of Small Collectors
of Antique Silver         newsletter # 9 January 2005

December Newsletter requested members' solutions to some unresolved questions.

Fred Sinfield solves the 'dilemma' about coffee pot ? or hot water jug? of our Walker & Hall vessels.
Walker & Hall
coffee pot

Fred submits
Walker & Hall
coffee pot
1924 this page of an ancient Walker & Hall catalogue demostrating that our pieces are hot water jugs.

Hallmarks of Maurizio Perota covered jug with Berthold Muller, London importation mark of 1910.

hallmarks unknown 

Dorothea Burstyn informs that all marks shown are used by the Neresheimer company, Hanau.

Gerry Gerhart mysterious silver-gilt box with repousse design on the top lid, hallmarked London 1894

mistery item
London 1894 mistery item
London 1894 mistery item
London 1894
Hymie Dinerstein writes: this is a heater for curling tongs. the bottom part had a wick and burning alcohol . the two wires were opened and the curling tongs balanced on them with the curling part over the wicks which were then lit and the curling tongs heated to the desired temperature and then used to curl Lady's hair by the lady's maid who would be travelling with her. This box would have been in a lady's travelling case  with all the other bottles, brushes, combs and mirror and what have you that  one would expect a lady to have with her when travelling at these times. Quite often, the insides are removed and the box is sold as a box.
Tom Guarrera writes: .....I'm pretty sure that Mr. Gerhart's item is a device for heating a hair curling iron, a burner head would have attached to the sliding mechanism.....
Bill Kime writes: I was interested to see photographs in the December 2004 newsletter of Gerry Gerhart's curious box, which is very similar to one that I sold just recently. The box that I had was not quite as heavy, at about 7 oz.; it was silver-gilt and quite plain with only an engraved cipher on the lid; hallmarks for London, 1899, made by Drew&Sons. It had the appearance of being perhaps part of a travelling toilet set, to me at least, and so, for want of a better idea, I called it a curling tong heater. In fact, I don't know if that's actually its intended use, it was just a guess, but no other ideas were offered and nobody argued otherwise. It'll be interesting to see if any other members can shed some light.

Don Richardson's unusual object received several replies and contrasting identifications.

Dorothea Burstyn writes: ....question by Don Richardson, in Austria we call this object a "Weinheber" - a container from which to dispense wine, a very common household item....
Mario Rosario Bonello writes: ...with reference to Don Richardson' s photo of an unusual object, I think that this is a wine decanter or container. The wine is poured inside and the wine glass is filled from the glass container when pressed against the nozzle/tap; pressing the nozzle at the bottom of the glass container releases the wine.
I wonder if there are any hallmarks to show whether it is solid silver or silver plated. The hallmarks might give an indication as to its age. Depending on this information, one would then have to decide whether it is worth finding a replacement for the broken glass bottle. However, it seems to have some quite elaborate and intricate work in it, and seems to be quite an attractive piece.
Dave Frothingham writes:This is in reference to the question of Don Richardson. I have seen similar items and they have been spirits dispensers. One pushes a glass up against the valve stem on the bottom which gives you a premeasured quantity of liquor or just keeps pouring until you let the class down a bit.
Peter Dean: ...It looks to me like a wine dispenser, such as one often finds in Austria. Without more details it is hard to say if it is worth much but my guess is, if there are no marks, it is a modern copy of little value. A new glass should not be hard to find. Thanks for your newsletter. I will send you soon a short piece to include....
Gerald Gerhart writes:... I actually still have one of these items gathering dust in my basement (it was a wedding present!). I am 100% sure that the item is a wine dispenser. The outer bowl is filled with wine and the inner tube with crushed ice. Wine is dispensed when one pushes his glass against the valve and the flow is cut off when the glass is removed (and one or two drops invariably drip onto the table below!). The one I have is made of wrought iron with cheesy grape vine ornamentation. I would expect that Mr. Richardson's item is in all probability, silver-plated and that a replacement for the carafe would be difficult to find and, all in all, not worth the effort (unless the item has some sentimental value!)
French type coffee maker
Tom Guarrera has a different idea and writes: I believe Mr. Richardson's glass item is what is left of a French type of coffee maker that takes an alcohol burner as its heat source. (see attached photo). You can see one in action in the 1945 Noel Coward film "Blithe Spirit". I found mine at a flea market many years ago, but have never been able to make good coffee with it. If anyone has instructions, I would be glad to hear them.