Confusing Russian Kokoshnik Mark On Silver Spoon

Discussion in 'Silver' started by Mill Cove Treasures, Mar 19, 2016.

  1. Mill Cove Treasures

    Mill Cove Treasures Well-Known Member

    This is so different than the marks I found on the 925 and other websites. On my spoon, the face is to the left and facing left of the number 84 and the letter stamp doesn't look like anything they have listed. All the other stamps are to the right and/or facing right. The letter looks cut off at the top but the base doesn't match any of the city marks that are shown. Is this a Kokoshnik mark?

    The makers mark looks like B3M. This mark is inside the bowl and also on the handle. Next to it on the handle is another mark, a head looking up and facing right and two dots to the left of the head. I couldn't find anything to match the head with or without the dots. I also looked under the assay marks. I'm confused. Any help is much appreciated. Thank you!





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  2. moreotherstuff

    moreotherstuff Izorizent

    Looking at a Faberge book, it says that a right facing head combined with a Greek letter was used as an assay mark from 1908-27. It says the letter Alpha designated St Petersburg, and Lambda designated Moscow. It doesn't mention Tau, which yours seems to be, but the dates may apply.
  3. Mill Cove Treasures

    Mill Cove Treasures Well-Known Member

    Thank you. That is the date period I originally thought it was until I realized it didn't match exactly.
  4. moreotherstuff

    moreotherstuff Izorizent

    According to this site, Tau designates the Kostromskoy district:

    That site also shows several marks with the same orientation as yours.

    As near as I can tell, that's east-central Russia.
  5. Mill Cove Treasures

    Mill Cove Treasures Well-Known Member

    Thank you!!! It even states that the mark was used for "small" items . I forgot to post the size but it is a small spoon, maybe 3 or 4 inches.
  6. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    It's really sweet !!!!
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  7. Ladybranch

    Ladybranch Well-Known Member

    Just dropped in to the forums to catch up on posted stuff and such while snowbirding! This spoon caught my attention. Moreotherstuff has answered your question. Following might give a bit more info. This spoon has 2 types of kokoshnik marks. BTW, kokoshnik is the name of the headdress the woman is wearing. From a query on the silver salon website:

    "The two shapes - oval and circular - had two different purposes. The oval shape was the primary general purpose mark for gold & silver wares, and the assay office was indicated on it by a Greek letter behind her head..

    "The circular mark was a garniture mark; i.e., a mark struck on small items and/or the auxilliary parts of an ensemble or suite. ... Here, the assay office was indicated by a Morse-code like series of dots and dashes around the perimeter of the mark..."

    Your circular mark has 2 dots behind the head. I'm not sure which city this represented because I can't see them well enough. Following are a couple of sites showing the circles with the right facing heads and the dots. Maybe you can see them better than me.

    Scroll about 2/3rds down the page:
    Scroll down hardly a 1/4 of the page to see handrawn circles with the heads and dots:

    Here's the query on the Silver Salon site. Do read Blakstone's reply:

    BTW, there are several Russian arrow spoons pictured online. Some are calling them caviar or demi tasse spoons. Here are some on the SpoonPlanet website.

    Links to others:

    --- Susan
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  8. Ladybranch

    Ladybranch Well-Known Member

    Just a thought, the mark under the woman's head in the 1st pic may be a badly rubbed Pi mark for Vilnius and the 2 dots behind her head in the 3 pic might be for Vilnius/Vilensk also?

    --- Susan

    image.jpeg image.jpeg
  9. Bakersgma

    Bakersgma Well-Known Member

    I have nothing to add, but wanted to wave hello to Susan :singing: and say to Mill Cove what an interesting bunch of silver pieces you've posted lately! Fantastic education for all of us! (And great pictures!!)

    Mill Cove Treasures likes this.
  10. Aquitaine

    Aquitaine Is What It IS! But NEVER BORED!

    Mill Cove..........what a SWEET little it!!!!!
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  11. moreotherstuff

    moreotherstuff Izorizent

    I think if it provides continuity between the marks it makes sense.
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  12. Mill Cove Treasures

    Mill Cove Treasures Well-Known Member

    :( Sorry, I'm not getting my emails letting me know that I had responses.

    Susan, thank you so much for all those links! This has been a great education. The two dots look the same to my eyes and, as moreotherstuff stated, it does seem to provide continuity.

    I did see some others while I was researching. What a difference when these are cleaned!

    Thank you Bakersgma. It's been educational for me too. I completely forgot I had these. When I was in college, I worked at a flea market (70's) and started buying back then. It started out of necessity when I moved into my first apartment. It was the least expensive way to stock my kitchen! Not all of these were used but many were.

    I have a huge box to go through so I know I will be posting more.

    Thank you all so much for the help!!
    komokwa likes this.
  13. Bakersgma

    Bakersgma Well-Known Member

    Oh goodie! A huge box! Music to my ears. :happy::joyful:
    Mill Cove Treasures likes this.
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