Fitzgerald - England UK
Robin Holmes - South Africa
Ann Orcutt - USA
Frank Zahra - Malta
Oskar M. Zurell - Portugal
Members' Window # 64
Michael Thomas presents:
Glimpses of India's History
This piece has been in my family since it was made and
has triggered my interest in Indian silver over the past
twenty years. It stands about 6" (15 cm) high and was
made by Oomersi Mawji, a master silversmith who worked
in the remote town of Bhuj, Kutch in Gujarat. Last
November I spent two weeks in Bhuj and tried to discover
as much as possible about the silverwork from this
John J. Yale writes:
I've never seen one like this before...have you?
9 rings hanging from the sides 155mm long and weighs 38.7 grams
I believe that your spoon is a modern reproduction in the
style of 17th and 18th century spoons made for Lapp Market in
Trondheim and Bergen (Norway). Spoons with similar rings are
illustrated in a
catalog of Baltic and Scandinavian Silver of the V&A Museum
Peter Barnes writes:
I read with interest in the May newsletter David McKinley's very
article on mote spoons. In it he remarks on the pronounced
spike terminal on a spoon he examined.
I thought it might be of interest that I have a similar spike on
a mote spoon from the shop of Paul De Lamerie.
Also of interest is that although he was a warden of the guild
he was notorious for avoiding the assay office, thus only his
1739 makers mark appears on this piece.
I am attaching a picture of the spoon and the spike terminal.
Dorothea Burstyn writes:
maybe you can help me with the age of this coaster, only 8.2 cm
in diameter. Marks as attached, the mark 2777K or 2777H in
lozenge. It has a kind of "Edwardian" monogram, but is the item
a bit older. Where such small coaster used for wine bottles (a
bottle fits) or rather for glasses.
I appreciate your help.
Your coaster bears Italian official marks used between
The mark (not well punched) '277 MI' and '800' belonged to Ditta
Soldati di Dabbene Marco, Via Solferino 23, Milano (Milan).
The coaster has also what appear to be ancient Lombardo Veneto
hallmarks (see my website at
(the third mark is unclear).
The use of "ancient marks" in addition to official contemporary
marks (800 + lozenge) was a practice that had some diffusion in
the 1950s between silver makers of the Lombardo-Veneto territory
(Venice and Milan). I don't believe the objective of the maker
was to deceive the buyer (usually the silver was correctly
marked with modern marks and the item was sold through a
jeweller and not by an antique dealer).
Obviously I can't exclude that in some case (especially in the
late 20th century and outside of Italy) the seller acted to
deceive the incautious buyer (possibly rubbing out the modern
Eddie Robinson writes:
Would you know the age of this spoon and is it silver or Plate?
The attached picture is identical to the one I have - the only
difference is: Where the Letter [L] is in the picture - my spoon
has a number [2 in a shield] and on the right of the [S] there
are the words [guaranteed 11]
I believe it is Deykin & Sons Birmingham England.
Any help would be appreciated.
Eddie from down under
The maker is Joseph Deakin & Sons, Sheffield (see my
Obviously your item is silver plate and not sterling or solid
The only further information I have is that this mark was used
1855-1891 and was seen in cutlery items.
Todd O'Malley writes:
...I submit three pictures to ask for some assistance in
identifying the hallmarks on my tablespoon.
I am not sure if it is American or Continental...
Your help is great appreciated.
Possibly it's a spoon of "German Area" and the mark on
the right is a "12" indicating silver fineness in "lot"
Any suggestion will be welcome
Unfortunately this mark is unknown to Prof. Nikogosyan. I
trust in members help.
Replies to questions
Wayne Robbins receives these replies about his "Russian"
(see June 2009 Newsletter)
Geldolph Everts writes:
...I have now consulted some friends about Wayne Robbins'
question in the June newsletter.
Here is their combined wisdom. Some of it confirms replies by
The ring is Armenian and belonged to an Armenian person residing
in an Arab country. The first side (with the date 1856) shows a
name in Armenian lower case letters, reading Mrad (or Mrat),
which would be the name Murad(t) when written in Armenian. The
Arabic above it seems to read MWRAW (but this combination of
letters has no known meaning) and it could also be Murad(t). As
already mentioned by others, the name Murad(t) was sometimes
used by diaspora Armenians integrated in majority Arabic
communities. The name is not likely to be used nowadays by
The second side (the photo in the Newsletter was shown upside
down) has two Armenian letters (in lower case) at the top: (phonetically)
"kÚ" and "tsÚ". The middle name is in upper case and also reads
MRAD. At the bottom is the Arabic numeral 272.
The third side shows a griffin, the mythological bird (representing
Christ), central to Armenian religion, art and mythology. One
finds it i.e. in illuminated manuscripts and on Armenian
churches. I do not believe this ring is a seal as the letters
lose their meaning when pressed in wax.
Once more, best regards,
After Dov Wulich article in July 2009 Newsletter, ASCAS
received these new comments about the Russian mark illustrated
in Fred Sinfield's
Members' Window #44
Prof. David Nikogosyan writes:
The mark in Cyrillic is perfectly right.. It simply turned on
(sounds KHLEBNIKOV, the last Russian letter means "hard sign" or
hard pronouncing at the end of the Russian word, a family name
originating from word
which means bread in English translation).
Simply, before the putting of Khlebnikov mark somebody rotated
this item for 180 degrees in the plane of image. Then you got
this Khlebnikov mark "up side down" relative to the "kokoshnik
Lazar Freidgeim writes:
Marking "Hlebnikov" top seem to me of correct and
corresponding to a brand company. Until 1917 in Russia in the
alphabet, along with the letter "E", in some cases, used the
letter, called "Yat'" - like "Ib" together (the third letter in
the word), and at the end of words which are coming to an end on
a consonant, put an additional letter "a hard sign" (as "b" with
a hyphen above) was put in addition (the last letter in the
"A PAGE per MONTH"
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
This month ASCAS presents a souvenir spoon cover
dated 1883 (possibly).
The postcard, addressed to a Baltimore customer,
THE MOUNT VERNON SOUVENIR SPOON
MOORE & LEDING
1105 PENNSILVANIA AVE
"A WORD per MONTH"
In this column we present an abstract
from a page of the "What is? Silver Dictionary"
The term filigree is derived from Italian word
filigrana, which is originally from the Latin word
filum, meaning a thread of wire and granum
meaning a grain or bead. Early practices of wirework
jewelry and decorative items were created using small
pieces of metal or granules for design.
Filigree refers to the process and type of design that
uses twisted wire to create delicate, lacy, openwork
jewelry. Usually made from finer metals like gold,
silver and platinum, filigree has been used for
centuries to craft jewelry such as pins, rings and
"A SILVERSMITH per MONTH"
In this column we present marks,
information and history of silversmiths and silver manufacturers.
This column is published under the kind permission of Giorgio
WAKELY & WHEELER
A London silversmith firm whose origins go back to
1791, when John Lias began in business as a buckle-maker.
In 1818 he took as his partner his son Henry Lias I and
they were joined from 1823 to 1837 by another son,
Henry Lias I and his son Henry Lias II were partners
from 1850. In 1879 Henry Lias II formed a firm with
In 1884 the firm consisted of James Wakely and Frank
Wheeler, becoming Wakely & Wheeler in 1909.
In 1957 the business was acquired by Padgett & Braham
"A BOOK ON MY SHELF"
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
EARLY SILVER OF CONNECTICUT
AND ITS MAKERS
by George Munson Curtis
International Silver Co
Meriden, Conn. 1913
To those who are lovers of old
plate, and have familiar with the various shapes and
design characteristics of Colonial days, it is
interesting to note the slow evolution and gradual
change in church and domestic silver from the simple and
yet beautiful vessels of the seventeenth century to the
more elaborate forms and greater variety of articles of
the eighteenth century, which the growing luxury....
The whole book in pdf format (170 pages, 8069 KB) is
freely available in ASCAS website
click here (be patient, wait until file downloads)
"A CREST per MONTH"
In this column we present images and
description of Crests and Mottoes of British, Irish and Scottish
Families as engraved in silver items.
CARMICHAEL of Mauslei
The crest is an arm, in armour, in hand a broken
spear, proper., and charged with a mullet.
Motto Toujours Pret (Always Ready)
Crest engraved in an " Old Sheffield Plate" Coffee Jug,
Closing our SEPTEMBER 2009 edition of
ASCAS Newsletter I hope you have appreciated its content.
Your comments, suggestions and advice will be of great help.
My thanks to Peter Barnes,
Dorothea Burstyn, Jeff Christensen, Alessandro Colemann, Jayne
Dye, Geldolph Everts, Lazar Freidgeim, Gerald Gerhart, David
McKinley, David N. Nikogosyan, Todd O'Malley, Eddie Robinson,
Michael Thomas, John J. Yale for their invaluable contributions.
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
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