Unusual mark

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blonde_minx
Posts: 193
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:35 am

Unusual mark

Postby blonde_minx » Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:26 am

Hi
I believe this box to be french, well hopefully it is, the two hallmarks together make me think it is but then the mark inside the lid i just cant work out at all, ive added a few of the same mark at different angles hoping it would help identify the mark.
thanks in advance
Mandy

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AG2012
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Re: Unusual mark

Postby AG2012 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:01 am

Hi,
Yes, it is French.Minerva head for .950 and Mercury (smaller mark in an oval) used for export on French made small silver (both after 1838).The third mark could be countermark insect from bigorne (two-horned anvil)
Regards

blonde_minx
Posts: 193
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:35 am

Re: Unusual mark

Postby blonde_minx » Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:15 am

Hi

Thanks for your help, i thought it was French but didnt know the silver standard or what the other mark may have been

Kindest regards

Smokanabeach
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Location: France, Cannes

Re: Unusual mark

Postby Smokanabeach » Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:58 pm

Hi,

Following AG2012 answer:

''In order to prevent and detect fraud of hallmarked silver articles, French authorities instituted, by Ordinance of 1st July 1818, a system of countermarks on the opposite side of the guarantee mark. These countermarks are known as "bigornes".

The term bigorne literally means two-horned anvil or two-beaked anvil and refers to the shape of the projecting ends of the anvil. Each anvil has two striking areas, one flat and one of rounded shape. The rounded horn served to mark hollowware and the flat horn was used to mark flatware.''

Regards,

Don Smoka

Aguest
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Re: Unusual mark

Postby Aguest » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:17 pm

Is it possible that the Minerva hallmark is actually French made for Export hallmark and the other hallmarks are Ottoman Empire Tugra kinds of hallmarks? I don’t recall ever seeing bigorne marks like these before. Could the other hallmarks be associated with some other country within the Ottoman Empire?

Traintime
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Re: Unusual mark

Postby Traintime » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:36 am

Not cast doubt on anyone's conclusions, but since the words "could be" were used it might help to note the exact position of the inner mark in relation to the outer ones. There is a bigorne thread with surviving photos of three samples that the moderators (if they feel it's necessary) can probably place here for comparison to avoid jumping back & forth through links. (No, I don't see any ferns, bushes, or christmas trees.)

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

Re: Unusual mark

Postby Smokanabeach » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:04 am

My opinion is AG2012 already gives you the good answer. The bigorne is the Scarabéa. But as said by Traintime, if a doubt is still remaining, please just confim that this ''special'' mark is exactly positionned on the other side on the Minerva and the matter will be solved...

JayT
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Re: Unusual mark

Postby JayT » Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:51 pm

Hello
Agree with @Aguest that the unidentified mark is that of country other than France, likely the Ottoman empire. It is certainly not a bigorne mark.
The Minerva head has been carefully obliterated (see the cross-hatching), which tells me the country to which it was exported (as indicated by the Mercury head mark), then stamped with its own mark.
Best regards
JayT

AG2012
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Re: Unusual mark

Postby AG2012 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:30 pm

Where is exactly the unidentified mark in relation to obliterated Minerva`s head mark ?
Is it opposite to Minerva`s head (exactly on the other side or unrelated to it) ?
It is not Ottoman tughra,either.
Regards

Aguest
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Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:26 am

Re: Unusual mark

Postby Aguest » Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:43 pm

I see the fine detail now, I should have magnified, of course it is bigorne and the box is in very good condition as well :

Aguest
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Re: Unusual mark

Postby Aguest » Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:00 pm

The reason I didn't think it was a bigorne is because it seems to lack the extremely fine details I have noticed on other bigorne hallmarks :::: However, seeing as how these are the smallest bigorne hallmarks I have ever seen, perhaps there just wasn't room enough to provide the fine details (for instance, each and every hair on the insect's foot can often be discerned) and so it just resembled a mark from somewhere else (Ottoman?) ::


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