An elegant looking early 20th century jewellery casket with elegant embossed scene’s depicting 19th century rural life. The inside of the casket is gilt and there is a central look for security.
Weight: 25 troy ounces/780 grams
Height: 3.1 inches/8cm
Length: 9 inches/23cm
Width: 4.5 inches/11.5cm
Condition: Excellent throughout. No key.
Hanau silver was largely imported in UK between the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. Berthold Mueller was an import firm, who distributed a lot of Neresheimer silver – see John Culme: The Directory of Gold-and Silversmiths, Jewellers and Allied Traders 1838-1914, Vol.1 page, page 335. The firm changed its name 1915 to Berthold Miller and was listed as wholesale silversmiths and jewellers, antique reproduction in silver, ivories, miniatures, enamels, and so forth.
From the middle to the end of the nineteenth century copies of old silver, and items designed in an amalgamation of historic styles, satisfied customer demand and preference. Many firms in Europe and in the United States produced this type of silver. Generally speaking, the recognition of reproduction silver does not present a problem since it is marked according to the laws of the country of origin. Contrary to this, the antique silver industry of Hanau chose to mark its output with fantasy marks. It is difficult to say if this was practiced with a clear intent to deceive. But it is strange that the spurious marks somewhat resemble old marks, and are also harmonized with the style of the piece. For example, French rococo style reproductions are marked with French looking marks, German seventeenth century-inspired pieces got German-looking marks, and so on. Furthermore, most Hanau firms chose as company marks styles reminiscent of seventeenth and eighteenth century maker’s marks. Mark stamping as practiced in Hanau would have been completely illegal in France or England, or for that matter in any other German city where a guild supervised the marking. But Hanau had a long tradition as a free-trade city.
With the production of “antique silver”, Hanau found a market niche, which brought its silver manufacturers enormous prosperity and worldwide reputation. The ‘father’ of this industry was August Schleissner. The other leading firm of Hanau was Neresheimer, founded in 1890 as a partnership of August and Ludwig Neresheimer with Jean Schlingloff. Right from the start Neresheimer offered a wide range of highly decorative objects like nefs, tankards, coconut and nautilus cups, and other sumptuous sideboard pieces. Most of the information on this page are obtained from Dorothea Bustyn’s articles on ASCAS-Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver- website: www.ASCASonline.org