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tline3open  Chatelaine, French mark?

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Author Topic:   Chatelaine, French mark?
ansister
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iconnumber posted 09-06-2000 11:37 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am very new to this but was told I could ask a question here. So thanks ahead of time. I have an old chatelaine that looks just like a drawing of one in 'the offical guide to antique jewelry', 5th ed.1985, page 302. The mark on the back has an A and a V.and a crown maybe? The one in the book is gold. Mine is silver. The book says the designer is G.Huot, Paris,France c.1868-83 and that the value was 4600.00-5450.00. The item has 2 lions on either side of two shields. On top is a nine pointed crown, which I think means it was owned by a count. My question is who is A. V. . I could email a picture to anyone who would be willing to help me. Thank you. Ansister

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 09-06-2000 11:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is always helpful to see a photo. Please send and we will see what we can do.

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 09-07-2000 07:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for sending the scan and the drawing. Your drawing is very good.

There should be other marks. The marks can be very small and hard to interpret unless you are already familiar with them. So, close up photos of the marks can make a big difference. Also seeing where on the item the marks are located; what the opposite side looks like; how they made the mark (cast, struck, set in, etc.) and other subtle observable information can prove helpful.

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 09-07-2000 08:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm sorry, I got caught up in my own questions about your chatelaine clip and didn't answer your question "who is A. V.?".

The mark you have drawn looks like a French Charge mark.

A Charge mark is part of a two-mark system of collecting a duty (tax) on the article. While the item was still in the rough (being made), the silversmith would apply his maker's mark and the fermier (tax man) would apply the Charge mark. Once the item was completed and the tax was collected, the fermier would apply a second mark called the Discharge mark.


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ansister
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iconnumber posted 09-07-2000 02:24 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have been looking for any other mark that may be on the back and have had no luck, but will keep looking. If it is a charge mark where can I learn what the charge was for an A and a V in those days? Do you think it is French or English? I really need to learn about this item so thank you.

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Brent

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Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 09-07-2000 10:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I haven't been able to match your mark with any in the standard references, but the mark is almost certainly French. It is certainly not English.

As for the piece itself, I have a strong feeling that it is quite a bit older than the one you saw in the book. 19th century castings would have been of much higher quality, especially in France. It feels 18th century to me, but that is just a hunch. It is a shame that it is so badly damaged. That will hurt its value quite a bit, unless it has great historical importance.

I will keep looking!

Brent

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Brent

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iconnumber posted 09-19-2000 09:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After some serious thought and discussion, we have come to the unfortunate conclusion that your chatelaine has some serious problems. These are:

1.) Part of it is missing, namely the chunk on the lower left.

2.) The upper right side of the lower section has been filled in. There is almost no detail to the casting on this section; perhaps it was lost and replaced with new silver.

3.) It only has one hallmark, where they should be several. Perhaps the missing marks were on the missing pieces!

4.) With all of the visible manipulation, it raises the possibility that this piece has been "made up". A clever faker may have combined bits of several old chatelaines and filled in what he didn't have with new silver. Another possibility is of the faker breaking one authentic chatelaine into parts and combining them with reproduced pieces to make several chatelaines. This kind of chicanery has long been a cottage industry in Europe. Any old and potentially valuable piece of European silver must be examined thoroughly, with a lot of skepticism, prior to purchase.

In short, this piece appears to be something it is not. Sorry to disappoint you!

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