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tline3open  Lithuanian ??? candlesticks

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Author Topic:   Lithuanian ??? candlesticks
wizard

Posts: 78
Registered: Feb 2005

iconnumber posted 11-24-2008 12:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wizard     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I purchased these as Lithuanian 19th c. candlesticks but have been unable to confirm origin or makers/assay marks as shown.Any help would be appreciated.

I'm afraid the marks are upside down...will try to right them.


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Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 11-27-2008 05:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In the 19th century, Lithuania was in the Pale, the area where Jews were allowed to settle. Silver from this area is frequently refered to as 'Shabbots silver', ie silver used on the sabbath. The marks are not very well understood. Typically the candle sticks would have had an associated bread basket with handle.

The marks appear genuine. The letter 'i' does occur in Czarist Cyrilic, AIR. Beyond that, no help. They could have been made in Lithuania. Or an enterprising immigrant might have brought them with him to the New World and made these in Brooklyn.

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wizard

Posts: 78
Registered: Feb 2005

iconnumber posted 11-27-2008 07:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wizard     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for your insight Dale.

I do believe they were made in Europe since they were purchased there.

I have not been able to find any "purely" Lithuanian makers or assayers marks in any of my sources.

Perhaps others will weigh in?

Wizard

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Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 11-28-2008 06:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In the 19th century, Lithuania was part of the Russian empire, so the expectation is that silver would be marked in the Russian style. Or in some sort of local system. Don't know if the oval cartouche is a city mark or not. Others here may have a better idea of how to identify Lithuanian silver.

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blakstone

Posts: 493
Registered: Jul 2004

iconnumber posted 11-29-2008 02:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for blakstone     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The standard reference for Lithuanian silver is E. Lauceviczius & B.R. Vitkauskiene's Lietuvos Auksakalyste XV-XIX Amzius [Lithuanian Goldsmiths of the 15th-19th Centuries] (Vilno: Baltos Lankos, 2001). It's pretty exhaustive, and these marks aren't in it.

My gut reaction looking at these candlesticks is 2nd quarter 19th century Prussian: that part of Central Europe which now spans Eastern Germany & Western Poland. They look very much like the output of Berlin or Breslau in the 1830s & 40s. But I certainly couldn't rule out one of the Baltic states, at least on stylistic grounds. I've checked just about every reference I have and can't find any match for the marks in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland or Germany.

I confess that I'm stumped. Can you post a larger image of the marks, including the ones on the other candlestick?

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Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 11-29-2008 07:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
IMHE candle sticks of this type are usually handled by dealers in Judaica. Makers who made only for the Jewish ritual market worked outside of the regular silver making system. Somewhere I once encountered a guide to these makers, but can't remember what it is.

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