ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver
Members' Window # 110
by Alan Yates
(click on images to enlarge)


Most members will, I suspect, be familiar with the term ‘pseudo marks’ and may have encountered pieces of silver with such marks. Very briefly, a pseudo mark is a false or counterfeit mark. Some are particularly sophisticated, others less so. I collect colonial silver and have seen numerous examples and indeed purchased some pieces because I find them of interest provided the seller values the item accordingly, i.e. at a lower value than the identical item with a genuine hallmark. In my experience, I have seen more on Chinese export silver than any other category of silver. Most pseudo marks are intended to mislead the buyer that the item is English on the basis of an array of alphabetic letters, lions passant, and crown or leopard’s heads, etc.

However, the maker of the table spoon in the images cannot take any credit for a skilled hallmark nor can it be confused with the hallmarks from any known country. Indeed, I have never encountered anything more simplistic, if not crude, so much so, the originator could probably successfully allege in a court of law no intention to mislead any purchaser on the grounds of its extreme naivety.

The spoon itself is well made, good design (but definitely not English for a number of subtle reasons), and of a good weight. The monogram is chased and also well done. It was sold to me as ‘Indian colonial’ but in my opinion, certainly not. What seems to be undeniable is that it would appear more of a bizarre afterthought than a serious attempt to fool anyone.

I have no idea where the spoon was made. Any suggestions?

Alan Yates
- 2016 -