See also the definitions page in this guide for additional information on hallmark components. Note at centre of the image at right the four elements of the hallmark. Detailed image of hallmark far right. Locate the assay office. If your item does not have one of the standard fineness marks, either traditional or numerical, then it is probably silver plate or is from another county. Go no further. The date letter shows the year that assaying was carried out. The date letter example above represents Prior to the date letter varied for every office. After that it became uniform for every city.
Silver Identification Guide
Filter Results. Item type. Shipping Options.
Elkington date letter from to an illustrated history of the evolution of the silver, sterling silver, silverplate, sheffield plate, electroplate silver, silverware, Elkington & Co. are one of the most important names in English silver and.
A similar system of alphabetical lettering had been used on English assayed plate since but that this system of lettering gave some date reference to the piece on which it appeared was purely coincidental. In by the statute 2 Henry VI. This statute was reinforced by the statute 17 Edward IV. January and although “The Keeper of The Touch” was again mentioned as the responsible warden this time the other wardens were mentioned as well; ” They began life in Birmingham as a company of silversmiths in , and experimented with improving gilding techniques.
By they had discovered and patented a new way to electroplate one metal on to the surface of another.
Silver is one of the first metals known to man. A small concentration of silver can kill harmful bacteria and was used to prevent infection before the use of antibiotics. British sterling silver is easy to identify as it has always has a lion stamped on it. But what do the other marks mean?
English silver, with very few exceptions, will be hallmarked. an assay office stamp, a date letter, and, usually, a maker’s mark; there may also Over the years, many items of silver plate have been stamped with cartouches.
Silver plate date marks 5cm, weight total Once the hallmarks on the items are identified, you will have an idea of what your silver tea set is valued at. The Online Encyclopedia of American Silver Marks also gives information on manufacturers of silver plate and their logos. In , the figure of Hibernia was added. Marks and inscriptions.
Import Marks from Following a ruling of the European Court of Justice the UK is required to accept national hallmarks of member states who provide an equivalent guarantee. By the latter part of the 18th century Birmingham was becoming an important centre of the silver industry.
Guide to Identifying Sterling Silver Flatware
Many more items are available that are not listed here. Here is a beautiful Art Nouveau floral design American sterling bowl that has been used as a presentation piece. The company was bought out by the International Silver Co. A wonderful miniature oblong sterling silver pill box, hallmarked for Birmingham England and dated The box has a gilt wash interior and a hinged lid.
Sheffield EPC refers to Old Sheffield Plate, a form of plate silver popular in the the date listed in a hallmark guide such as “Miller’s Silver and Plate Antiques This is the mark of English silver and the hallmark is known as the Lion Passant.
The vast majority of English, Scottish and Irish silver produced in the last years is stamped with either four or five symbols, known as hallmarks. 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. The metal is tested and marked at special offices, regulated by the government, known as assay offices. Only metal of the required standard will be marked. It is a form of consumer protection, whose origin goes back almost years.
There are so many different hallmarks found on British silver that to know all of them would be impossible. Fortunately, with the use of a single reference book, it is possible for even a complete novice to decipher the vast majority. This pocket sized reference contains all of the marks that one is likely to encounter on a regular basis. Armed with this book, the process of reading these marks can be split into the 5 simple steps shown below.
It can be purchased directly from there or from any major book seller. Simply flick through the book, looking at the top of the tables of marks to remind yourself if you forget.
Confusing Marks on Sterling Silver and Silver Plate
Bring it to Dr. Sheffield silver plate was invented by accident by Thomas Boulsover in the mid s. He was making a repair to a silver object and realized that he could fuse two metals together.
Related Pages at com: Silverplate Trademarks Section · British Hallmarks Explained · London Date Letters • – & Maker’s Marks.
The vast majority of English, Scottish and Irish silver produced in the last years is stamped with either 4 or 5 symbols, known as hallmarks. 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. The metal is tested and marked at special offices, regulated by the government, known as assay offices. Only metal of the required standard will be marked. It is a form of consumer protection, whose origin goes back almost years.
There are so many different hallmarks found on British silver that to know all of them would be impossible. Fortunately, with the use of a single reference book, it is possible for even a complete novice to decipher the vast majority. 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.
This pocket sized reference contains all of the marks that one is likely to encounter on a regular basis. Armed with this book, the process of reading these marks can be split into the 5 simple steps shown below. Bradbury’s book of hallmarks was last updated in by the Sheffield Assay office. It can be purchased directly from there or from any major book seller.
There are 5 standard marks found on British Silver The walking lion for all sterling silver made in England The standing lion for all sterling silver made in Glasgow The thistle for for all sterling silver made in Edinburgh The crowned harp for all sterling silver made in Dublin The image of Britannia for Britannia standard silver.
Simply flick through the book, looking at the top of the tables of marks to remind yourself if you forget.
ELKINGTON & CO
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we’ll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer – no Kindle device required. To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Sheffield Plate was formed with thin sheets of silver and copper annealed and the date of the piece, ensuring that any piece of British sterling silver can be.
Throughout the nineteenth century and still today , every British-made silver object offered for sale was required to bear four marks struck into the metal in a conspicuous place. One, the sterling mark, showed that the piece had been tested at the assay office and found to have met the standard of purity for sterling Smaller centers used other sterling marks, such as a thistle in Edinburgh and a harp crowned in Dublin. A third mark was the date mark, a letter of the alphabet used for the twelve-month period during which the piece was assayed.
The style and even the number of letters varied from office to office. London, for example, used only a—u, Chester used the entire alphabet, and both omitted j. Altogether there were twenty large and small assay offices in the nineteenth century, each with its own system of date letters. The tax was eliminated in Hallmarks on British silver make it possible to identify the maker, and the place and date of manufacture, although their original purpose was to protect the silver coinage from conversion by goldsmiths and silversmiths to the raw material for their products.
The hallmarking laws date back to , when the first mark for the sterling standard test was established. The marks are an interesting study in themselves; on nineteenth-century works, they are generally evenly struck, legible, and have not become eroded from years of domestic use and polishing.
Silver Collector Forums
Diane is a lover of all things beautiful; music, art, antiques and nature. Her guides bring insight to topics she cares passionately about. British sterling silver hallmarks help to identify the maker and year of manufacture of sterling silver items produced by Great Britain. Understanding and learning to recognize these marks can help you avoid costly mistakes in both the purchase and sale of antique English silver.
Declaration: Rare Set 12 Antique English Plates By Elkington In Silver Plate – Dated has been declared an antique and was approved for sale on.
We love to buy silver items. We are experts in silver and are happy to purchase antique or modern English hallmarked items, as well as other sterling silver and continental silver pieces. English silver, with very few exceptions, will be hallmarked. You should expect to see four or sometimes five stamps. Very few people can remember all date letters for each assay office they have thankfully now started using the same date letter as a uniform code , but we can usually tell the age of your piece s if we can view them or if you send us photographs or we can look up the exact year of manufacture from the date letter.
European silver is usually slightly lower grade and may be marked or indicating and parts of silver in every and some countries have their own specific hallmark stamps. Be careful! Over the years, many items of silver plate have been stamped with cartouches that have been made to look like those of the hallmark.
You must always look for the lion passant, and the assay office mark.
Dating mappin and webb silver plate
EPC stands for electroplated copper. Though the term EPC refers to electroplating, the technique used to create Sheffield pieces was mainly mechanical and chemical. Early Sheffield plate is notoriously difficult to date because there was no legal requirement to hallmark an item until , according to Bryan Douglas Silver. Flip your silver item over and look around the surface for a hallmark.
Silver plate is a coating of pure silver on a base metal such as copper or was developed later than sterling or coin, but various forms date to the 18th century. England’s system of hallmarks-a variety of official emblems stamped on silver to.
In Part I, I gave a brief history of the development of the British silverplating industry in the 18th and 19th centuries. Now I would like to offer some tips on how to determine whether a given object is silver, Old Sheffield Plate or silverplate. In England silver has been marked in some manner since the 12th century when it was first regulated by Parliament.
The marks made it possible to trace the maker and the place of manufacture. This helped to protect the consumer, for if it was determined that the silver object was not actually pure enough to be marked as silver, the culprit could be found and punishment could be meted out. As silver objects made before are quite rare, I shall restrict my comments to those made after that date.
In Parliament established the standard for purity for sterling silver and instituted a mark indicating that an item is of sufficient purity to be deemed sterling. That standard means an item is made of The mark is a Lion Passant -the image of a lion walking, facing left. You may be sure that an object bearing this mark is English sterling silver made after In addition to the Lion Passant there are other marks which give more information about the sterling silver object.
There is a mark which will tell you in what city it was assayed i. Another mark will give the year that the item was assayed generally speaking the year it was made -these are letters in a shield device.