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tline3open  Found some French Silver, not sure of the marks

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Author Topic:   Found some French Silver, not sure of the marks
t-man-nc

Posts: 327
Registered: Mar 2000

iconnumber posted 05-05-2004 04:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for t-man-nc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was at a show the other day, and a gentelman offered me his silver, knowing I was a collector, at the price he paid in Germeny in 1955 under the condition i did not sell it for melt... a no brainer...

I was able to match all of the marks for the majority of the pieces with the slanted "A" under a crown for Paris in the late 1700's...

As My Camera has left my wife car, i cannot include a picture, but will try to describe the marks...

It starts with a French Libertine Hat With a "P" Followed by an "L" both over and "I"

this single mark is repeated three times on extreamly heavy forks (4-5 Troy Ounces)...

All other peices that have a quality marks have 1st Quailty in place, as several of the forks have the same engraved monograms...

Any have an idea?

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t-man-nc

Posts: 327
Registered: Mar 2000

iconnumber posted 05-08-2004 09:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for t-man-nc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Correction, The "P", "L" and "I" was miss-read by me... it apperas to be a "P", "L" and a "T"... I have been unable to located the mark... Thanks for any help...


"Smaug"

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labarbedor

Posts: 353
Registered: Jun 2002

iconnumber posted 05-09-2004 12:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for labarbedor     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I tried to email you but either your profile is out of date or your server decided I was spam. I can probably find the mark for you, but I didn't understand your description. I take it you have some flatware with a Paris mark on them and you found the makers on those, but there is another fork with only the three marks on it? By a libertine hat do you mean the Phrygian cap usually associated with the revolution? I didn't understand the comment on the first quality mark. Are these pieces pre or post revolution. Please get the camera back from your wife.

[This message has been edited by labarbedor (edited 05-09-2004).]

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t-man-nc

Posts: 327
Registered: Mar 2000

iconnumber posted 05-10-2004 07:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for t-man-nc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Soory for the confusion... first... Camera will now have to be purchased... Wife thinks it was removed from her classroom over at the University.... So I am in the Market if there are any suggestions...

The piece I have been unable to identify has the same mark three times, the Phrygian cap with three leters underneath it with a "P" on the left, an "I" on the right, and a "T" underneath them both in the center at the bottom.....

Thanks for the help...

"Smaug"

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labarbedor

Posts: 353
Registered: Jun 2002

iconnumber posted 05-10-2004 10:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for labarbedor     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I tried e-mailing you again, which obviously didn't work, you might try the other direction.
What you have is a curiosity, which I doubt you will be able to identify. I presume the mark you describe is not in the shape of a lozenge or diamond, meaning it is a conforming cartouche. That would mean that it is in the form of pre-revolutionary silver marks. At that time in France most of the listed silversmiths worked in cities where the full set of marks were struck, which varied from one community to another. However some silversmiths worked in communities too small to have a tax farmer, etc. These silversmiths paid a fee and were called subscribers or "abonnés". They would simply mark their pieces 3 or 4 times with their maker's mark. I know of no reference that lists more than a few of these marks, there were probably hundreds maybe thousands. To this you have to add the confusion with items made in the French colonies which often followed the system of striking the maker's mark 3 times. On top of that your mark doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. The lack of a crown or a fleur-de-lys and the addition of the Phrygian cap is a problem. The cap is actually a Greek fisherman’s cap, but became one of the symbols of the French Revolution. I don't think it is likely that it was used in a pre-revolutionary mark. But since it is not in the form of a post-revolutionary mark, it is probably something used for a brief time of transition. My guess is that, even if you were in France, your chances of identifying the mark would be about nil. If I could see the style of the piece, you chances might improve a little.
I hope you know that most of the 18th century French silver running around is really fake German pieces from the 19th century. If your Paris pieces don’t have all three large marks and one small mark, you may have a fake.
On the camera, I use a Canon G3 and, if you look at my recent posting on the American forum, it seems to do a good job. More important than the brand, it should have at least a 3x OPTICAL zoom and then if you are taking pictures of silver you should build or buy a tent and put it where you can keep the lighting the same every time.
Be sure to post or email me pictures, when you get a camera. I will be curios to see what you have.
Maurice

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swarter
Moderator

Posts: 2920
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 05-10-2004 01:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Camera will now have to be purchased... So I am in the Market if there are any suggestions.

I have no idea of the extent of your photographic experience, so I apologize if thesse comments are off the mark in either direction.

The choice of a camera is a highly personal affair, there are many excellent ones, and you will find little agreement from person to person on which is "best." It largely depends on what you want to do with it, how knowledgeable you are about photogtraphy, and how much you are prepared to spend. The technology is advancing so fast, that whatever latest model you buy will be replaced by its manufacturer in 6 - 12 months by something "better." You may find the following sites helpful in selecting a camera:

There are a number of internet sites that review digital cameras, but my favorite is Steve's Digicams, which is a site with comprehensive camera reviews that can actually serve as tutorials on operation. Imaging Resources has a list of recommended cameras for macro work, and a "comparator" into which you can enter camera names and compare examples of their pictures, including macro images.

Be sure you select a camera that accepts a remote release if you plan to use it on a tabletop tripod or copy stand, which is necessary in macro work to eliminate "camera shake" (vibration) if the camera lacks an image stabilization feature. If you wish to be able to take "quick and dirty" closeups without going to all the trouble of making a set-up (for example one hand-held image of a mark to post on the forum) every time, an "anti-shake" or image stabilization feature is a necessity, and limits your options as few cameras have this feature.

The camera should also be able to accommodate supplementary close-up (or "plus" lenses), which allow you to enlarge very small marks beyond the camera's optical ability without having to rely on digital zoom and/or the necessity of enlarging the digital image in the computer, and thereby degrading resolution.

Do not allow yourself to be enraptured by the siren song of the megapixel race, unless you are planning to use big prints from a camera that equals film in resolution, and are prepared to spend a lot of time in Photoshop processing your images. Three or 4 megapixels are generally considered more than adequate for 8x10" prints, and more than needed for posting on the internet, as the resolution of a monitor screen limits the useful resolution of a posted image. A point to consider here is the practicality of large image cameras for most users - an example is the case of the replacements for the Sony 717 and Minolta A1, which are 5 megapixel cameras with excellent macro performance (the Sony lacks image stabilization, while the Minolta has "anti-shake"). Initial examples of their 8 megapixel replacements have been found by early reviewers to have problems with image quality out-of-the-camera, delivering an unacceptable persantage of unsharp pictures which have been found to require considerable manipulation in an image processor like Photoshop to be useful. This problem may be corrected eventually, but at least one reviewer lays the blame on the technology. The 717 and A1 are still available, and prices have dropped, makint them excellent values, but these are not cameras for the casual snapshooter, as they have many features and a high learning curve for those who aare not particularly "camera-savvy." They are, however, especially well suited for tabletop work, as they have tiltable viewers, so they can be used conveniently from a sitting position, thereby avoiding the necessity of hunching over the camera while standing. If you have a back problem, this is a necessity for a longer session.

It also is useful to examine some of the many photo archives available within the digital photography internet sites, such as the one on Steve's Digicams, and look at the macro images to see which cameras have been most heavily used for this function by the contributors. While I am not necessarily advocating the purchase of a used camera, many "older" cameras are still in use, providing excellent results, so the pont is that the latest and greatest is not always necessary.

Hope this helps.


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t-man-nc

Posts: 327
Registered: Mar 2000

iconnumber posted 05-11-2004 09:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for t-man-nc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For the camera issue, the one I used to have (that was apparently stolen from the classroom where Lisa teaches) was the Epson 750 with 1, 3, 5, 7, 10 x Macro Lense attachments, while it made wonderful photos, I could not see through the view finder with my glasses, therefore when I attempted a photo, I would adjust the view and the when the photo was loaded you would need my glasses to see the dern thing..:-).. Lisa however had no such problem so I began to depend on her to take photos and post for me (with WEV's help in most cases).

What I would really love to have is a camera that displayed on the monitor of my comupter and thereby allow me to adjust based on the larger screen. This may not be possible, but if you hear of one please let me know.


As far as the marks on the forks, I was able to acquire 42 peices (spoons and forks), and all of them marked with French hallmarks rangeing from ones with the Slanted "A" and Crown for Paris 1754 and all of the Charge / Discharge marks, 5 in all,... through several that contained the "Menirva ?" and "Ants" 1838 time frame.

All of the pieces have the same "Monogram / Crest" although the engraver of the "Monograms / Crests" were not the same engraver. I am tempted to just send you one of the pieces just so you can see it :-)...

Thanks...
"Smaug"

PS.. I will find a way to get a closup of this mark somehow and post it in the next few days, it is one of the more interesting marks I have seen lately....

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labarbedor

Posts: 353
Registered: Jun 2002

iconnumber posted 05-11-2004 11:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for labarbedor     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Did you try e-mailing me?

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labarbedor

Posts: 353
Registered: Jun 2002

iconnumber posted 05-12-2004 05:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for labarbedor     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I really don't understand, what is marked what, and I think I am going to give up trying.
On the camera, most new cameras will connect to a computer with a USB cable. The problem arises if you connect the computer, you would be bouncing back and forth. More important it seems would be to set up the exact same lighting conditions with a tent, etc. If you set the camera for closeups, and have the largest depth of field possible, the picture practically takes itself. Once in a while the camera won't focus, but if you use the camera screen, it should be obvioous.
Personally I have mine set up on a different floor from the coputer, I then take out the flashcard (so I don't have to remove the camera from the tripod or even move it) and stick the flashcard into my computer.

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swarter
Moderator

Posts: 2920
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 05-14-2004 07:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
What I would really love to have is a camera that displayed on the monitor of my comupter and thereby allow me to adjust based on the larger screen. This may not be possible, but if you hear of one please let me know.

For a camera with mnacro capability that can be controlled from the computer screen via included remote capture software, see the "first look" feature on the new Canon Power Shot S60 on Steve's Digicams (just posted today). This is not the only camera with this or a similar ability, and it may or may not be the most suitable, but it shows that what you want to do is possible.

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