Dating silver hallmarks guide date letters
This makes difficult the research of information for inexperienced people.The objective of this page is to help the visitors of the site in deciphering the marks of their British silverplate.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 ...The date letters below show the background shape for silver.For two years it was crowned, but has been struck ever since in its present form by all English Assay Offices.The first London silver hallmark to be used was the leopards head, in the year 1300.In that year, a decree by Edward I laid down that silver or gold could not be made or sold unless it was marked by the leopard’s head or The King’s Mark, as it was then known.This mark became crowned in 1478 and remained crowned until 1821.
The mark of origin is the Harp Crowned and it appears with a date letter and maker’s mark. Simply learn to recognise those Antique Silver Hallmarks.
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.
Today and for the past few centuries, this stamp or silver hallmark has shown the place and year of manufacture of the assayed silver item, as well as the silversmith who made or sponsored the item.
The laws governing silver hallmarking are very strict and if an item does not comply with a standard the item will not be hallmarked and will probably be destroyed.
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Between 17 the crown is often incorporated with the date letter struck on small objects.