Friday, February 15, 2013

Precious (metal) Przemysl

Dear Blog-friend Marla's ancestors were goldsmiths in Przemysl. Below, she researches:
My RAUCHER family came from Przmeysl, Poland, today at the Ukraine border. My great-grandfather Selig and his son Marcus were goldsmiths in that town. They emigrated to NY in 1891 and 1897, respectively, where they continued this occupation. Marcus' son, David (my grandfather) later also went into this line of work. Logan advises me that you had an ancestor who was a famous goldsmith from Lwow, and that you are something of an expert on Galician Jewish goldsmiths' marks. I am wondering if perhaps you have some info or leads that might be of interest to me for my Przemysl ancestors Selig and Marcus RAUCHER/RAUSCHER?
How nice of Logan to call me an expert. I have done lots of research in this area, hoping to find more of Baruch Dornhelm's (From Lemberg) works with some success. One problem is that many Polish -Ukranian Jewish goldsmiths did not sign much of their work. I can give you a list of some key books to look at and I will look myself. I never found our relatives master mark in a book. I did find his brother's in Vienna but maybe you will be more successful. Fortunately, the family has his tools, including his mark. Do you have the mastermark they used in New York? It could be the same. Did they work for themselves? The best resource is probably in the Polish/Ukrainian Town Archives of business records. Contacting the archive is one resource I have not done as yet so I am guessing. There was an assay office in every town. Pieces that are marked have the town mark, year and metal quality marks and sometimes the maker mark. Let me know what questions you have. I will send you some book titles/ internet sites. They are in various languages. Looking forward to hearing from you, Marilyn P.S. I have a great grandmother Penner/Panner from Przemysl area.
Brief dead-end...
I am afraid I have no information on the "mastermark" my RAUCHERs may have used, either in NY or in Przemysl. Nor do I know if they worked for themselves or for others, in either location. I have personal experience in the Przemysl archive and also with a professional researcher and friend who lives in Lviv who has done quite a bit of work in that archive as well. Perhaps I can pursue this avenue, as you have kindly suggested. In the meantime, if you can please send book and internet references my way, I would be most appreciative.
The mark of Przemysl...
I found the story of your discovery of your grandfather fascinating. Now I understand your search better. Having been away this last year or so from my research, I will have to review what I have. The timing is perfect since I have planned to start the process to do something productive with this research. There are many books on Jewish Art, which includes silversmiths but one stands out because its focus is Galicia and the vicinity. "SILVER: Masterpieces of Jewish Art" by A.Kantsedikas I am assuming that your gggrandfather made Jewish items as well as secular and other. Also, if you can get all the marriage records of your gggrandfather in Przmysl, you might find information about his apprenticeship signed by the master and required for the marriage. The mark for the Przmysl assay office was F1, in a rectangle, for the years 1866-1922. This would be in addition to other marks, the mastermark and the fineness mark. Their are lists of mastermarks online. I hope this is useful. I have to dig a little deeper for the references for mastermark sources. Best Regards, Marilyn