Regards, Jules (An Old Slovak)
I'lll have to leave it up to antiques experts to tell you when objects
were marked that way, but I can tell you it's called a "hacek" (with the
hat over the "c" and pronounced "hacheck".) It is used to show that a "c"
is pronounced as "ch" and an "s" as "sh." Sometimes linguists just call
it the "hat."
This is a standard diacritical mark used in the Czech and other
languages. American typography doesn't usually have it, so we get around
it by spelling things other ways. (The name Fisher was originally Fiser
with a hacek over the "s".)
Tish Lehman (p...@umich.edu)
(frustrated at her inability to use appropriate diacritics in e-mail.)