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Author Topic:   Small spoon

Posts: 2124
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 12-02-2007 09:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Below is a small spoon (4 7/8”) that has I believe the Italian mark for 800 silver. I do not know the meaning of the other two marks. It has a monogram F.G on the same side. What intrigued me about the spoon is the crowned serpent engraving in which it appears that a serpent is spewing out a child. Of course it could be that the serpent is getting ready to ingest the child.

Any information about the marks or the meaning of the snake engraving would be appreciated.

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iconnumber posted 12-02-2007 09:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The mark with the stars is for Venice under Austro-Hungarian rule according to the law of 1810, early 19th century, the other one is a control mark, and a master mark.

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iconnumber posted 12-04-2007 11:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, DB
The following is from an internet search.
The Visconti family since 1277 used a crest with a crowned serpent and child.

Masi crestis the same, but this site has various interpretations of the meaning.

It could be that this spoon started its life as a souvenir spoon.

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Registered: Jul 2004

iconnumber posted 02-05-2008 02:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for blakstone     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Golly. How did I miss this one?

Strictly speaking, the leftmost mark was introduced not by the Austrians but by Eugène de Beauharnais, Napoléon’s stepson and viceregent for the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy. This and several other marks were introduced by his Christmas Day decree of 1810 in response to complaints that gold and silver marking had fallen by the wayside in the wake of the French invasion. However, these marks did continue to be used after the fall of Napoleon by the Austrian-controlled Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia, right through to the 1872 introduction of marks in the new unified Kingdom of Italy.

The “globe and stars” mark was used on large silver articles of the second standard of fineness: .800. The middle mark is the assay office mark; here, a plough, that of the office in Milan. The figure in the third mark with the letter “P” is assuredly St. Michael with his sword and scales, treading upon a serpent, and therefore almost certainly the maker’s mark of Domenico Pariani of Milan, working in the late 1820’s and perhaps later. (See Donaver & Dabbene’s Argenti italiani dell’800, v. II (Milan: San Gottardo, 1989), where Pariani’s mark - #2057 - is not illlustrated but is described as being St. Michael in a circle.)

Beautiful piece; thanks for posting it!

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iconnumber posted 02-05-2008 04:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Blakstone, I hope all the Mardi Gras celebrations are better than ever this year. Wish I was in New Orleans.

[This message has been edited by ahwt (edited 02-05-2008).]

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