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Hello all!

I'm copying this post from "Whadja Find? Ask Us! Identification and Evaluation" as this group is more appropriate to my topic (apologies Vicki if I'm doing it wrong :) ...

This piece was picked up by my father in law (we call him GPD) at a garage sale in Vancouver, BC. It was in a box of other items, the whole of which he bought outright.  The outer rim says, "H (space) PICARD (space) 1843." A hallmark can be seen on the handle; I've included my interpretation of what it might say. I do see the letters "AF," and GPD thinks it might be the initials for "Andrew G Forbes" (or someone affiliated with him?), from his book of English hallmarks c. 1770's. 

The "tray"diameter is about 2 3/8 inches wide, 3 inches total including the handle. Height is about 5/8 inch.

GPD has many reference books, but is stumped with finding any information regarding this piece. His guesses include something involved in sailing, maybe a doctor's item, maybe something belonging to the church? He suggested gazetteers of the time might hold some information, a direction I might help him with in the future as he has no access to the Internet. In the meanwhile, I would appreciate any information or guesses!

Cheers!

Alex 

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Replies to This Discussion

This is way too small to be called a tray. It is a wine-taster, also called a tastevin. It is not English, but it does look to be made of silver though the percentage isn't known until you find more marks. It is almost certainly French 19th century, probably (though not necessarily) made shortly before the owner's name and date was added (H Picard 1843). Your picture is not clear enough to make good conclusion about who made it - could be A.F. but it looks a bit odd which should be cleared up with a better picture. There should be at least one other very small mark on the piece - it may look like a dirt-filled dent, but if you clean it out and get a good camera you should be able to get pictures of them. Unlike English silver, you can't precisely date French silver, though if you find all the marks and take good pictures of them you can probably narrow it down a bit. Have GPD look in a French silver reference book, if he has one.

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