84 Sterling - Russian?

Discussion in 'Silver' started by MIRED, Jul 16, 2020.

  1. MIRED

    MIRED Active Member

    IMG_6884.JPG IMG_6885.JPG This sterling kiddush cup is marked with just 84 in a box. I read that Russian Sterling always has other marks also. An identical item is for sale on Ebay claiming to be Russian. So I'm wondering if this is Russian or if not can the country of origin be identified? Thanks in advance!
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  2. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    I see a shot glass...not a jewish item....
    how big did u say it was?
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  3. MIRED

    MIRED Active Member

    It's 2 1/4" high and 2" diameter across top. It could be used as a shot glass but a Kiddush cup is for wine or grape juice at Jewish holidays.
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  4. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    The word sterling was probably added for export, but it has no business being there. If it has an 84 mark, it isn't sterling. 84 is the Russian mark for 84 zolotniki, which is the same as .875 silver fineness. Sterling is .925.:)
    Russia has only begun to use sterling silver very recently. Old and antique Russian silver can be of a higher or a lower fineness, but it is never sterling.

    I don't know if anyone knows of old Russian 84 silver which is also marked sterling? It looks a bit sus to me, but I could be wrong. There are many fakes out there.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2020
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  5. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    Any writing or design on the box?
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  6. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    Think this was hand decorated in a rather laborious process. If so, would argue for kiddush cup. @Hollyblue ?
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  7. Hollyblue

    Hollyblue Well-Known Member

    It looks like it was hand engraved by a drunk who couldn't pay attention to what he was doing.
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  8. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    It's not any kiddush cup I'm familiar with....

    & I've bought and sold Russian ones....too.

    U pour wine in it and it'll fall over & spill out !!

    & Holly...makes a good point ..... the workmanship is at best.. haphazard !
    Not fit for a saying prayers with ..........
  9. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    He swore it was just the one drink, honest. After all, he had to know if the balance was right, didn't he?
  10. MIRED

    MIRED Active Member

    I would say it is definitely a Kiddush cup - my recollection is that my mom told me it belonged to her brother, who died in 1935, and would have been given to him for his bar mitzvah around 1930. A google search for Judaica shows many examples of this type beaker as a Kiddush cup as well as ones with stems.

    There is no box with it so no info there.

    The 84 plus sterling is a mystery. This one on Ebay is identical to mine and has the same marking. I understood the marks weren't adding up but was hoping there might be an explanation. Thanks for all of your input.


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  11. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    Does your mother's family have roots in Russia or Eastern Europe?
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  12. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    I would call it a vodka cup.........
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  13. MIRED

    MIRED Active Member

    Yes but her grandparents, not parents. Mom was born in 1925 so that's way back.
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  14. Shangas

    Shangas Underage Antiques Collector and Historian

    If it's Russian, '84' is 84 Zolotnik, which is 87.5% silver.

    Definitely not sterling, but it is silver.

    Other Russian silver grades were 88, and 91. 84 seems to be most common, though. Every piece of Russian silver I've ever owned has been 84.
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  15. DragonflyWink

    DragonflyWink Well-Known Member

    The form and decoration would be typical of a Russian 'stopka' (vodka cup), but they have often been used as L'Chaim or toasting cups (sometimes called small Kiddush cups) and similar are still produced as such, as well as footed forms. Because Judaica is desirable, the Russian vodka cups are often offered as 'Kiddush cups', but it's rarely the case - and though in the Russian style (their engraving was also often simple and somewhat carelessly done) this piece is not Russian, it does not bear the proper marks.

    Your first link shows that the cups are still being produced in Israel, available with or without the Magen David, the cup in your second link originally had four identical cups, suggesting a set of L'Chaim cups.

    There are quite a few similarly marked cups found online, some of those bearing Magen Davids, stamped with either the '84' in cartouche like yours, or the '84' stamped incuse in the same sans-serif font as the 'STERLING', suspect they are most likely .925 fineness and intended for the American market (though Palestine. Interestingly, though engraving isn't really a reliable dating criterion, a quick search found two different engraved with 1930 dates, fitting in with your family history (should be kept in mind that those histories are often incorrect, garbled with time), but it would seem to suggest a dating period - Palestinian silver, especially Judaica, often bore '84P' marks, so that might suggest the cups' origin (should mention that Palestine was a British territory from 1920-48)...


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    Last edited: Jul 17, 2020
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  16. MIRED

    MIRED Active Member

    Thanks you for being so generous with your vast knowledge!
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  17. MIRED

    MIRED Active Member

    Oh dear, I think I just realize why you asked this. I said the 84 mark was in a box. I see now the correct term is cartouche, not box. Please forgive me, I'm brand new at this.
  18. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    No, it's not you, it's me, to coin a phrase. I realized later that I had not read your description carefully enough. It's fine to call it a box. When I reread it was perfectly clear what was meant. First time I picked up 'box' but not the preposition.
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  19. DragonflyWink

    DragonflyWink Well-Known Member

    Ughhh - don't know how my fumbling fingers put that stray '(though Palestine' in there, but it should have been edited out when I had a chance...

  20. Adrian Lewis

    Adrian Lewis Journeyman

    Is it possible this is Persian, as Persia was once a Russian vassal state and stamped their silver in the same manner. Sterling is the anomaly though.
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