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tline3open  Turkish or Bulgarian

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Author Topic:   Turkish or Bulgarian
tmockait

Posts: 963
Registered: Jul 2004

iconnumber posted 06-26-2005 09:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tmockait     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I also got this spoon in Bulgaria. I cannot identify the symbol, which seems to be a bird of some sort. The other mark looks Arabic. Another odd thing is that the hallmarks are stamped on the front rather than the back of the spoon. Because the Turks occupied Bulgaria from the 14th to the 19th century, I thought this might be Ottoman. Can anyone help id this piece?

Thanks,
Tom

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tmockait

Posts: 963
Registered: Jul 2004

iconnumber posted 06-27-2005 02:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tmockait     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I found a source that identifies the marks as Turkish (and therefore Ottoman) in use until 1923. Does anyone no anymore about this system of marking and more specifically how old this spoon might be?

Thanks,
Tom

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blakstone

Posts: 493
Registered: Jul 2004

iconnumber posted 06-28-2005 02:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for blakstone     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I didn't recognize the tughra (or Sultan's monogram) from the photo. This device changed with each reign, so a careful examination of it can narrow down the date. A list of tughras may be found here:

Sultans of the Ottoman Empire [tughranet.f2s.com/tughras/tughras.htm - link gone from the Internet]

Click on each sultan's name to see his mark. Take care; reading these is tricky business.

Good luck!

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tmockait

Posts: 963
Registered: Jul 2004

iconnumber posted 06-28-2005 03:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tmockait     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Blackstone,

Hard to read is an understatement, but it appears to be Mahmud II, 1808-139. Is the other mark that of the maker or a town assay mark? One of my colleague's reads Uthman Turkish, so I will ask him what letter it is. If I find out, do you have a list of the towns? Also, what silver content did the Turks use.

On a side note, my visits to the open-air antique market in Sofia netted me one Romanian spoon I was assured was Bulgarian and a Turkish one I was assured was not Turkish! I have one more spoon that may actually be from where I bought it. One seller even had a spoon from the that ancient Balkan silver smith "Rogers." Needless to say, I did not get that one!

Thanks again for all your help,
Tom

[This message has been edited by tmockait (edited 06-28-2005).]

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blakstone

Posts: 493
Registered: Jul 2004

iconnumber posted 06-29-2005 03:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for blakstone     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Ottoman silver standard was .800 until 1844 and .900 thereafter, but I understand that both the method of alloy and assay were notoriously unreliable. Both standards were permitted, with a tolerance of .010, from 1923.

The other mark here is possibly a maker's mark; Turkey did not have specific assay office marks to my knowledge. It might also be the fineness; I simply can't tell from the photo.

[This message has been edited by blakstone (edited 06-29-2005).]

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ozfred

Posts: 87
Registered: Sep 2002

iconnumber posted 06-29-2005 11:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ozfred     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The web site - [<gone from the internet>atamanhotel.com/niello.html] NIELLO
has some information about Ottoman assay offices that may be of interest.

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