ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver         newsletter # 33 - January 2007
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2007 ASCAS membership

Members still interested to ASCAS and its activity are invited to send an e-mail to

confirming their 2007 membership (the simplest way is to use the 'reply' button on our January e-mail).

No action is requested to unsubscribe. Members not confirming their membership will be automatically deleted and shipping of our monthly Newsletter will be suspended on February 2007.
Please IGNORE this announcement if you have yet sent (on past month) your renewal e-mail
Giorgio Busetto
ASCAS Secretary

Two new articles for ASCAS website

Enamelled salt throne by unidentified master P.R.

Willand Ringborg presents:

A giant enamel salt throne from Russia English version

This is the last of four articles finalizing, for the ASCAS Newsletter, a comprehensive four part work describing techniques, representation and art history of salt thrones, but also salt cellars from Russia and from the Soviet in general.

In this article the author deals with a salt throne embodying enamel technique. The enamelling technique rose to its peak in Russia in the late 1800s. It was applied to various pieces of art, important gifts and jewellery.

click here English version


Sgarabhaigh Sixpence 'obverse' Dave Hill presents:

The Sgarabhaigh Silver Sixpence English version

The Sgarabhaigh Sixpence forms an important part of a wider project (Friends of Sgarabhaigh) to conserve and share the small Scottish island of Sgarabhaigh which lies in the beautiful Western Isles of Scotland. The coin design is based on an ancient coin of the realm and incorporates a blend of the ancient and modern history of the island as well as three of the ecological cornerstones of the place that is Sgarabhaigh......

click here English version


New members

Welcome to new ASCAS members:  

William Belisle - USA
Luca Bertini - Italy
Cristiano Falconi - Switzerland
Martha Graham - USA
Malcolm Harfitt - New Zealand
Bob R F Horton - England UK
Martin J. Leushuis - The Netherlands
Pamela Mackey - USA
Dariusz Malinowski - Poland
Francois Piolino - France
Angelo Steccanella - Switzerland
Tony Treadwell - England UK
Christine Vella - Malta
Bernard Vulcain - France
Sandre Westphal - Germany
Simon Wicks - England UK
Laura Wine - USA

Members' Window # 33

a collection of silver animals

Giorgio Busetto presents:

Noah's Ark in silver (English version) English version
Un'Arca di No d'argento (Italian version) versione italiana

This is a collection of about 60 small animals' figurines cast in 800/1000 silver.
The collection comprises mammals, reptiles, fishes, birds and insects, measuring from one centimetre (the ladybug) to a maximum of five centimetres (the giraffe), but most of them are 3-4 centimetres wide.
These pieces are of Italian manufacture and their production range from 1950 to present days......
click here English version       clicca qui versione italiana

Mail to ASCAS: e-mail

Alfonso Samayoa writes:
...I am new to the subject of collecting old pieces of silver. I inherited these from my grandmother. I have been searching the Internet to find answers to my questions about their quality, their age of manufacture etc. but I have found nothing of value.
For example when I tried to search on Joseph Rodgers & Sons it appears to me that they manufacture penknives, knives, etc. but I find nothing on tea services.
On the cream pot I cant locate the manufacturer from the marks, the date, etc.
I would thank you if you could give me all the possible information on the subject (notes concerning the manufacturer, their age, etc.) thus to be able to classify them and to know what I have.
Thanking you in advance.
Alfonso Samayoa A.

Joan Barrington writes:
Can you help identify date and maker of this bowl and serving spoons? Or, can you send me to the right people who can help? It is probably silver plate (424)?
Thank you
Joan Barrington

Wayne Robbins writes:
the letter in December Newsletter reminded me that I have an old cheese scoop that I have often wondered who made it and where it was from. I have been unable to locate the hallmarks and would appreciate any help you or other members could provide.
Many thanks,
Wayne Robbins

Leslie Gray writes:
... . I attach a picture of marks on a Fish Service (Knife and Fork) which i have just acquired. Initially I thought it was Sheffield but the left facing animal leads me to a Canadian solution. The letter "A" must be a date code, but what is it? The makers initials are "J.S.& S" which I cannot identify.
Can you or some of ASCAS members help?
Yours sincerely,


Michael Kaufman writes:
... here are the photos of a server and an English inkwell. Anything you may provide will be helpful. Thank you
Michael Kaufman.

Mary Dostal writes:
... Was wondering if you can tell me anything about this cane handle. It has hallmarks just above where the cane itself would be inserted. At the bottom is a number 7 , above that is the letter S with serif (?) and above that is what appears to be three pointed leaves somewhat like a three leaf clover but evenly spaced and pointed. This is a pretty high definition picture and if you enlarge it they are visible dead center just above the bottom ring
Thank You for any information you can give me.
Mary Dostal


Replies to questions

Rene Watkins receives this reply about her item ( see December Newsletter)
  Janjaap Luijt writes:
The maker is: Van Kempen in Voorschoten. The Van Kempen-factory was one of the biggest silver manufactures of the Netherlands. If you have a close look at the helmet of the Minerva-head you see the letter C, which stands for the assay-office of The Hague (just a couple of miles from Voorschoten).
Van Kempen started his factory in Utrecht, but when he wanted to innovate and use larger steam-engines he wasn't allowed to do so in the city. He therefore bought an estate and built a steam-driven silver factory in the back garden. This factory existed until the 80's of the 20th century. Although nothing remained of what used to be a silversmithing business, you will still find historical information from its successors at:
Best regards,
Janjaap Luijt
Nol Lommers writes:
The Dutch spoon, shown by Rene Watkins in your December newsletter (32), was made in 1867 by the well known firm VAN KEMPEN (founded in the end of the 18th century and still in operation).
Nol Lommers
Fredric Sinfield writes:
The maker of the Renee Watkins spoons was van Kempen of Voorschoten, active between 1858 and 1924.
Mark 10858 in Meestertekens van Nederlandse Goud-en Zilversmeden 1814-1963.
ISBN 90 1205247 5.


Richard Rattenbury receives this reply about the Argonne Trophy of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum ( see August Newsletter)

  Bill Belisle writes:
...What I can provide is more information about the Argonne Trophy hallmark.
One good reference for American hallmarks is Kovel's American Silver Marks by Ralph and Terry Kovel. The mark in question hallmark can be found there. However, in this book the mark is not very clear.
Attached are two JPGs from page 42 of American Silver Manufacturers by Dorothy T. Rainwater. My copy is an old one, published in 1966. As you'll see by the marks shown, we can provide Mr. Rattenbury with certainty that the Argonne Trophy WAS manufactured by the William B. Durgin Co. This Concord, New Hampshire, company was active from about 1853.
The company was purchased by Gorham Corporation in 1905, and the plant was moved to Gorham's facility in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1931.
Since this trophy was presented in 1922, it is most probable that it was made at Durgin's Concord, NH, facility.. Bill Belisle
Durgin hallmark
Durgin hallmark



In this column we present a page (one page only) obtained from makers' brochures, books, auction catalogs or whatever other printed paper, which may be of particular interest for ASCAS members.
The images will be published at a "low resolution" level and for private and personal use only
an advertising of Community Silverplate published in 1946 This month ASCAS presents the images of an advertising of Community Silverplate published in 1946.
Community Silverplate was manufactured by Oneida Silversmiths, Sherrill, New York


ASCAS needs new images for next editions of this column.
Members' contribution will be greatly appreciated.
Please send your images and information to ASCAS e-mail address at


In this column we presents an abstract from a page of the "What is? Silver Dictionary"
courtesy of home page
silver pomander 'memento mori'


"Pomander", from French pomme dambre, i.e. apple of amber, is a ball made of perfumes, such as ambergris (whence the name), musk, or civet...

"Memento mori", literally, remember you must die, is a motif used as decoration of various articles of silverware in the form of a reminder of mortality, e.g. a coffin, a death's head or a skeleton....


Closing our JANUARY 2007 edition of ASCAS Newsletter I hope you have appreciated its content.
Your comments, suggestions and advice will be of great help.

My thanks to Joan Barrington (Canada), Bill Belisle (USA), Mary Dostal (USA), Jayne Dye (USA), Leslie Gray (England UK), Dave Hill (Scotland UK), Michael Kaufman (USA), Janjaap Luijt (the Nederland), Nol Lommers (Belgium), Wayne Robbins USA), Alfonso Samayoa (Guatemala), Willand Ringborg (Sweden), Fredric Sinfield (Australia) 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.
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