Silver hallmark dating

06 Mar

|HOW TO READ ENGLISH/BRITISH STERLING SILVER MARKS| |DUTY MARKS| |LEOPARD'S HEAD| |LONDON MARKS| |WOMEN SILVERSMITHS| |PSEUDO HALLMARKS| |IMPORT MARKS| |CONTEMPORARY MARKS| |JOURNEYMAN MARKS| |HERALDRY & FAMILY CRESTS| |OLD ADVERTISEMENTS| |FACTORIES & SHOPS: OLD IMAGES| |ARTICLES ON ENGLISH SILVER| The hallmarking of British sterling silver is based on a combination of marks that makes possible the identification of origin and age of each piece.

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Originally this was a tax “for the encouragement of tillage”, but after 1806 when Irish silver was struck with the king’s head duty mark it became the mark signifying the Dublin Assay Office. The Hibernia mark was only introduced in 1730, and the monarch’s head mark came in in 1806, so we do not expect to see either.

Unlike the first photo, the marks are not in an orderly line. Clockwise from the top left we see the harp crowned (purity), the letter “h” (1727 in this case), and TW for the maker, Thomas Walker.

Marks indicate it is Britannia gauge silver made by (or for) Paul de Lamerie (taken to or) in London and dated 1732 (it could have been made a year or two earlier than 1732).

The French assay mark for sterling silver is the head of the goddess Minerva.

These are traditional standard marks that can still be used today. Since 1972 the UK has been a signatory to the international convention on hallmarks.

Therefore, hallmarking is generally done before the piece goes for its final polishing.

From the end of the 12th century the craft of silversmith has been regulated in conformity with Royal Ordinances and Acts of the Parliament.

In England the craft was regulated by the Guild of Goldsmiths at London and in Ireland by the Guild of Dublin.

The Anchor is the symbol of Assay Office Birmingham .

Shows the year in which the article was hallmarked.