Below is list of marks applied by provincial assay offices which have now ceased operating: Chester - closed in 1962 Mark: three wheat sheaves and a sword Exeter - closed in 1883 Marks: a crowned X or a three-turreted castle Glasgow - closed in 1964 Mark: combined tree, bird, bell and fish Newcastle upon Tyne - closed in 1884 Mark: three separated turrets Norwich - closed by 1701 Mark: a crowned lion passant and a crowned rosette York - closed in 1856 Mark: half leopard's head, half fleur de lys and later five lions passant on a cross Scottish and Irish Provincial Silver For many reasons town silversmiths in Ireland and Scotland seldom sent their plate to Edinburgh, Glasgow or Dublin to be assayed. The Duty Mark The duty mark was only used between 1784 and 1890. It is a form of consumer protection, whose origin goes back almost 1000 years. Many people ask about the silver hallmarks that are located on sterling silver flatware, tea sets, and hollowware. It can be purchased directly from there or from any major book seller. These are useful in determining when a piece was made. If there are several pieces in the set do they all carry the same hallmarks? Looking to do further research? For additional information, see the Global Shipping Programme Good: A book that has been read, but is in good condition.
The United States has never used hallmarks per se. Thus a system was devised where each member of staff had , sometimes cut with the initials, but more often cut with a small symbol a star, a leaf, a triangle, etc. When Buying Antique Silver Use The Following Checklist 1. All are available in good bookshops and are an excellent source of information. The sovereign's head, or lack thereof, will narrow the date range.
Identify the Maker's Mark, they are listed by city and in alphabetical order by the first initial. The metal is tested and marked at special offices, regulated by the government, known as assay offices. In that year and the following year, the head faced left and was debossed indented rather than embossed raised up in relief. Armed with this book, the process of reading these marks can be split into the 5 simple steps shown below. It was not until 1856 that the leopard's head mark could have been used for any purpose other than a fineness mark.
Locate and identify the City Mark. However if the guidelines in this article are followed then the buyer will have a sound base from which to act. From 1786 to Victoria's reign, the King's head Duty Mark always faces right and is embossed like all other hallmarks. However, the crowned harp is often seen with another mark called the Hibernia which is similar to the Brittania Silver Mark of a seated lady. The Date Letter This letter indicates when the silver piece was made. The prime purpose of these marks is to show that the metal of the item upon which they are stamped is of a certain level of purity.
We may receive commission if your application for credit is successful. This pocket sized reference contains all of the marks that one is likely to encounter on a regular basis. To the collector, the main importance of this mark is that it helps you find the date letter. It is a form of consumer protection, whose origin goes back almost 1000 years. The inclusion of initial stamps alongside the hallmarks means that most makers can also be identified. Welcome This project has been 18 years in the making and now documents over 12,000 silver marks on 1,200+ pages and subpages.
The Town Mark The next mark to check for is the town mark. In Ireland, Dublin origin is deduced by the presence of the figure of the crowned harp and Hibernia. Establish that it has one of the Silver Standard Marks, if not it is likely silverplate or from a different country. If you can't see any of these 5 marks, the chances are that the item is either not British or is silverplated. It tells you if duty has been paid.
Simply flick through the book, looking at the top of the tables of marks to remind yourself if you forget. In reality the was a standard mark and its use applied to all goldsmiths throughout the land. If your piece has the Lion Passant or the number 925 then it is, in all probability, Sterling Silver. Silver Dictionary' of A Small Collection of Antique Silver and Objects of vertu, a 1500 pages richly illustrated website offering all you need to know about antique silver, sterling silver, silverplate, Sheffield plate, electroplate silver, silverware, flatware, tea services and tea complements, marks and hallmarks, articles, books, auction catalogs, famous silversmiths Tiffany, Gorham, Jensen, Elkington , history, oddities. The area of interest here in other languages is: Silber Punzen, Poincon, Poincons d'Argent, Contrastes y Marcas de la Plata, Feingehaltsstempel, Marchio di Garanzia, Zilver Stempel, Kjennetegn, Kennzeichen © 2000 - 2018 925-1000. The mark letter changed annually in May, the cycles of date letters were usually in strings of 20 and each cycle was differentiated by a changing of the font, letter case and shield shape. Fortunately, with the use of a single reference book, it is possible for even a complete novice to decipher the vast majority.
The site is intended for international use and, although it is written in English, much of the information should be comprehensible to foreign language speakers. . Although there are many books on the market which can be used to help read hallmarks, the standard book of reference, used by dealers and collectors world wide is Bradbury's Book of Hallmarks. It is also important to note that each town has a different series of letters, starting on a different year. Do you like the piece? Regional Centres Collectors will often place a premium on silver hallmarked in other regional centres which have since closed. Birmingham has the anchor, Chester the three wheat-sheaves and sword, Sheffield the crown and the Tudor rose from 1975. Most people would need to rely on the dealer or auction room from which the item was bought to identify the maker.