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Author Topic:   Possible Russian silver spoon
doc

Posts: 712
Registered: Jul 2003

iconnumber posted 06-30-2004 09:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for doc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have a serving spoon that I think may be Russian. The marks are too difficult to photograph with my digital camera (I am upgrading shortly!). The first mark has the cyrillic letters for MASSB in a rectangle. The second mark is a small oval with an 84 and a woman's face profiled left with stylized waving hair.

The spoon is a fiddle handled serving spoon.

Any ideas?

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doc

Posts: 712
Registered: Jul 2003

iconnumber posted 06-30-2004 06:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for doc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I found that I have a Russian Hallmark pamphlet among my resource books, so I have been able to determine that the 84 mark with the woman's head is a Kokoshnik mark, used as part of an assayer's mark in the period from 1896-1908. Unfortunately, there is also a small mark next to the woman's head that is supposed to identify the region, but it is too worn. Any Russian silver scholars recognize the assayer's mark from my previous listing-it's not listed in my reference book.

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tmockait

Posts: 963
Registered: Jul 2004

iconnumber posted 12-16-2004 09:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tmockait     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Definitely Russian. 84 is a Zolotnik inidcating 875/1000 parts silver. Right facing head to left of 84 indicates 1908-1926 period. Here is a very thorough site for identifying Russian silver: http://www.silvercollection.it/russiansilverhallmark.html

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tmockait

Posts: 963
Registered: Jul 2004

iconnumber posted 12-16-2004 10:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tmockait     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
PS If the head is to the right of the 84 and facing left, then the period is 1896-1908.

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blakstone

Posts: 493
Registered: Jul 2004

iconnumber posted 12-17-2004 12:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for blakstone     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Properly speaking, though the marks are Russian, your spoon is not. It's from Lithuania, which was under Russian jurisdiction until 1920.

The maker is Morduchas Asas (in English, Mordecai Ass - I swear I'm not making that up!) of Vilnius [also called Vilno]. He was apprenticed in 1880 to S. Jalovcinz and became a master in 1884. His work is known up through 1917.

Also, regarding the kokoshnik mark, it should be noted that it was not used in Vilnius, nor in many Russian cities, before 1899.

1897-1899: An interim mark was used based on the old Russian civic marks, in either an oval or rectangle notched at the top and bottom, with the fineness in zolotniki. Vilnius' mark was a white knight on horseback.

1899-1908, The kokoshnik, facing left, struck incuse, in an oval for large items and a circle for small items, with the assayer's initials in Cyrillic behind her head. Vilnius assayers during the period were Anatoli Artsibacheva [AA], Kliment Zagaev [KZ] and possibly A. Danilev [AD] .

1908-1926: The kokoshnik, facing right, struck in relief, in an oval, with a Greek letter behind her head to indicate the assay office. Vilnius' mark was pi. (There was also circular mark for small items, but the assay office was indicated not by a Greek letter, but by a series of dots and dashes in the perimeter of the mark. Too complicated to go into!)

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