Dating silver plate marks
Antique silver hallmarks have been used to control the quality of goods made of silver since the 14th century and the organisation that regulates the craft, Goldsmiths Hall, gave the world the term hallmark.
This is to ensure it is of the required sterling silver standard and, provided it conforms to a standard, a series of symbols are stamped into each part of the item.
There was a simple reason for this seemingly Draconian behaviour in that the manufacture of silver and gold was allied to the minting of currency.
Sometimes called the Sterling Mark, the lion passant, the mark for Made in England, first appeared on English silver and gold in 1544.
Or maybe some of the original hallmarks were obliterated by damage or a sloppy repair. Particularly if you are dealing with a piece of hollowware, you should assume that all four marks are there, and just keep looking until you find them all.
The four basic categories of marks in the Dutch hallmarking system are described below. If you are lucky enough to own a piece of Dutch silver dating to the 17th or 18th centuries, you will need to consult Tardy’s International Hallmarks on Silver as the information that follows will not apply to you.
It should be said that the correct definition for punches present on silverplate is MARK, while the term HALLMARK is reserved to sterling silver items submitted to the "Hall" for verification of their fineness. S) (4) WHEN: the approximate date is early 1900, deduced by the combined presence of the mark ENGLAND (in use from early 1890s) and the Patent Office number 351065 (registered in 1899) (5) WHY: the inscription reads that the cup was presented to "Dr.
(1) WHO: the maker is PHILIP ASHBERRY & SONS identified by the Figural trade mark (paw feet with banner) and the initials PA&S(2) WHERE: the firm was active in Sheffield, identified by the "S" (on the right, after the maker's initials) (3) WHAT: the piece is identified by the stock (production) number 1414 and the base metal is Nickel Silver (E. Tighe from New Zealand emigrants in 1876" (the ship's surgeon averted a measles epidemic on board the Rangitiki) This is a page of 'The What is?
You must interpret all four marks together, so persevere until you find the complete set of hallmarks.Which had incidentally, been used as the gold assay mark for Sheffield when the Assay Office was first entitled to test gold, after March 1st 1904.Between 17 the crown is often incorporated with the date letter struck on small objects.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 ...I still remember the combination of frustration and confusion I felt when examining my first piece of Dutch silver, turning the piece over and over and over in my hands straining to find anything resembling a hallmark.