ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver        newsletter # 76 September 2010     SITE MAP
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Two new articles for ASCAS website

A later 1920?s Stieff Catalog
Scott Perkins presents:

The Stieff Company: Historic overview English version

.....The Baltimore Sterling Silver Manufacturing Company was started in 1892 by Charles Clinton Stieff and several partners. Mr. Stieff was not a silversmith himself, but an entrepreneur who dealt in silver and cutlery. The first pattern for the new company was Maryland Rose. Other early silver patterns were Victoria, Plain & Engraved and Chrysanthemum. (The names of Rose and Maryland Rose were alternated by the company through the 1920's).

In the early years, the company would make silver for both its own retail shop located at 17 North Liberty Street in downtown Baltimore, and for other retailers whose name would be stamped on the silver. This was an early form of what we could today call "private label" branding....
click here English version   
'Clipped' French Coin of 1583
David McKinley presents:

The Britannia Standard for Wrought Plate English version
.....In the absence of any documentary evidence published by the government of the day the reasons for the introduction of The New Sterling Standard, now known as "The Britannia Standard", for wrought plate on 25th March 1697, apparently without reference to its suitability as a medium in which silversmiths could work, remains enigmatic. Equally mystifying is that a short twenty three years later the then government found it perfectly acceptable to re-introduce the sterling standard.....

click here English version

New members

Welcome to new ASCAS members:  

Andrew Brown - Australia
Neil Craig - England UK
Jayshree Desai - USA
Ghulam Nabi - Pakistan
Anang Naik - Austria
Barry Phelps - England UK
Murray Stewart - Australia
Maureen Wickham - Canada
top page - page map

Members' Window # 76

M. Ovtschinnikov
Postnikov presents:

The Russian cigarette case - from Fabergé to GULAG English version

When, after the Crimean War (1853 - 1856), cigarette smoking became more and more fashionable (previously tobacco was only chewed, snuffed and smoked in pipes or cigars), the silver manufacturers began to switch their production from snuff boxes to cigarette cases. They had to insert into their new designs a space for the safety match, the invention patented in 1852 by Swedish engineer John Edvard Lundström and highly appreciated by its users.....
click here
 English version 

Mail to ASCAS: e-mail

Hymie Dinerstein writes:
...I attach photos of a silver box in the form of a trunk which measures 67mm long, 33mm wide, 36mm high and weighs 103 grams. I believe it is German but cannot trace the mark in Rosenburg.
Can you help?
Hymie Dinerstein
Bruno Bruni writes:
... Recently I bought an English Victorian pint tankard with C handle, marked to the left of the handle with Imperial capacity mark PINT, which came into use with the weights and measures act of 1 824, and with the cross in circle under crown and VR 2, which is the Arms of the City of London, used as a verification mark in the City of London until 1879.
Divisional marks for London city were used from the late 1830s which comprised a crowned circular version of the city arms above "1" or "2". These continued to be used until 1879 (Marks and markings of weight and measures of the British isles; Carl Ricketts, 1996)
On the bottom various marks: 968, a six point star in a circle, two crossed axes bound by a circle with W/ W, with R, P and L to left, right and bottom, respectively. This mark belongs to Robert Pringle.
The verification mark pre-1879 dates the tankard before the firm became Robert Pringle & Co (1882).
Do you have any idea when could the tankard be manufactured?
Bruno Bruni
The firm continued to mark its sterling silver only with "RP" also when was transformed in &Co and in & Sons (but I found a silver plate piece marked & CO).
Your mark bears two letters "W" besides the crossed axes (not present in later silver plate marks: see at ). The firm was active in Wilderness Row from some time after 1863 (later the Street was renamed Clerkenwell Road).
Notwithstanding 'Culme' quotes "extensive addition and alteration were made to the premises (subsequently known as Wilderness Works)", the presence of the two "W" (for Wilderness Works) and the old capacity mark (used until 1879) suggests to date your piece between "some time after 1863" and 1879.
Giorgio Busetto

Peter Bower writes:
...I would be grateful if your members could help me identify the marks on the bottom of this German silver-plated tankard.
I located a solid silver tankard in a Christie's Dusseldorf auction of March 20, 1972 (lot 269) with an identical cast handle that was described as Augsburg, c. 1600.
The small mark on the bottom left appears to contain a conjoined angular S and L, or, perhaps a 9 with an elongated base. The bottom right is a shield with indecipherable contents: The center mark is a floriated oval surrounded by the following letters, from top right, clockwise. GALV.N.GHBILD.DB. GEW.MUS
I assume the latter is some (drinking?) association's motto.
Thank you for your help.
Peter Bower

David Center writes:
...Here are some pictures of the spoon I am trying to research. The only thing I have found out about it is it is French and made just before the revolution.
That is if it is real and not a forgery what do you think?
Thank you very much for your help
David Center
In my opinion the origin of your spoon is not France but The Netherlands, late 19th century.
Anyway I'll publish your question in September Newsletter. I trust in the help of ASCAS members.
Giorgio Busetto

David McKinley writes:
...My ongoing research has brought to light information which has encouraged me, for the sake of historical accuracy, to amend my notes on "The Legal Position of The English Leopard".
The alteration does not in any way alter the gist of the piece and you may not consider it worthwhile amending the entry on the website but in case you do here is what I have done.....
David McKinley

Dear David,
The web has an advantage on the printed paper: to revise an article is a simple and fast affair.
Click here to read the new sentence in your updated article.
Giorgio Busetto

Victoria Price writes:
...I have had a silver bracelet in my possession for about 10 years now. It was given to me by my mother, but as she is quite poorly and has lost a lot of her memory, she can not tell me anything about it.
I am not interested in selling it. I am a jewellery designer and it has become an obsession of mine to fine out more about it. I have taken some very clear pictures of the Bracelet and its hallmarks
I'd be very grateful for any information you can supply
Thank you
Victoria Price
The bracelet was made in Italy in the 1950s. The maker is identifiable by the mark inside the lozenge. I don’t read well if the number is 78 GE or 79 GE (I believe it is 79).
Anyway if the mark is 78 GE the maker is L’Orafo di Sansebastiano Luigi, Chiavari, (Genoa) while if the number is 79 GE the maker is Alioto Adriana, Genoa.
The bracelet bears also the UK import marks of London, date 1951. I’m unable to identify the importer’s mark (L.S.).
Giorgio Busetto

Patrick Street writes:
...I have a small chocolate pot which I am sure you will identify because of the marks. It has the London import marks for 1895. The mark 'WM' on the base of the small chocolate pot belongs to William Moering, a Foreign Agent who registered his mark at the London Assay Office in December 1882 and objects have been seen with his mark between 1897 and 1902. It’s the other marks I am interested in identifying.
At first I thought they may be French but on further reflection I think they may be Belgian marks the crowned 77 being for 1777, the crowned G for Ghent. Do you recognise the other mark of the dot with the arrow above? Perhaps the maker’s mark? I would be pleased if you could help me.
Many thanks for your kindness.
Best regards
My knowledge of Belgian silver is modest and I'm unable to identify the marks.
I trust in the help of members well acquainted with Flemish silver for a quick identification.
Giorgio Busetto

Claudio Morelli writes:
...I need your help for the identification of the marks of a silver spoon made in Russia (1888).
Thanks in advance for any information you will able to supply
I'm unable to identify the Town mark and, consequently, also the identification of the maker and of the assayer is difficult.
Any suggestion will be welcome
Giorgio Busetto

Replies to questions

Caroline Padavano S. receives a further comment about her Gorham tray  
(see March 2010 Newsletter)
Les Salvage writes:
I believe it was Einstein who coined the phrase "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing".
For myself, I am finding this very apt in the wonderful world of silverware.
In trying to be helpful to Caroline, I submitted (see May Newsletter) what I thought was a plausible explanation of the marks on her tray. Unfortunately, I took the D as being a date mark, and from there I misled myself on the basis of other known but irrelevant information about Gorham. If D is a date mark, then because Gorham started to use date marks from 1868 starting with A, then D puts a date of 1871 on the tray.
My article was pure hypothesis and I fully expected it to be challenged but it seems to have been accepted.
The point is that, had D been a date mark, Gorham's marks should have included 'Sterling' because it was from 1868 that Gorham adopted the English standard of 0.925 fine for Sterling silverware. It follows from this that a Gorham mark for solid silver which does not include Sterling, must have been made prior to 1868.
Having submitted my hypothesis, and knowing that it was utter conjecture, I decided to investigate further. I have since read GORHAM SILVER 1831-1981 by Charles H Carpenter Jr, and, together with some information received from an American researcher of Gorham, much of what I wrote in my May article can be dismissed completely.
In fact the symbols D/35 indicate a special order for which a cost slip should exist which may disclose the name represented by the stylised T&Co and the date. It is not a practical proposition to carry out a search in Gorham's archives due to the immense nature of them, and by now, in any case, the cost slip may have been lost.
This is not to say that Gorham did not make any sterling silver before 1868, but when they did, Sterling would certainly have been included in the mark. Indeed, I have seen photos of such items.
To sum up, Caroline's tray seems to have been made before 1868, is solid silver but is not Sterling. It must be of a standard less than 0.925 fine and we may never know who is indicated by T&Co.
My reference in my May article to the effect that the American public may have believed Gorham's mark to be that of Birmingham, England, stems from the fact that before the silver industry had grown large in America, much of the silverware was imported from England. I did not mean to imply that this was deliberate deception.
If anyone can comment further on this question I should be very pleased to hear it.
Les Salvage

Michelle Graham receives these answers to the question about her flatware  
(see August 2010 Newsletter)
Janjaap Luijt writes:
rostfrei = stainless
met vriendelijke groet,
Janjaap Luijt
Karin Sixl-Daniell writes:
Michelle Graham is looking for a flatware pattern by Wilhelm Drache: It is called Amsterdam, available in stainless steel and silverplate and can be seen on
The background of the company's founder who died last year can be retrieved at (page in German).
I hope this helps.
Kind regrads

Carolyn Meacham receives these answers about the mark of her needle case  
(see August 2010 Newsletter)
José Luis Muñoz writes:
The mark of Carolyn case belongs to Crossard Joseph, Date D'Insculpation: 1900-1920,
Symboles: A R D J, une crosse d'évèque, Installé au 36 rue de Montmorency à Paris
José Luis
mark of Crossard Joseph
Robert Massart writes:
The mark Carolyn Meacham is referring to, belongs to Crossard Joseph, a manufacturer silversmith who was active in Paris from 1900 till 1920 at 36 rue de Montmorency.
N° de garantie : C301
N° de préfecture: 11759
Symbol: a crosier (French : une crosse)
cross + ARD = Crossard!
Attacched 2 pictures of the same mark.
Kind regards,
mark of Crossard Joseph mark of Crossard Joseph
Christophe Ginter writes:
The silversmith is Joseph CROSSARD, Paris 1900-1920
The mark is a trick:
mixing a bishop "cross" (in French: crosse) and adding ARD for representing his name.
There is a "J" at the bottom for figuring his Christian name.
Best regards,
mark of Crossard Joseph

Bruno Bruni receives this answer to the question about his unidentified silver plate mark  
(see August 2010 Newsletter)
Simon Buxton writes:
Regarding the marks on this fork, the UK RD number refers to the registered design number and dates to 1949. The fork could have been made at or any time after this date. This number series began in 1884. You can find details at including how to assign an approximate year to the number.
It is not a patent number and indeed an ordinary fork is not a novel invention so could never be the subject of a UK patent.
Thanks again for an interesting issue.

Thanks to Simon for correcting my mistake
Giorgio Busetto


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 Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Company advertising
This month we present an ancient advertising of

112 Regent Street London

A business of retail jewellers and silversmiths established in 1880 in the premises previously managed by Joseph Mechi.
The original partners were William Gibson and John Lawrence Langman.
The firm was converted into an Ltd in 1898 under the style Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Co Ltd. It was amalgamated in 1952 with Garrard & Co Ltd.


In this column we present an abstract from a page of the "What is? Silver Dictionary" 
courtesy of home page
anointing spoons set: Charles Turner 1937


Authorities agree that the oldest silver spoon known to be English in origin is the Coronation Spoon, preserved among the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London, and that it most probably has been used in Coronations of British Monarchs since the 12th or early 13th Century.
It is made of silver gilt, and is the only remaining piece of the original Royal Regalia. Some of the other items of the Regalia were disposed off by Charles I, the remainder were sold or melted down at the time of the Commonwealth.....


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
James Dixon & Sons, ElectroPlated Britannia Metal



The business of manufacturing silversmiths, platers and Britannia metal workers was commenced in c. 1806 by James Dixon in conjunction with Thomas Smith in Silver Street, Sheffield.
In 1824 they moved to Cornish Place, a large site, which enabled them to expand and develop the workshops, casting shops, offices and warehouses.
In 1823 Thomas Smith withdrew and William Frederick Dixon, the eldest son of James, joined the firm. In 1830, the firm began making silver and plated goods at Cornish Place by acquiring the firm Nicholson, Ashforth and Cutts.....


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:
Chester Silver 1837-1962: book by M.H.Ridgway
Maurice H. Ridgway, F.S.A.
Gee & Son (Denbigh) Ltd
Denbigh, 1996
Canon Maurice Ridgway ever since his association with Sir Leonard Stone and the publication of 'Chester Goldsmiths from early times to 1726' (1968) followed by 'Chester Silver 1727-1837' has been recognised as a leading authority on silver and gold assayed in Chester.
This volume brings the record to the time of the closure of the Assay Office. He also preserves the interesting material found in the Chester Duty Books from 1784-1840 and the continued story of the Chester Goldsmiths Company to the present day...


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


silver salt marked by Anne Tanqueray, London 1729 with Ash, Ashe, Baird, Boucherett, Broome, Curson crest

A cockatrice, crested and armed (the cockatrice is a legendary creature, resembling a large rooster with a lizard-like tail)
The crest was found in a silver salt marked by Anne Tanqueray, London 1729

ssilver salt marked by Anne Tanqueray, London 1729 with Ash, Ashe, Baird, Boucherett, Broome, Curson crest


Closing our September 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 Peter Bower, Bruno Bruni, Simon Buxton, David Center, Hymie Dinerstein, Jayne Dye, Christophe Ginter, Janjaap Luijt, David McKinley, Robert Massart, Claudio Morelli, José Luis Muñoz, Scott Perkins, Postnikov, Victoria Price, Les Salvage, Karin Sixl-Daniell, Patrick Street 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.
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