What is the source of this non-American hallmark?

PHOTOS REQUIRED - marks + item
legrandmogol
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Re: What is the source of this non-American hallmark?

Postby legrandmogol » Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:18 am

Since everyone is adding there two cents I thought I would add my own and mention that most modern fantasy pieces are usually very elaborate and designed to wow tourists and these are anything but, also the resolution on my computer shows much hand crafting on these pieces. If someone were to show them to me as 18th century Venetian, I wouldn't doubt it. Also most Italian fantasy marks don't strike the marks more than once in multiple places. While of course, it is possible someone went out of there way to create a fake rather than fantasy/homage, these would not be big money antiques so why bother?

amena
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Re: What is the source of this non-American hallmark?

Postby amena » Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:37 am

Hi Grandmogol
I do not know what you mean by "big money", but a small sugar bowl with these marks has been sold for 2500 euros.
If it is a fake it seems to me a very big money.
Best
Amena

legrandmogol
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Re: What is the source of this non-American hallmark?

Postby legrandmogol » Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:39 am

Maybe at one time or at certain shops and auction houses or with provable provenance and makers marks, But I come across a lot of interesting 18th-century pieces that are much larger and sold for less than 1000 euro. Now, yes, as you have not seen the pieces I am referencing you should, of course, take my word with a grain of salt. Also, I openly confess I have limited hands-on experience with 18th century Italian, let alone Venetian pieces so I am not anything but an observant amateur. However, these marks strike me entirely as legitimate. The double marking is most likely representative of silver purity and its placed in two places because they started as two pieces. The holy spirit mark is most likely a town mark and not a makers mark (who am I to question a published expert? No one, so take it for what its worth). My oldest piece of Venetian silver is a spoon circa 1700 and both the bowl and handle have the Lion of St.Mark hallmark since they were separate pieces.
Now if this is a fake, it would most likely be a fairly modern one as most of the fantasy fakes from the early 20th century are usually quite elaborate. They would have been designed to grab the attention of tourists who wanted statement pieces for curio cabinets, these are only special if you are a modern collector. And again an earlier fantasy maker would not have needed to properly hallmark the piece as his customer base would have no idea if it was right or wrong anyway.
Now allow me to reiterate that I am not an expert and these are just my thoughts on the matter. I do think though that as eager as people should be to question if a piece is authentic, don't forget to ask as many questions about why it would be faked. I think it is fair to presume that we have all seen a lot of actual, unquestionable fakes in our lifetimes. How does this hold up to those in your experience?
For what its worth I've enclosed pictures of my spoon if it anyway helps.

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brgrt
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Re: What is the source of this non-American hallmark?

Postby brgrt » Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:52 am

To summarize. Neither my piece nor the similar piece I found online is early 19th century, from Venice or Parma. Both have Croff’s hallmark (though the online seller doesn’t know this), but while my urns may be raised from one piece, the online seller’s is not. So that piece can’t be Croff. Mine may be, but it is doubtful. it’s just too improbable for so many early 18th century “Croff” pieces to be floating around, especially when they come as a pair, as mine do. To get a definitive answer, I’d have to take my urns to an appraiser who is an expert in early 18th century Italian silver. What do you make of the fact that our pieces are so similar?

Tamara

brgrt
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Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2018 6:19 pm

Re: What is the source of this non-American hallmark?

Postby brgrt » Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:35 am

To expand the summary, here is legrandmogol, who entertains the possibility that these urns (and I guess the online bowl) are not fakes but early 19th century handmade pieces with hallmarks that resemble Croff’s but are actually town hallmarks. He sees workmanship in the pieces and intentionality in the hallmarks, and why would anyone fake such unshowy pieces (which is a question I asked)? I contacted the seller when I first saw her piece. I could email her again and ask why she thinks her bowl is early 19th century. I could also tell her that her information about the hallmarks is incorrect. What do the interested parties think?

Tamara

amena
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Re: What is the source of this non-American hallmark?

Postby amena » Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:02 am

Hi Tamara
Since you ask my opinion I will also make a summary of my position
1) Sept 2015 I said
I recently found this little tray in the style of eighteenth-century. It’s definitely hand wrought, and, on the back, the plate has some imperfections that would confirm an old execution. In the books that I consulted I found no other mark that can match these. My feeling is that it is an object with fantasy marks of an unknown date. Every opinion will be welcome .
2) Oct. 2015 I said
The tray is genuine of eighteenth century.
The silversmith is Giovan Battista Croff of Milan………….. Actually the merit
(to have recognized it) is not mine, the mark has been recognized by a collector / dealer who I met yesterday in a market………………….
3) Sept 2017
I hope that my tray is genuine, but I would not bet, and for sure and I will not buy any other objects with that mark.
4) Dec 2018 Theodorich quotes my post and I feel compelled to say that I'm no longer sure that the mark belongs to Croff and I explain why.
5) I have said several times that I have no evidence to say whether the pieces with that mark are ancient or not and that any clue that can help to remove any doubt is welcome
Regards
Amena

brgrt
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2018 6:19 pm

Re: What is the source of this non-American hallmark?

Postby brgrt » Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:01 am

HI Amena,

I’m going to write to the Italian assay office and see what they say about the hallmark.

Tamara

Italiansilver
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Re: What is the source of this non-American hallmark?

Postby Italiansilver » Mon Apr 20, 2020 11:17 am

Hi all,
one pair of years ago I found this two small (very small, max 10 cm of height) vases at an auction in the unsold items and I wanted to buy, but there was an error because were already sold. So now I have only a picture.
What I remember is that the mark initially was resembling something like an angel...and that wee for sure not modern, not a XX century item.
Then I learnt from amena that could be the Holy Spirit.

Now I see this topic and the vases are quite similar.

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