ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver         newsletter # 64 SEPTEMBER 2009     SITE MAP
YOUR GUIDE TO SEPTEMBER NEWSLETTER: articles    new members    members' window
mail to ASCAS    replies     a page per month     a silversmith per month     a word per month
a book on my shelf   a crest per month    contributors to this Newsletter    search engine    silver dictionary (updated)    disclaimer and privacy policy

Two new articles for ASCAS website

Sterling maker's mark of Peter Harache II
David McKinley presents:

A Reappraisal of the Marks Used in the Harache Workshop English version

.....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..........

click here English version
bronze sculpture Made by Lancere
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 English version

.....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.........

click here English version

New members

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
top page - page map

Members' Window # 64

sugar sifter pierced lid
Michael Thomas presents:

Glimpses of India's History English version

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 area.....     
click here
English version

Mail to ASCAS: e-mail

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
John Yale
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
Giorgio Busetto

Peter Barnes writes:
I read with interest in the May newsletter David McKinley's very informative
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.
Peter Barnes

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 1950/1970 c.
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 marks).
Giorgio Busetto

Gerald Gerhart writes:
...I am hoping that you or the membership may be able to assist me in determining its origin.
The hallmarks are partially obliterated due to polishing, and I have been unable to find out anything about them. I have attached some close-ups, including one in grey-scale which I hope will be of some help. The dish is constructed of light-gauge silver and what is definitely crystal. My best guess is that it may be a Hanau reproduction of a much earlier piece, but that is just that - a guess.
I would be very grateful if you or the membership can provide me with any other information.
Thanking you, in advance, I remain...
Yours truly
Gerald Gerhart

Eddie Robinson writes:
G/day Giorgio,
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.
Best regards.
Eddie from down under
The maker is Joseph Deakin & Sons, Sheffield (see my website at Obviously your item is silver plate and not sterling or solid silver.
The only further information I have is that this mark was used 1855-1891 and was seen in cutlery items.
Giorgio Busetto

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.
Todd O'Malley
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
Giorgio Busetto

Jeff Christensen writes:
....I am a collector of Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Arts & Craft movements and have a fondness for the Secession style. I have a champagne bucket I purchased at a local auction as the style had elements of work I have seen by Prof. Otto Prutscher and Josef Hoffman of the Wiener Werkstaette, but the mark was unknown to me. I found Prof. Nikogosyan's article on Herrmann while trying to research the mark and thought you might like a photograph of the piece as the mark is slightly different from the examples in your article.
I am also interested in finding any information on who may have designed this piece. If you have any thoughts or suggestions they would be greatly appreciated.
Kind regards,
Jeff Christensen
Unfortunately this mark is unknown to Prof. Nikogosyan. I trust in members help.
Giorgio Busetto

Alessandro Colemann writes:
....I need your help in identifying the maker of this French sugar sifter.
Any suggestion will be highly appreciated.
Alessandro Colemann

Replies to questions

Wayne Robbins receives these replies about his "Russian" seal
(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 others.
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 Armenians.
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,
Geldolph Everts

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 180 degrees. KHLEBNIKOV in cyrillic (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 BREAD in cyrillic, 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 mark.
Best regards,
David Nikogosyan
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 word).
Lazar Freidgeim


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
souvenir spoon cover
This month ASCAS presents a souvenir spoon cover dated 1883 (possibly).

The postcard, addressed to a Baltimore customer, illustrates



In this column we present an abstract from a page of the "What is? Silver Dictionary"
courtesy of home page
silver filigree work


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 pendants. ....






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



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, Charles.
Henry Lias I and his son Henry Lias II were partners from 1850. In 1879 Henry Lias II formed a firm with James Wakely.
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 Ltd....


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:

Early Silver of Connecticut and its Makers, book 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)

Early Silver of Connecticut and its Makers, book 1913


In this column we present images and description of Crests and Mottoes of British, Irish and Scottish Families as engraved in silver items.
crest of ROFEY or ROFY family


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, c. 1760

crest of ROFEY or ROFY family


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.

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.
email:               SITE MAP