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Silver Date Marks

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Silver Dictionary' of A Small Collection of Antique Silver and Objects of vertu , a 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 In Scotland the craft was theoretically supervised by the Edinburgh Goldsmiths' Incorporation, but in practice its influence outside the capital was limited and a plethora di unofficial Scottish Provincial marks was created. London leopard's head crowned until London leopard's head uncrowned present. London lion head erased. Birmingham anchor present. Birmingham bicentennial commemorative

Today there are still offices in Edinburgh, where hallmarking has been regulated since the 15th century, and in Birmingham and Sheffield, where assay offices were established by an Act of Parliament in The leopard's head silver hallmark, which has been used in various forms as the symbol of the London Assay Office since hallmarking began.

Most British and Irish silver carries a number of stamps indicating not just the standard or purity mark typically the lion passant but also the initials of the maker, a date letter and the place of assay.

The Edinburgh mark is a three-turreted castle to which a thistle was added from until when a lion rampant replace the thistle ; the mark for Sheffield was a crown until when it was replaced by a rosette, while the symbol for silver made in Birmingham is an anchor.

Dublin silver is struck with a crowned harp, to which a seated figure of Hibernia was added in Sequences of historical marks for the following offices can be viewed through the links below reproduced courtesy of the British Hallmarking Council.

London Hallmarks. Birmingham Hallmarks.

Dating English hallmarks helps to you to put a value on gold, platinum and silver products. How to recogonize British hallmarks and UK hallmarks and. The step by step guide to trace British sterling silver hallmarks. the the four surviving Assay Offices use a uniform system of dating (optional from ). How to read British Silver Hallmarks & Makers' Marks, Illustrated & Explained including the datemarks of England, Ireland & Scotland.

Sheffield Hallmarks. Edinburgh Hallmarks. Collectors will often place a premium on silver hallmarked in other regional centres which have since closed.

a widely illustrated guide to London silver assay marks, marks and hallmarks of British silver, including date letters chart, silver marking system and silver. To date your silver from its hallmark first identify the assay office (e.g. anchor for Birmingham, leopard's head for London, etc.). NOTE: Since 1 January the traditional fineness mark (e.g. lion passant) and the date letter have both been optional. The compulsory components. The hallmarking of English silver is based on a combination of marks that allow the identification of the origin and the age of each piece. The marks are.

Some of these ceased hallmarking as early as the Stuart period the Norwich assay office identified by a crowned lion passant and a crowned rosette shut inwhile others such as Chester three wheat sheaves and a sword and Glasgow a tree, bird, bell and fish were still operating into the post-war era. For many reasons town silversmiths in Ireland and Scotland seldom sent their plate to Edinburgh, Glasgow or Dublin to be assayed.

Click on the letter you want to date or on a date letter cycle (column) in the table The Hallmarking Act of brought the remaining 4 British Assay Offices. Hallmarks. Silver hallmarks in the UK date back to the medieval period and the Silver hallmarks are a form of regulation and consumer protection dating back. The date letters below show the background shape for silver. The same letters were used for Gold, which has been marked in Birmingham since , but with a.

Here, often for reasons of security and economy, it was prudent to operate outside the jurisdiction of the metropolitan assay houses of Dublin and Edinburgh. Instead, they stamped the silver themselves with a maker's mark, a town mark or combinations of these and other marks.

The hallmark of the Limerick silversmith Joseph Johns.

C - Sterling. The mark used was a profile portrait of the reigning monarch's head.

The use of this mark was abolished in Its purpose was to establish when a piece was presented for assay or testing of the silver content. 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. Originally, makers' marks were pictograms, but by the beginning of the 17th Century it had become common practice to use the maker's initials.

A letter "F" in an oval cartouche was stamped alongside the regular hallmarks, the maker's mark being that of the British importing firm sponsor's mark. Beginning in and new system was instituted in which each assay office stamped its own symbol as the import mark, this replaced the town mark. The lion passant mark was replaced by a numerical standard mark.

Unchanged were the required date letter and sponsor's mark. Items bearing British Import marks will sometimes have additional marks from the country of origin, sometimes not. A letter mark coinciding with the date of assay was first introduced in London in Originally it signified the Assay Master responsible for testing and marking the silver.

The date letters were changed on the day that the Goldsmith's Guild wardens were elected, originally St Dunstan's Day 19 May until the Restoration and 29 May thereafter.

If its made of gold or silver and sold in Britain it needs a hallmark! - London Assay Office Visit

The Hallmarking Act of brought the remaining 4 British Assay Offices London, Birmingham, Sheffield and Edinburgh into line with each other with the date letter now changing from on 1 January each year.

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