My Genealogy

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Silver Link with the Past

Four years ago, less one month, in my post Laurentius Fenech Birth 1763 I transcribed the birth record of the son of Joanne Fenech and his wife Maria, to whom they gave the names Cajetanus Laurentius Annettus. His Godparents were two eminent personas at his time: Cajetanus Grima: Architect and Lawyer of Courts, and the daughter of Annetto Pullicino. Moreover, the baptism was celebrated by the Archpriest of Valletta, rather than the parish priest of Attard. There I had posed the question: what linkages was there between this family and Valletta noblemen?

Having recently discovered the Geneanum website, I discovered one possible clue: His mother Maria was born Vassallo, daughter of Mro Angelo Vassallo and Maddalena nee Magro. This link to higher class would explain such important people present at his baptism. But who was Annetto Pullicino?

Searching online there was little to be found, save for an auction listing with a Maltese Silver sugar basin by Annetto Pullicino dated 1723 which was sold by auction last year. Turns out that Sig Annetto Pullicino was a silversmith during the time of the Knights, specifically during GrandMaster Pinto's reign. This led me to a search through Valletta for some trace of his work... from the Museum of Archeaology to the Palace Armoury where the curator, the kind Robert, suggested I refer to two books by a certain Jimmy Farrugia: Domestic Silver and Ecclesiastic Silver. Off I went to the National Library next door and managed to find the Domestic Silver book. Looking at the index there were only two mentions of the name Annetto Pullicino, and were text-only and little informative. However, as there were a number of illustrations, I starting looking through the pages and, certainly enough, under the section 'Other Silver' I found this lovely mid-18th century oil lamp bearing the mark of Annetto Pullicino. EUR 0.23 got me a photocopy of it which I am reproducing hereunder.
According to an online dictionary on oil lamps, the items hanging from the central rod are "snuffers, tweezers and estinguishers" and the emblem bearing the client's noble family's coat-of-arms served as a shade. Unfortunately I was unable to decipher the family's surname on the shade.
Whilst I will be on the lookout for more items silver items of this Master Craftsman, I wil for now cherish this find, giving me a tangible silver link to the past...

No comments: