Page 1 of 1
Small box with swan marks
Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 4:44 pm
Can anyone tell me a bit about this box and its marks? It's 4cm high and has two swan marks on the inside rim.
Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 5:20 pm
Having gone through a few of old posts, I have gleaned that the swan mark was used on goods of unknown origin imported into France at the end of the 19th century. Is this right? I would have dated this box closer to 1800.
Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 5:39 pm
The 'Swan' mark was introduced on 1st June 1864, it was used on silver articles imported into France from countries without Customs Conventions. Its use was discontinued on 1st June 1893 as it was now stipulated that all imported gold and silver should comply with the same conditions as that was manufactured in France.
Could it be that your box had some age before it was imported into France?
Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 5:45 pm
Hi Miles and Trev.
Here's a quote from Tardy's "International Hallmarks on Silver":
"The 'Swan' mark has been used since 1st July, 1893 on watch cases of all origins and up to 1970 it was struck on articles coming from non-contracting countries. In addition it is struck on silverware of the legal standard of fineness, but of unknown origin, which is sold at public auctions."
Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 6:30 pm
Thankyou Trev and Pat.
I'm particularly interested by the last sentence in the Tardy's explanation. That could easily have happened to this little box, because I find it hard to believe that it was made after 1863 or that a dealer kept it so long before selling it abroad in France where the fashion would not have been the same. Does the double striking have any significance I wonder.
My next step will be to trace the armorial, but since I don't know where it was made it won't be easy.
Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 3:44 am
Hi Miles and Pat.
My sincere apologies!
I mis-read the information on the 'ET' mark, which was the forerunner to the 'Swan' mark.
The full text taken from 'A Guide to Old French Plate' by Louis Carre is;
"The decree of June 29, 1893, discontinued the use of the 'ET' mark which had been created on January 13, 1864, for marking plate coming from countries without customs conventions, and replaced it by an 'owl' in an oval frame for gold and a 'swan' for silver. This reform had been rendered necessary by the Customs Law of January 11, 1892, which stipulated that all imported gold and silver plate should comply with the same conditions as plate manufactured in France"
"The 'chimera' mark, which was being used for imported watches and clocks, was abolished. All goods of this nature, no matter where they come from, had to bear the 'owl' or 'swan' mark, but any watches or clocks marked with the 'chimera' are still in order"
My apologies again.
Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:02 am
Well if you are positive it is France - then it must be.
In my opinion it is danish from the Island Bornholm and the city Svaneke.
(svane is danish for swan)
City mark is a swan in an oval and the silversmith August Fridrich Wilhelm MÃ¸ser born 1787 uses city mark around 1829 (in Svaneke) as his mark.
That correspond with your idea of around 1800 - dont know what is correct. Where did you aquier this piece? (i mean conuntry, city)
Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:13 am
let us see a picture of code of arms. Might tell something.
Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 5:33 am
Hi Miles, Pat and Hose,
Hose's comments are interesting. These are three copies of the French import mark that I've found.
Note none show any water(?) feature in the background.
Hose, do you have a picture of the Svaneke mark?
Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:29 am
Hose, I bought it in the south of England.
Here is a photo of the armorial and a better picture of the box itself.
Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:35 pm
I have the swan in a book. I searched for a piece when I was in Svaneke this summer - but I did not find any ;(
Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:38 am
Zwickau (Germany) had also a swan.
Posted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 6:42 pm
I have a swan-mark without water
it looks like a french import mark
Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 6:45 pm
Here is another swan mark on a c.1770 English teaspoon.
Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 9:16 pm
Maybe it's time to break out the calipers and compare mark size?