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tline3open  "Researching a silver bowl, origin and date, unknown."

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Author Topic:   "Researching a silver bowl, origin and date, unknown."
Scott Martin
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Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 12-16-2002 06:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

From Ozfred:

"Researching a silver bowl, origin and date, unknown."

It was wishful thinking that the bowl was made by a York silversmith. It is not an unrecorded mark of Mark Gill.

However, an entry in the York ledgers for 16th May 1690 inform that the Dutch fashion for fluted porringers was all the rage. The fashion had, of course died before the year was out, but Mark Gill, the fourth stepson of John Pint melted down a damaged beer tankard and tried his hand at making a gift for his girlfriend's father, a giant of a sea faring man, Simon Posset. The porringer had pierced handles so that it could be strung from the cabin roof in rough weather so that the contents could not spill. This poses the question – were posset cups, named after Simon Posset as this style of cup made its appearance about this time? Posset being "a drink made of hot milk curdled with ale, wine etc., often flavored with spices, formerly used as remedy for colds etc." The word is of unknown Middle English origin.

With the assistance of the founder of the Australian Silver Society, Brian Eggleton, the bowl's origin and dating has been established. Rather disappointingly, Mark Gill was not the maker or does it date from the 17th century.

It is a silver oval sugar bowl, made in Venice in the second half 18th Century, of lobed and fluted form, the rim applied with four cast open-work cartouche-shaped spoon holders with a conforming pedestal foot. The town (?) and assayer's mark are inside the base. Weight 225grams, length 13.5, width 98 and height 65 cms. The unclear circular mark is assumed to be the Town Mark of Venice, used 17-18th centuries, refer Mark 7485, page 380, Marc Rosenberg "Der Goldschmiede Merkzeichen." VI Band being the mark of the head of a bearded lion with wings - the symbol of St Mark. The mark of the Assay Master, "M**G", is Mark 821, page 125 of Ugo Donati "Il Marchi dell'Argenteria Italiana."

Confirmation of this was a similar piece offered at the Sotheby's New York "Sale of Important English and Continental Silver. Friday, April 19, 1991."

Lot 42. "An Italian Silver Oval Sugar Bowl, North Italian, Third Quarter 18th Century, Probably Modena, of lobed and fluted oval form, the rim applied with eight cast open-work cartouche-shaped spoon holders, conforming pedestal foot, marked on base rim with an eagle and ? a lion holding a shield, 10 ozs. Length 6.5 inches. (16.5cm.)

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iconnumber posted 12-23-2002 12:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for akgdc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
... but a fascinating piece nonetheless. I love seeing early Italian silver because it's so seldom encountered in this country and the literature is so sparse, even in Italian. Also, like this piece, the designs are often bold and appealing.

Has anyone else encountered much pre-1870 Italian silver? All I have personally are a few teaspoons and a circa-1730 Neapolitan candlestick, rather similar in form to its French contemporaries but with an attached drip pan rather than removable bobeche.

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