Spectacular lizard lost wax ring- Maker literally "A"

PHOTOS REQUIRED - marks + item
Valkyrja68
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Spectacular lizard lost wax ring- Maker literally "A"

Postby Valkyrja68 » Wed Sep 05, 2018 1:58 am

Well hello friends!
Rookie here, and I do hold a PHD in research but.....I am failing. I found this beauty at an antique fair. I have no idea if it's old or modern, mainly because we Americans SUCK at hallmarking, and measurements but I digress. I would challenge anyone to help, either with knowledge or research tips/sites/ideas as to how I am going to find a maker that chose "A." It's become an obsession to find out who made it. Thank you in advance. (Please let me know if I'm in the wrong section as well).

OK Here's what I know= The ring is a lost wax cast of a real lizard which takes a great deal of skill, it seems a bit brutalist but all searches led to nothing. Oh and its large, 4 x 2 centimeters.
MARKINGS=The ring is marked "925" sterling to us, that with the lack of identifying marks and that I bought it here leads to American. "585" 14k gold, the pics aren't as clear but trust me at the right angle it's clear and my acid tests confirm. "8.42" I have no idea what this means but it's not the weight. And the most elusive the singular "A" in a times new roman font what may or may not be an asterisk or dot above the upper right corner.
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Valkyrja68
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Re: Spectacular lizard lost wax ring- Maker literally "A"

Postby Valkyrja68 » Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:00 am

Wow.... and I apologize for my grammar, or lack thereof. Next time I will be better.

Aguest
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Re: Spectacular lizard lost wax ring- Maker literally "A"

Postby Aguest » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:54 pm

You're right, at first glance this would appear to be Brutalist because of the jagged moss upon which the lizard sits.
But there is another tradition which it seems to me to be drawn from, and that is the tradition of Majolica Pottery, specifically the Portuguese Majolica Pottery pieces which I have seen (I owned one of these pieces so I had a lot of time to study the lizard and the moss):

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The lizard is completely realistic as is each and every piece of moss underneath the lizard, it is really something to behold, completely realistic in every way.

All I know about the "A" is that Belgium used a stylized "A" in their silver markings, but I really am not sure if your "A" can be linked to the Belgium "A." It doesn't quite look like the "Belgium A" but since I have been alluding to it, here it is:

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(Tardy's presents this "A" hallmark as the "legal" 1st standard assay mark for Belgium silver of .900 fineness from the years 1869-1942 : Perhaps it is coincidental that this "A" hallmark ended in 1942 and you have a "42" on your piece of jewelry) :

At this point, all I can say is that I don't know. I have seen lizards represented in silver from Denmark, and there was a Brutalist trend in design during the mid-20th century, so it could be from there. That's as good a guess as any at this point. Hopefully someone will somehow recognize the overall quality and design elements of the piece, which are very good indeed. Whoever made this piece possessed a high degree of skill, so hopefully the maker will be identified.

Traintime
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Re: Spectacular lizard lost wax ring- Maker literally "A"

Postby Traintime » Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:22 pm

Crazy question...are we sure of "lizard" as opposed to "salamander/newt" or whatever they call 'em now?

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Re: Spectacular lizard lost wax ring- Maker literally "A"

Postby Aguest » Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:38 pm

Yes I should have said "salamander," clearly it is a salamander on the brooch, and clearly salamanders are represented in Danish silver, salamanders are amphibians, I apologize for using that other word :::

Salamander dish is by Prima Hgr (I think the spoon I am thinking about was from T.H. Marthensen of Norway, I am searching for pics) ::

Image

Traintime
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Re: Spectacular lizard lost wax ring- Maker literally "A"

Postby Traintime » Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:42 pm

How funny, I think I used to have that same Prima piece!

Valkyrja68
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Re: Spectacular lizard lost wax ring- Maker literally "A"

Postby Valkyrja68 » Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:57 pm

Aguest wrote:You're right, at first glance this would appear to be Brutalist because of the jagged moss upon which the lizard sits.
But there is another tradition which it seems to me to be drawn from, and that is the tradition of Majolica Pottery, specifically the Portuguese Majolica Pottery pieces which I have seen (I owned one of these pieces so I had a lot of time to study the lizard and the moss):


Wow That IS amazing!! And you are absolutely right they are close enough to research contemporary Italian marks.

Aguest wrote: All I know about the "A" is that Belgium used a stylized "A" in their silver markings, but I really am not sure if your "A" can be linked to the Belgium "A”


I have my doubts that the maker is foreign (to America) as I was under the impression that only we, don’t use a traditional hallmarking system ie; assay, town, etc. But I cannot say for sure so you’ve given me two leads to follow. Just for fun though....try to look up Maker mark or hallmark A and see what you get, hahaha it’s hilariously frustrating!! Thank you so much for the cool lead, I think that after seeing this it makes sense that the maker was aware if not emulating that style. What’s interesting about the cast is that you can see every single scale and curve including the somewhat depressed eye (from being dead) very cool piece and I don’t know if I’m allowed to say but I’m going to- I got it for 160 which is stellar. I think the guy knew it was going to its final home :D

Valkyrja68
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Re: Spectacular lizard lost wax ring- Maker literally "A"

Postby Valkyrja68 » Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:59 pm

Traintime wrote:Crazy question...are we sure of "lizard" as opposed to "salamander/newt" or whatever they call 'em now?


Not sure at all haha but my kids are little naturalists and they assured me it’s a lizard, specifically an “Anole” and I don’t dare refute.

Valkyrja68
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Re: Spectacular lizard lost wax ring- Maker literally "A"

Postby Valkyrja68 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:08 am

Traintime wrote:Crazy question...are we sure of "lizard" as opposed to "salamander/newt" or whatever they call 'em now?


I just realized you may have been referring to the Majolica, and not the ring. But the ring at least was made from a real reptile and salamanders are much bigger, plus the sharp pointed nose is typical of an anole: so I have been told by the experts ;) Great to finally get some feedback on this as I was waiting sadly thinking everyone was ignoring me haha. I’ll update if I find anything.

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Re: Spectacular lizard lost wax ring- Maker literally "A"

Postby Aguest » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:59 am

If it has "585" instead of "14k" it almost always is intended to be purchased by the European market, if it were made in America it would almost certainly have a "14k" hallmark because that is overwhelmingly common in the USA :::

The "585" has me searching Europe first and foremost ::: Not that it is impossible for it to have been made in America, but my instincts are pointing me towards Europe first :::

Valkyrja68
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Re: Spectacular lizard lost wax ring- Maker literally "A"

Postby Valkyrja68 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:48 am

Aguest wrote:If it has "585" instead of "14k" it almost always is intended to be purchased by the European market, if it were made in America it would almost certainly have a "14k" hallmark because that is overwhelmingly common in the USA :::


Yes and No, Studio and artisan jewelry here often has the numerical value because it makes more sense and is broadly recognized. It also gives it curb appeal and sets it apart not unlike American Jewelers faking English style hallmarks when there was no assay. I just like to argue though, I just don’t know of another country that doesn’t use hallmarking, and what would be the point to not use it if it wasn’t American?

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Re: Spectacular lizard lost wax ring- Maker literally "A"

Postby Aguest » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:56 am

There are examples of Majolica pottery plates where each and every detail of the animal is perfectly cast, you can see each and every scale on the animal, particularly the work of Jose Francisco de Sousa of Portugal, and your animal is so amazingly detailed, I would just be surprised if the maker of this piece did not have knowledge of the Majolica pottery art form :::

I still believe the subject matter is more appropriate for a European buyer, as the lizard/salamander has more of a cultural context in Scandinavia than the USA, but it is all conjecture and theory at this point anyway :::

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Re: Spectacular lizard lost wax ring- Maker literally "A"

Postby Traintime » Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:56 am

Call me crazy twice, but I still think it is a soft skinned red salamander with stubby toes which are very small, live in moist places, and don't have well defined lizard fingers or scaled bodies. What about those tail rings? I would say northern Europe or less possibly US Pacific Northwest.

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Re: Spectacular lizard lost wax ring- Maker literally "A"

Postby Aguest » Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:17 pm

Yes I agree, and all the rings on the tail are interesting because if a predator goes to eat the salamander, many species have the ability to lose that tail and then run away, and after a few months the tail has grown back again. I have noticed pieces of silver with salamanders from Scandinavia (Denmark and Norway), so I was wondering why the salamander symbol is important, and maybe the regeneration of the tail is a symbol of health or long-life or eternal life, that's my theory at this point until I can find out more information :::

I think this is a salamander that lives in a damp place where moss grows, because I think that is moss underneath the body of the salamander, I just can't believe it could be interpreted as any other kind of plant, it seems distinctively moss-like to me :::


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