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Author Topic:   Continental Silver Mark Question

Posts: 1626
Registered: Nov 99

iconnumber posted 11-09-2006 08:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Here's a nice table or serving spoon that looks like it is continental silver. I won't even venture a guess as to its origin this time. The makers name may begin with "Loh," there appears to be a boat in a serrated triangle punch, a symbol similar to one of the Danish marks, and twenty-nine. Any help with identification will be very much appreciated.

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iconnumber posted 11-11-2006 07:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for blakstone     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Although it isn't Danish, the Danish-looking mark is a good clue. It's from the North German region of Schleswig-Holstein, which borders Denmark.

The city mark is the serrated triangle, a heraldic symbol known as a "nesselblatt". Just as the fleur-de-lys is a stylized lily, the nesselblatt is a stylized nettle bloom; it's the symbol for several north German cities.

Here, though, it is the mark for the city of Kiel. The maker's mark is "Schwieger" in script: the mark of Johann Heinrich Christian Schwieger (1784-1841). He is mentioned in 1803 as an apprentice to Kiel goldsmith Johann Friedrich Rachau and became a citizen 1815. He probably became a master around the same time, although he is not listed as such until 1821.

Most Kiel silver is marked only with the Kiel nesselblatt and the maker's mark, but a small number of makers did mark their wares after the Danish fashion, with a year and month mark. That's what you have: "29" for 1829, and the astrological sign for the month.

The month mark on Schwieger's silver, however, appears to have been some sort of pseudo-mark and not a real month mark as it was in Denmark and Norway. Schweiger's known pieces from 1825 and 1827 all have the Scorpio sign, and those from 1829 have the mark you illustrate, which is thought to be the astrological sign for Aries. Given that no other month marks are known and that these are not "official" marks, they were probably applied by Schwieger to help sell the items to the many Danes in the area who would be used to seeing such marks on "real" silver. (Another interesting example of pseudo-marking to appeal to an immigrant clientele, along the same lines as pseudo-British marks on Colonial Indian silver and the faux Minerva mark on New Orleans French-style silver.)

To sum up: Kiel, Germany, 1829, by Johann Heinrich Christian Schwieger (1784-1841), Master ca. 1815.

Hope this helps!

[This message has been edited by blakstone (edited 11-11-2006).]

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iconnumber posted 11-12-2006 02:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A truly amazing amount of information. Thank you so much. I should have mentioned in my firt post that there is punch marked monogram "F Z" and the year 1840 on the back of the handle near the short rib. Obviously, this spoon could have been given as a gift long after it was made. Thanks again. I am astounded!

[This message has been edited by bascall (edited 11-12-2006).]

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