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Author Topic:   Stray Pig
Silver Lyon

Posts: 363
Registered: Oct 2004

iconnumber posted 10-24-2005 02:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Silver Lyon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
[07-0294]

My wife and I bought this silver pig as a present for a friend.

It is a 'keep-safe' or money-box, with the slot and hinged cover inset in the base.

The work is good and it tests as .925 or thereabouts BUT I can't fathom the marks at all. The small mark appears to be a bell?

He (?) is about 4" high.

Any ideas??

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Scott Martin
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Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 10-24-2005 03:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is this the "bell" mark?

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Silver Lyon

Posts: 363
Registered: Oct 2004

iconnumber posted 10-24-2005 03:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Silver Lyon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No, Scott.
The piece, I feel, has to be non-British - in some ways the chasing and finishing is too artistic for Britain, and the lack of proper hallmarks too. I can post a detail if it helps.
The 'bell' however, is of the same general feel and form (clever you!).
These marks are small - the makers matk is only just over 1/4" long.
Another thing is that there aren't really many British keep-safes - it is more of a European or American thing.

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tmockait

Posts: 963
Registered: Jul 2004

iconnumber posted 10-24-2005 04:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tmockait     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Can you enlarge the mark photo?

Tom

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 10-24-2005 06:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bellmark is an american company:

Bell Mark Sheffield Silver, Inc.
7642 W. Vogel Avenue, Building 3
Peoria, Arizona 85345

I am not sure if they make or ever made such things as your pig - I think they pretty much make hotel/restaurant and serving ware. I thought you might find it interesting that they are American.

FYI see: Bell mark? Can anyone ID this mark?

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ahwt

Posts: 2173
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 10-24-2005 06:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
What is the history of the piggy bank? Why isn't it a doggy bank or cat bank?

— Danny Baylus


Hang on, 'cause this is a long, bumpy ride through WordLand. We are about to see the unbroken chain from pigs to lumber.

First thing we gotta cover is the Great Vowel Shift, which occurred in English back betweeen Chaucer and Shakespeare, when sounds began moving forward in the mouth. "Meat" used to be pronounced more like "mate." Make the sounds, and you'll see how most older pronunciations were formed further back in the mouth. Go way, way, back, "y" was the Greek "u", and pronounced as such. Clytemnestra was originally said "Klootahmnayster", but the sound evolved over time, passing through "uh" to short "i" to the two variants of long "i": the "ee" sound we see in "slowly," and the "eye" sound we see in "electrolyte."

Going way, way back, there was a word in English, "pygg," which referred to a certain clay. It was used for making all kinds of household objects, including things for storing money. At the time the barbaric Saxons learned to write, "pygg" was probably pronounced to rhyme with "pug," but as the pronunciation of "y" changed, "pygg" came to be pronounced about like "pig," and the banks were shaped like pigs as a joke, or because of confusion of the meaning.

According to Charles Panati's Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things, people were saving money in kitchen pots and jars made of pygg, called "pygg jars"... and by the 18th Century, pygg jar had become pig bank, potters simply casting the bank in the shape of its common, everyday name.

By the way, clay bottles filled with hot water are still used as bed-warmers in parts of Britain, and are called "pigs" or "china pigs"; Eric Bogle did a song about them. They, too, are often shaped like pigs as a visual pun.

Pygg survived in its original pronunciation as "pug," a clay slip; and "pug mill," a mixing machine used originally for clay. Here, again, the spelling was changed to fit new ideas about spelling.

OK, after that, "bank" must be simple. Not so fast. Bank originally meant "bench"; you can probably see the connection between the words. Money lenders in Northern Italy once did business in open areas, or big open rooms, with each lender working from his own bench or table. If he went "broke," the piece of furniture was literally broken to signify that he wasn't in business anymore.

Other lenders did something closer to pawnbrokering; the Lombards, a germanic tribe living in Northern Italy, were famous for lending against collateral, and would have a storeroom full of forfeited goods and goods not yet redeemed. This lead to storage rooms being called "Lombard rooms," since they looked a little like a pawnshop. Over time, this slurred into "lumber room." Ahh, yess, lumbering through words about money...

— Mac



The term "piggy bank" has an interesting history as shown in the link above.
Yours is a very nice piggy bank even if it is not made of clay.

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Silver Lyon

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Registered: Oct 2004

iconnumber posted 10-24-2005 06:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Silver Lyon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Try this it is so small I think this is the best I can do:

Here is the head, for interest:

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Richard Kurtzman
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Registered: Aug 2000

iconnumber posted 10-24-2005 09:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have seen this mark before and I believe it is Swedish pre 1912.

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Richard Kurtzman
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iconnumber posted 10-24-2005 09:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After a bit of perfunctory research GAB stands for Guldsmedsaktiebolaget (Stockholm). Hope that helps and will guide you on to further information.

[This message has been edited by Richard Kurtzman (edited 10-24-2005).]

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Scott Martin
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Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 10-25-2005 07:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

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Richard Kurtzman
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iconnumber posted 10-25-2005 12:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The mark to the right of GAB is probably the town mark for Stockholm.

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Scott Martin
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Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 11-06-2005 05:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Re: Continental Silver: Stray pig

Hello Scott,

As a newbie in the forums I am not allowed to post any where else than in the New Members' Forum (really understandable for me btw.). But now I have found the a.m. thread and some information about it. Maybe you would like to post it ? The info is taken from another forum and a discussion on the same GAB markings.

  • GAB =Guldsmedsaktiebolaget (Goldsmiths inc.) was founded in Stockholm 1867. Now owned by Gense, Eskilstuna, Sweden.
  • The mark GAB wasn't used from the beginning. The earliest objects from this company are marked GULDSM.AKT.BOL,
  • and in 1874 they changed it to GBL. I'm not quite sure when they changed it to GAB, but it was sometime before 1913, and probably after 1900.
The other mark looks like St Erik, the symbol for Stockholm. It's a young man with long hair and a crown."

Have a nice weekend !

Best regards from Hamburg
robinhood


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