(click on photos to enlarge image)
MARKS OF EUROPEAN SILVER PLATE:
VIII. DUFVA, SWEDEN
This small article devoted to Axel Gabriel Dufva enterprise,
one of the oldest silver-plate factories in Europe. It was
opened in 1847, simultaneously with other more famous foundries
founded by Hermann Krupp & Alexander von Schoeller in Berndorf
(1843), Charles Christofle in Paris (1844), Karl August Wellner
in Aue, Saxony (1854).
Axel Gabriel Dufva (1822-1897) was born in the goldsmith family.
In 1847 after the apprentice he was declared a master craftsman.
Soon after that he founded a silver-plate factory in Stockholm,
one of the first in Sweden. After his death his sons Harald
Gabriel and John Helmer continued his business until 1936 when
Dufva was absorbed by the Goldsmith Company Ltd (GuldsmedsAktieBolaget).
In my collection I keep three silver-plated Dufva items,
Dufva silver-plated pieces from my collection:
(top) a dish, produced in 1888;
(left) Art Nouveau style bowl, made in 1910;
(right) a 20 cl silver-plated creamer, issued
I think that the most interesting information for the ASCAS
collectors/readers is the system of the production year marking,
invented by A.G. Dufva. He took 24 letters from the Latin
alphabet and referred them to 24 years, starting from 1882, in
the following sequence:
A = 1888, B = 1883, C = 1884, D = 1885, E = 1886, F = 1887,
G = 1888, H = 1889, I = 1890, K = 1891, L = 1892, M = 1893,
N = 1894, O = 1895, P = 1896, Q = 1897, R = 1898, S = 1899,
T = 1900, U = 1901, V = 1902, X = 1903, Y = 1904, Z = 1905
This sequence of letters was repeated after 1905 with a digit 2
added to each letter, that means:
A2 = 1906, B2 = 1907, C2 = 1908, D2 = 1909, E2 = 1910, F2 =
G2 = 1912, H2 = 1913, I2 = 1914, K2 = 1915, L2 = 1916, M2 =
N2 = 1918, O2 = 1919, P2 = 1920, Q2 = 1921, R2 = 1922, S2 = 1923,
T2 = 1924, U2 = 1925, V2 = 1926, X2 = 1927,
The production year marking after 1927 is not known. Some
typical Dufva marks for silver plate (since 1897 the the company also produced sterling items) are shown below.
I am grateful to Mr. Anders Wigh, who gave me the first
information about the Dufva foundry. I also want to thank Ms.
Helena Sergeyev for her translation from Swedish and Dr. Lars
Lindqvist for his involvement. The author is also indebted to Mr. Chris Turner who sent him a
photograph of Dufva item issued in 1927.
Some Dufva marks
Marked by three inscriptions: 1) "A.G.DUFVA", which
means Axel Gabriel Dufva, the length of "DUFVA" word is
4.6 mm, the ratio of the word’s length to its height is
5.5; 2) "NS", which means nickel silver and 3) "G",
which means 1888. This mark was in use at least between
1888 and 1896.
Marked by the inscriptions "A.G.DUFVA" and "ALPACCA"
given inside the circle of 5.6 mm in diameter. There are
intermediate dots after the "A" and "G" initials, as
well as the separating horizontal dots. A flying dove
profile ("dufva" means "dove" in Swedish) is given in
the centre of the mark. The inscription "G2", given in a
cartouche, means 1912. Such mark was used at least
between 1910 and 1927.
Dufva årsstämpelserie (Dufva’s production year marking),
discussion of 30.03.2009,
search (sök) in the division "silver, guld and tenn"
("silver, gold and tin"), (in Swedish)
Prof. David N. Nikogosyan,
University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
- 2011 -