Monogrammed Ice Tongs

Discussion in 'Silver' started by Snowman Cometh, May 16, 2024.

  1. Snowman Cometh

    Snowman Cometh Active Member

    Alfred Bester was a sci-fi writer. His best known work is The Demolished Man from the 1950s. He died in 1987. The person who cared for him his final years just passed away. I got some very nice pieces from the auction of his things.

    One is an ice tong with B for Bester engraved at the top.

    I've tried looking up the markings. I'm pretty sure this is from the UK. I don't know if it's sterling or silverplate or who the manufacturer is. Even though I know the stand alone marking is from the maker.

    Looking through markings sites, I can find anything except the lion appears to be British.

    Does anyone recognize these markings?

    Thank You!
    004.JPG 002.JPG 003.JPG
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  2. Bakersgma

    Bakersgma Well-Known Member

    The lion passant makes the tongs sterling,
  3. bluumz

    bluumz Quite Busy

    Last edited: May 16, 2024
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  4. bluumz

    bluumz Quite Busy

    I believe I found the maker:
    John & Henry Lias
    whose mark is:


    Your mark matches the one shown for 1817/18.

    Scroll down THIS page and you will find the mark.
    Screenshot below.
    (Again, many thanks to Silvermakersmarks!)

    Screenshot (136).png
    Last edited: May 16, 2024
  5. Snowman Cometh

    Snowman Cometh Active Member

    THANK YOU for the info (and Bakersgma) and here's the actual tongs. They're nothing special. But, since they were Bester's I wanted them. 005.JPG
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  6. bluumz

    bluumz Quite Busy

    Thanks for the photo! They look simply elegant. :)
    The tongs look small but there's nothing in the photo to give a sense of scale so I may be wrong. What size are they? I'm wondering if they're actually sugar tongs, not ice tongs.
    I wonder if they are a Bester family heirloom or if he, like me, just liked to acquire appropriately monogrammed antiques.
  7. Snowman Cometh

    Snowman Cometh Active Member

    They're about 5.5" long. They look a little to big to be sugar tongs. But, the grabber part look a little to small for ice.

    If the year they were made was 1817, then I imagine that he bought them after he became famous. There was a set of sterling napkin holders. Dinner was ready a few minutes before they sold. I put in a bid, and went to eat. They sold for $100. They were absolutely worth it. They were monogrammed Alfie and Rolly (his wife). The tongs make up for losing them.
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  8. bluumz

    bluumz Quite Busy

    I meant to say that I wondered if they came down in the Bester family as an heirloom piece, originally owned by his great-great-etc grandparents or something... Or if he simply bought an antique that already had a "B" monogram on it. :)
    Last edited: May 16, 2024
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  9. Snowman Cometh

    Snowman Cometh Active Member

    Looking at Bester's wikipedia bio (always reliable - that is sarcasm) they might have been handed down. They seemed to be well off New Yorkers. Unfortunately, there's no way of finding out.

    These are the two pieces I really wanted. They're drawings done by Louis Lupas. One is inscribed by him. The man looks familar. I can't place the name (he wrote it in the inscription. I get the S at the beginning and that's it) The second I just got fairly cheap. It's well done. It's a different style by Lupas.
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  10. Aquitaine

    Aquitaine Is What It IS! But NEVER BORED!

    I LIKE both of those renderings even tho very different!!! But his personalized one the best........tried to figure out what it said........."Soulkers" is a possibility, or something like that..........the lower image "might" be a bit clearer........

    Autographed to-1.jpg

    THIS-2-EnhancedAutographed to-1-topaz-enhance-1x.jpg
  11. Marote

    Marote Well-Known Member

    I kept reading it as GL HG :rolleyes:

    But isn't this one of the later marks with the dot/dash?
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  12. Marote

    Marote Well-Known Member

    "To our dearest friends the Soulters (?) - from the Lupases"?
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  13. Snowman Cometh

    Snowman Cometh Active Member

    Thank you. I made a post in art about the Lupas drawings, with the answer are looking for. I actually figured it out on my own.

    A book went up for auction that I didn't even look at. It was titled Artists In Music of Today. Lupas illustrated it. In the copy for auction, it was inscribed to the same people. The Soulkos. The letters were much clearer than in my drawing. Who were they?

    First, Lupas' S is not an S, it's a lowercase G (g) used as a capital G. The name becomes Goulkos. Since it's plural, remove the S from the end. It's Goulko.

    Alfred Bester married Rolly Goulko in 1936. The inscribed drawing is from 1933. I imagine these were given to her parents. She inherited them. They hung on their walls till I bought them.
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  14. DragonflyWink

    DragonflyWink Well-Known Member

    Georgian silver sugar tongs were typically from 5" to 6" long, sugar bowls and baskets were rather large back then (and ice tongs wouldn't really be made until later in the 19th century)...

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  15. Snowman Cometh

    Snowman Cometh Active Member

    Thank you. That makes sense.
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