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tline3open  New Mexico silver ?

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Author Topic:   New Mexico silver ?

Posts: 6
Registered: Aug 2006

iconnumber posted 08-29-2006 09:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for sigmaflo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

I have a blue glass lined silver bowl. Dimensions 13 inches long x 6 inches wide x 4 inches high including feet.inches.

The silver is reticulated, and contains the Seal of New Mexico as an escutcheon, half way along the long dimension. At the reverse side is another escutcheon containing an inverted fleur de lys.

At each end of the long dimension is a cast silver lion head with a silver ring in it's mouth.

The underside has a set of three hallmarks, a bit rubbed but I suspect either Spanish or totally false.

Does anyone out there have any ideas to this item.
PS, not for sale, just need the history, is it new or old.

My topic, being in Spain, is, of course, Spanish silver from both Spain and it's colonies, though I am British and have a bit of know how on English and French silver.

Kind regards.

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Posts: 845
Registered: Aug 2005

iconnumber posted 08-30-2006 09:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FWG     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I thought from the description, and confirmed by the photos, that it doesn't seem like anything I've ever seen from colonial New Mexico. In fact to me it doesn't seem like a high probability it's colonial American at all; more likely European.

I don't think that is the seal of New Mexico, which is a large eagle on a branch with its wing protectively draped over a smaller eagle on a cactus. What you have is an eagle clasping arrows, and possibly leaves or branches. This is a pretty common motif, and I'm afraid doesn't help narrow it down much.

It's always nice to find another person interested in Iberian and Ibero-American silver -- welcome!

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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1768
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 08-30-2006 10:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It strongly resembles Continental, especially German, items I have owned in the past.

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Posts: 6
Registered: Aug 2006

iconnumber posted 08-30-2006 10:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for sigmaflo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote


Thank you for your comments.They are very appreciated.

As you are obviously an enthusiast of Iberian Silver, attached are a couple of pieces of a pair of Barcelona Chamber sticks that I have had for a few decades. According to " Marcas de la Plata Espanola y verreinal " page 118 row 8, they appear to be C XVIII. I have a gut feeling that due to the hanging ram being so clear, they are C XX copies.

What do you think?

Kind regards,

Chris Griffiths.

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Posts: 1597
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 08-30-2006 03:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is hard to tell from just the photos as opposed to having them in my hands, but they look to be in far better condition than one would expect for daily use items that purport to be over 200 years old. This lack of expected patina suggests to me that your hunch may be correct that they are 20th century reproductions.

I think the advice you have received about your blue glass lined bowl/tray is also pretty good. It reminds me of turn of the century silverplated ware from Germany, Austria, and eastern Europe. Is the design in the metal cast or repousee? Can you find makers marks anywhere on the blue glass liner?

[This message has been edited by Kimo (edited 08-30-2006).]

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Posts: 845
Registered: Aug 2005

iconnumber posted 08-30-2006 06:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FWG     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, I thought that mark looked similar as well, but on closer examination I don't think it is the same maker's mark -- there's no room for the third initial, and the two characters look somewhat different. I haven't been able to check many of the illustrations in Marcas de la plata to see how accurate and consistent they are (one unfortunately doesn't encounter that much old Spanish silver in New York), but my gut says late-18th or early-19th century. I don't think that the listings in FernŠndez et al. are near complete in terms of makers, although they seem more comprehensive for the assayers.

It's possible they're newer copies, of course, and it's hard to say without actually handling a piece -- sometimes even with -- but I think they may well be of the period. I'm reminded of a pair of Jacob Hurd tablespoons (c.1730s) I handled a few years back, that felt brand new and had no patina whatsoever, but were absolutely right. Sometimes pieces were just well kept.

And in any case, that's a great pair of chambersticks!

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