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Author Topic:   AS Help with Mark
Scotia

Posts: 125
Registered: Oct 2003

iconnumber posted 05-30-2005 09:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scotia     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi there,

I have a tablespoon with 3 marks on the reverse. Two of them look like the marks of Alexander Stewart of Tain and Inverness, but the third mark is not familiar and the engraving would indicate a continental spoon. The first mark looks like a platform with 3 figures on top. the next mark is "AS" and the third mark is a small star symbol. The engraved monogram is "PhL 1826".


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blakstone

Posts: 493
Registered: Jul 2004

iconnumber posted 05-30-2005 11:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for blakstone     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think it is continental. The 3-tower mark on the left seems to be an assayer's mark from the German city of Hamburg. I think I can make out the letter "V" (which is often mistaken for an "M") on the bottom of it : the mark of assayer Johann Heinrich Zell, working 1816-1826, which is very much in keeping with the style and date of the inscription. I don't know the maker, but I'll do some digging. The little asterisk/star could be a workman's mark.

How about a full picture of the spoon? Does it have a pointed handle - the popular German "lancet" style of the 1820s?

In the meantime, I'd like to hear from some members of the U.K. board, since Scottish provincial is definitely out of my discipline. What do you think? Can Alexander Stewart be ruled out?

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Patrick Vyvyan

Posts: 640
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 05-31-2005 12:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Patrick Vyvyan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not an answer I'm afraid, but a question:
Does the small "h" in the engraved PhL indicate an origin? I wondered about a contraction of Philip - but I'm more inclined to think it might be something like the German "von"....?

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swarter
Moderator

Posts: 2920
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 05-31-2005 11:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is not Scottish, but looks like Hamburg to me, too. In addition to the German city mark, the pricked ownership marks are typically Continental, too. Pounced (or pricked) initials did appear on early British spoons, but disappeared about 1800.

Continental marks that appear on western style spoons have often been (and still are) confused with Scottish and American pseudohallmarks. a few of these were included in older editions of Jackson -- most were eliminated in the third edition, but a Hamburg mark remains in the list for Elgin. They appear in a number of American books, too -- Belden, Ripley's revision of Burton's South Carolina, and Peacock's revision of Cutten's North Carolina among them.

[This message has been edited by swarter (edited 05-31-2005).]

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adelapt

Posts: 418
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 06-05-2005 08:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for adelapt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Swarter:
I take it that the Hamburg mark you referred to in the Elgin list (Jackson #3) it that one shown as "an upturned E" and maker "IH". Do you know who this Hamburg maker is?
Regards
Adelapt

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swarter
Moderator

Posts: 2920
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 06-05-2005 11:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes - the town mark contains the date letter N; it is #2369 in Rosenberg, and Tardy gives the date for it as 1800. I do not know the maker's name - we will have to leave that for Blakstone.

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blakstone

Posts: 493
Registered: Jul 2004

iconnumber posted 06-06-2005 09:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for blakstone     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sorry, but I'm of little help to identify Jackson's ersatz Elgin Hamburger. (A sentence, I trust, no more contrived than Jackson/Pickford's reading of the Hamburg towers as "ELN.")

The problem is the date. There were only three series of Hamburg assayer's letters, and only the first two got as far as "N": it was used by assayers Boyenburg (1716-1728) and Maull (1790-1811). But Jackson gives the date of the item in question as circa 1760: more or less right between the two possibilites. Without seeing the item itself and having its style to go on, it could be either ca. 1720 or ca. 1800, it being therefore all the more difficult to pin down IH's identity.

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swarter
Moderator

Posts: 2920
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 06-06-2005 11:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Neither Rosenberg nor Tardy show the 1720 mark, but the others in that series have a different shaped reserve and castle shape than those of the later series - in particular the space containing the date letter resembles an arched gateway in the earlier one. Is the 1720 mark not consistent with that series in your references? The Jackson mark is not consistent with this series, but seems more in line with the later one. Or are the drawings in these two references unreliable

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blakstone

Posts: 493
Registered: Jul 2004

iconnumber posted 06-08-2005 12:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for blakstone     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, everything you say is correct, and the mark in Jackson does more closely resemble the 1790-1811 Hamburg mark. But some Hamburg assayers used as many three different size marks with different designs. Given the situation -- phantom spoon, inaccurate date, incorrect attribution -- I wouldn't go out on a limb.

One of the factors in my hesitation was that it seems more likely to me that a circa 1760 date would be given in Jackson to a provincial Scottish spoon that is, in reality, a circa 1720 spoon from a major center like Hamburg. (Would a provincial Scottish smith be likely to be 40 years ahead of his time, designwise?). But I concede that is merely academic musing; a circa 1800 German spoon is probably much more likely to turn up in Scotland than a circa 1720 one.

At the end of the day, my resources are really insufficient to say more. If someone has ready access to Schliemann & Heitmann's excellent "Goldschmiede Hamburgs" I have no doubt they would find the answer there.

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Scotia

Posts: 125
Registered: Oct 2003

iconnumber posted 06-10-2005 11:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scotia     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi there,

Thanks for the input. Sorry I haven't replied sooner, I was in Spain for a week. I will post a photo of the complete spoon shortly.

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Scotia

Posts: 125
Registered: Oct 2003

iconnumber posted 06-11-2005 03:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scotia     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi all,

Here are the photos as promised:



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swarter
Moderator

Posts: 2920
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 06-11-2005 10:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe the style of the spoon is consistent with the later of the two periods, c. 1800. 1720 would be too early.

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blakstone

Posts: 493
Registered: Jul 2004

iconnumber posted 08-06-2005 10:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for blakstone     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just a little update prompted by some recent research.

The Hamburg/V mark on Scotia's spoon is 1816-26 as stated, and the maker "AS" is Claus Hinrich Anton Schleich.

The Hamburg/N mark erroneously listed as Elgin in Jackson is 1790-1811(the second series) and the maker "IH" there is Johann Hues.

Hope this clears things up!

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adelapt

Posts: 418
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 08-07-2005 03:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for adelapt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you Blakstone for tidying up that little loose end. It's appreciated!

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