Fiddle and thread teaspoon

PHOTOS REQUIRED - marks + item
Granmaa
co-admin
Posts: 1734
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2006 9:32 am
Location: London
Contact:

Fiddle and thread teaspoon

Postby Granmaa » Thu Aug 10, 2006 12:20 pm

Here is a fiddle and thread teaspoon with the Minerva's head and 1 for 95% silver. Could someone tell me the maker and date? Also on the front of the stem near the bowl, there is a peculiar stamp which seems like it could have been impressed by accident. I have seen this on other French spoons as well. Can anyone offer a theory for this?

Miles

Image
Image
.

admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2492
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2005 6:52 pm

Postby admin » Thu Aug 10, 2006 12:43 pm

there is a peculiar stamp which seems like it could have been impressed by accident
No accident, and theoretically you should always see one of these on a piece of post 1830's French flatware or holloware. The peculiar stamp you refer to is called a bigorne and it is a counterstamp to the Minerva head. When the Minerva head was struck, the spoon stem was resting on an anvil horn that was engraved with twentyone bands of different insect forms. As the Minerva was stamped, so was the insectile bigorne mark counterstamped to the opposite side, you'll see that its placement matches the standard mark exactly.
They were instituted ca.1835 and the reason was to make a forgery of the standard mark more difficult. If one can read the bugs, they also provide info on where the piece was assayed.
Perhaps another member can flesh out the details more thoroughly and identify the maker.
Regards, Tom

Here is a diagram of a bigorne iron taken from Tardy (click on thumbnail to see large image, big file, may take some time to load)
Image
.

Granmaa
co-admin
Posts: 1734
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2006 9:32 am
Location: London
Contact:

Postby Granmaa » Thu Aug 10, 2006 4:25 pm

Thanks very much Tom. That really was news to me. It seems a very strange way to counteract fraud as it rather disrupts the pattern on the spoon. In England, wardens were used to try to prevent fraud; however, in the provincial assay towns this was not terribly effective.

Miles
.

admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2492
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2005 6:52 pm

Postby admin » Thu Aug 10, 2006 4:38 pm

Miles,
Apparently, the marking on the stem did bother either silversmiths or their customers. Someone must have lobbied for a change, I'm not sure of exactly when, but by the 1870's, the standard mark & maker's mark were moved to the shoulders of the spoon bowl or just above a fork's tines, leaving the countermark on the reverse.

Regards, Tom
.

frenchie_myriam
contributor
Posts: 236
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 3:05 pm
Location: Brussels

Postby frenchie_myriam » Sun Aug 20, 2006 9:35 am

Hello,

Could you please tell what is the second letter. I can well decifer the letter L but to help you I need the second one.

Thanking you in advance for your reply

Best Regards. Myriam
.

Granmaa
co-admin
Posts: 1734
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2006 9:32 am
Location: London
Contact:

Postby Granmaa » Sun Aug 20, 2006 11:27 am

Thankyou for your help Myriam; unfortunately I can't see the mark any better than in the picture, the thread pattern has gone right over it. I can only see a straight line and two serifs so it could be a B, D, E, F, H, I, L, P, or R. Can you work it out from this?

Miles
.

frenchie_myriam
contributor
Posts: 236
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 3:05 pm
Location: Brussels

Postby frenchie_myriam » Sun Aug 20, 2006 11:40 am

Dear Miles,

I guess the only possibility is Leon BAUJOIS who was in operation between 1877 and 1899 and his workshop was located 90 rue Saint Sebastien in Paris.

His hallmark is an L , a cross, a B and one 5 pointed star above and below. So I guess this is the one.

Hope this helped.

Best Regards
Myriam
.

Granmaa
co-admin
Posts: 1734
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2006 9:32 am
Location: London
Contact:

Postby Granmaa » Sun Aug 20, 2006 11:49 am

Excellent, thankyou very much Myriam.

Miles
.


Return to “French Silver”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest