Silver hallmarks have been used in Norway since the sixteenth century. In 1891 a national system was established that is still in use today. The current system requires only a silver standard mark accompanied by a makers mark. The old Norwegian standard of .830 silver purity is still used but beginning about 1920, the .925 silver purity began replacing it and is now the foremost standard used. The letters NM are sometimes seen on flatware, the abbreviation is an indication of a design patent or copyright.
This wonderful asparagus tongs is one of four serving pieces from the same pattern in my store. The items were originally part of a very large set of matching flatware owned by a family by the name of 'Witkowski' from Berlin, Germany, in the 1920's and early 1930's before being captured and sent to a concentration camp under the Hitler regime. Some of their silver service was later recovered from which came these items. A very plain, yet elegant and timely design, by one of the premier Norwegian silversmiths of the era. The pieces are only stamped '830S' with no makers hallmark, probably only a few large items were completely marked by the maker. It may have been a commissioned set as the weight of each item is quite heavy in comparison to the normal weight of flatware items.
The asparagus tongs has a flat ornately pierced top and deeply ribbed bottom pair of tongs with a yoke mechanism. The serving tongs measure 8 3/4" in length and weigh 6 ounces. They are in wonderful condition with no damages.
Norway 830 Silver - Asparagus Tongs - Monogrammed 'W' - Circa 1920