Date marking with a letter code was begun in Amsterdam as early as and was soon taken up by other cities and some larger towns under the supervision of the gold and silversmithing guilds. However, there was no nationally standardized system, each town’s guild had its own mark and dating system. A standard national system was not put into practice until and it remains largely unchanged until today. Just type in the maker’s initials in the first box top left and then click on the “Zoek” button bottom right. Examples of Dutch Hallmarks Hallmarking A – Silver guild marks used in some 35 of the larger towns and cities the Netherlands in the 17th and 18th Centuries. This system remained in use until the time of the French occupation and the dismantling the guilds in They are, top to bottom; date mark letter Z for , Rotterdam city mark, and Lion Rampant silver guarantee mark. They are, left to right; Maker’s mark – VK for J.
Over the next 50 years, Birks expanded by buying up established jewellers across the country. They also took over their rivals in manufacturing until they had a virtual monopoly on the production and sale of sterling silverware in Canada. Birks acquired several more designs from Gorham and other manufacturers later in the century and also designed a few of their own patterns like Tudor and Laurentian.
Birks manufactured their own flatware and some of their hollowware in their factory in Montreal up until the early s when the factory was closed and production was moved offshore.
DATE LETTERS – TO The date letters below show the background shape for silver. The same letters were used for Gold, which has been marked in.
It has a subtle beauty, is very tactile and comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. It often has a soft, lustrous sheen but the colour can alter depending on the conditions it has been kept in over the years making for a more interesting display. As it was used throughout society, from royal households to the very poorest people, it gives areal link with the past and a sense of continuity with previous owners over many centuries.
It is low maintenance, being a very stable alloy, an occasional rub with a soft cloth or wash in warm, soapy water is usually sufficient to keep it looking attractive. British and Irish pewter is often unmarked. If marks are present, they can help in identifying when and where the item was made or used.
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.
the hallmarks on your silver and gold jewelry mean and how to use the date letter Would you like to know what the marks stamped on your jewelry mean?
The Norwich makers office closed in Assaying was inexistence in York from the middle of the 16 th Century when the town mark was half fleur-de-lys and half makers head. This was used with a directory of date letters and makers marks. The first assay office was closed down in , only to be re-opened by Act of Parliament in The assay office had a new symbol, of a St. Go to Current and Historic Assay Offices. Date Letters. You login to create an clan, or login before you can dating this item to your basket.
Scotland is well-known for his clans, the fearless militaries going to the battlefield preceded by their pipers and the english nature of the Highlands with lochs, rivers, salmon and clan. Deciphering marks on silver items is a fascinating pastime for silver collectors, but mostly they login no idea of the background of these marks and the reason why specific punches were chosen as town mark or standard mark.
The scope of this article is to trace back the origin of Scottish silver antiques to the scottish times and to bring the reader up-to-date on this subject. Hallmarks were for scottish part, freely adopted by marks or clans at some point in the Middle Ages and in many cases it is english to define the meaning of it, if any.
Silver jewelry marks are the hallmarks found on silver jewelry to help identify the composition and source of the jewelry. Because Sterling Silver is Resource: The For American silver marks visit this page: American Silver Marks on www. Note that the database includes marks used on flatware and other silver items, so you may need to search a bit to locate the company you want. The second letter of the signature represents the initial of the last name of the artisan, and the number following is the sequential number assigned to that artisan.
The four standard marks of a hallmark were the standard/purity mark, the assay office symbol, the date letter and the maker’s mark. A fifth duty mark was used.
King Hiero II of Syracuse gave Archimedes the assignment to investigate the purity of a newly commissioned golden wreath, believing silver was added to the gold content. Although the technicalities in this legendary story are most likely based on myth, it does give an early account of fraud with precious metals. The German Crown in a Sun Hallmark. Image Courtesy of the Hallmark Research Institute. From medieval times to the midth century, hallmarks were used only as a means of consumer protection.
In those days the English government raised taxes on imported gold and silver work, with the exemption of antique items. Paying taxes has never been on the priority list of entrepreneurs and some gold and silversmiths in Germany and the Netherlands started stamping marks on their jewelry and silver work that mimicked antique hallmarks.
A second factor was the renewed interest in antique artifacts of the applied arts that was kindled by the first World Exhibition in London As there had never been a real prior interest in hallmarks, other than identifying the people responsible for the quality of the precious metal, these marks were interpreted as genuine foreign antique marks by the customs officers and collectors.
A typical set of antique British silver hallmarks showing left to right ; 1. Standard Mark, 2. City Mark, 3.
Birks sterling marks varied throughout their history which helps us to date their pieces. The earliest Birks silver mark () was a retailer’s stamp of H.B.
Curious as to how we determine the dates on many of our pieces? We are fortunate enough to have obtained a handful of old catalogs and internal documents pertaining to the hallmarksused by the Georg Jensen Silversmithy. The different hallmarks have been used during different period of time, and combined with our knowledge of silver content and the years of which the designers were active all combines to help us determine the age of an item.
Some of the documents we have included to the side and below. Under the Danish Hallmarking Act of , the content standard for all silver was set at parts out of 1,, which is slightly lower than the standard for sterling which is The remainder is usually copper with very small amounts of iron, lead and traces of other metals. The Danish mark, S was used until about when silversmiths raised their silver content to and eventually to Georg Jensen did not switch to the sterling standard until although he occasionally made special orders in S for the American market much earlier.
In general, due to an administrative decision to move the collection to an out-of-state storage site in preparation for the renovation of the John Hay Library, only a limited range of materials from the Gorham Company Archive are currently available for research use. These materials include Gorham’s printed sales catalogs and other reference works, which can be identified using JOSIAH the Brown University Library’s online catalog as well as selected archival material.
Archival material that can be made available for research is listed in a spreadsheet that can be sent to researchers upon request to hay brown. We ask researchers to note that Gorham research inquiries often require intensive study. The staff of the John Hay Library are not able to undertake research on behalf of researchers who are unable to appear at the Hay Library in person to conduct their research.
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.
Watching the experts at antique roadshows or on auction house valuation days, you probably wonder just how they get so much information about a teacup, vase or a piece of silver simply by turning the item upside down. The fact is the markings that are stamped, painted or impressed on the underside of most antique items can help you tell a great deal about a piece other than just who made it. The name of the pottery manufacturer and an approximate date of manufacture can be discovered if the piece of pottery has a backstamp or the silver item has a hallmark.
A makers mark that they have learned over many years spent researching and studying antique marks. Dating an antique is a little like detective work. The company name itself only gives the appraiser a rough timeline of when the company was known to operate. Famous companies such as Wedgwood , Meissen , Doulton , Minton , Derby and Worcester all use a variety of numerical or symbolic china marks that can, with just a little knowledge and analysis, give you the exact date of production.
The marks on the bottom of a piece of silver can be an indication of the age, maker, and origin of the piece. This is a list of American silver marks and solid American silver. Other lists include silver-plated wares and pewter. It will not help you to identify other silver.
Other hallmarks can also include Swedish year markings and The Designer of a later date, however, in some cases other marks, including the silver content.
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. Sheffield Hallmarks. Edinburgh Hallmarks.
Our illustrated guide highlights the subtle ways you can discover the origins of any piece of silver. One of the most common inquiries at antique shows often has to do with authenticity: How do you know whether or not something is made of real silver? Collectors aren’t always looking for pure sterling silver , per se, but they should be able to know the value and composition of the pieces they’re buying.
Most of the time, you can find the information you’re looking for by simply taking a closer look at the teaspoon , fish fork, ice cream saw, or cheese scoup that you’re eyeing. More often than not, you can find an indented mark or a series of marks that can tell you a lot about the item: what it’s made of, where it was made, when, and by whom. You can find many different kinds of silver in the marketplace today.
lion passant denotes silver marked in England; lion rampant denotes silver marked in Scotland The date letter shows the year that assaying was carried out.
Lion head erased , in use as London Mark for silver of Britannia standard. London – Isaac Devenport. London – William Scarlett. London – John Smith. London – William Burridge. London – Henry Clarke. London – Andrew Archer. London – Samuel Hitchcock. London – George Fox. London – Erbert Charles Lambert probably over struck to the maker mark.