Another unknown silvermark

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Another unknown silvermark

Postby Smokanabeach » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:36 am

Here is a second item (a sugar tong) which I can not identify all the hallmarks.

I've made a lot of research on it, find one of the three hallmarks (the french guarantee "crab" hallmark for silver) but remain dubious: if this item comes from France (crab hallmark), the silversmith hallmark "AFC" must be in a diamond and not in a rectangle as in our case. Moreover, the crown over a "L" looks like french silver hallmarks from the 18th what is not logical (style of the sugar tong, other hallmarks,...). Or this hallmark could be a dutch hallmark (Dutch silversmiths were well-know to copy famous and prestigious hallmarks from other countries in the 20th century)...

To conclude... I don't know!

http://i41.tinypic.com/259a8ux.jpg

(admin photo edit - images too large - link only - see Posting Requirements )

Help is welcome!
Smokanabeach
 
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Re: Another unknown silvermark

Postby blakstone » Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:41 pm

The crowned “L” is an assayer’s mark used in Lisbon, Portugal, and it guaranteed the minimum fineness of 9 dinheiros, or .750. The specific assayer can be norotiously difficult to identify as their marks were all so similar, but this appears to be one of the marks used by assayer José Joaquim da Costa, working 1804-1822. This is in keeping with the maker’s mark “AFC”, that of Lisbon maker António Firmo da Costa, registered in 1793. I have no biographical data on him, but his mark is recorded with assayer’s marks used as late as 1822-1843.

I’m not certain the crab mark is French; it looks a little strange to me, and I can think of no way it could have been legitimately struck on this piece. Lisbon actually used a very similar mark staring in 1938, but it was reserved solely for watch cases. This mark has me stumped.

Hope this helps!

Ref: Manuel Goncalves Vidal & Fernando Moitinho de Almeida, Marcas de Contraste e Ourives Portugueses, v. I: 15th C.-1887 (Lisbon: Impresa Nacional, 4th ed., 1997), pp. 4, 31 & 318; marks 30 & 270.
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Re: Another unknown silvermark

Postby Smokanabeach » Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:38 pm

Another great job dear Blackstone! I also though about Portugal(saw similar hallmarks in the Tardy book) but the 'poor' design of my sugar tong made me think it was not from the beginning of the XIX but certainly from the xx. But...

About the crab hallmark, after reading what you wrote, I don't know what to think.. I was nearly sure about this hallmark but.. What is very interesting is your explanations on a similar hallmark you've seen on portuguese watch cases. I Will take the example of a french watch case hallmarked with a "Minerve" instead of an "Head of boar" for instance: usually french watch cases are hallmarked with hallmarks for small silver items but... So you may be right! I Will look on that track!

Many thanks!
Smokanabeach
 
Posts: 104
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 1:35 pm
Location: France, Cannes

Re: Another unknown silvermark

Postby Smokanabeach » Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:03 pm

Hi Blackstone,

I found the portuguese crab and can confirm "my crab" is the french one.

So it stand a mistery between this french hallmark and the portuguese one... Import?...

Regards
Smokanabeach
 
Posts: 104
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 1:35 pm
Location: France, Cannes


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