Collectors will often place a premium on silver hallmarked in other regional centres which have since closed. Some of these ceased hallmarking as early as the Stuart period the Norwich assay office identified by a crowned lion passant and a crowned rosette shut in , while others such as Chester three wheat sheaves and a sword and Glasgow a tree, bird, bell and fish were still operating into the post-war era.
LONDON DATE LETTERS CHART / SILVER HALLMARKS UK
For many reasons town silversmiths in Ireland and Scotland seldom sent their plate to Edinburgh, Glasgow or Dublin to be assayed. Here, often for reasons of security and economy, it was prudent to operate outside the jurisdiction of the metropolitan assay houses of Dublin and Edinburgh.
Instead, they stamped the silver themselves with a maker's mark, a town mark or combinations of these and other marks. The mark of the Limerick silversmith Joseph Johns. Specialist publications are essential for locating and unstanding the meaning of a huge proliferation of different marks and symbols used on Scottish provincial silver.
The marks struck for Alexander Cameron of Dundee.
Although no longer compulsory, British hallmarks typically include a letter to indicate the year when a piece of silver was assayed. Generally the letter was changed annually until a complete alphabet had been used and then the cycle would begin again with an alteration to the style of letter or its surrounding shield.
For a variety of reasons this practice was not always adhered to and the resulting anomalies can be seen in the tables of marks. However, the date letter system allows antique plate to be dated more accurately than almost all other antiques.
London Date Letters
It should be noted that while the date letter has routinely been taken to represent a single year, it was not until that all date letters were changed on January 1. Until then, assay offices changed punches at different times of the year, so most letters were in fact used across two years. London, England - Present The crowned leopard's head was used - , the uncrowned from - Present.How to easily identify and date sterling silver hallmarks
York, England - Until only city mark, date letter and maker's mark. Edinburgh, Scotland - From to present, a lion rampant mark same as Glasgow's has replaced the Thistle as the standard mark. Glasgow, Scotland - Until only city mark, date letter and maker's mark.
Dating english silver marks
In the duty mark was created to indicate a tax on the item had been paid to the crown. The date letter system was introduced in London in elsewhere as the hallmarking system evolved.
The enforced use of the maker's mark was instituted in London in The required use of import marks to be stamped on foreign made silver was instituted in Have a mark you can't identify? London leopard's head crowned until London leopard's head uncrowned present.
London lion head erased. Birmingham bicentennial commemorative Sheffield Tudor rose present. Chester a sword erect between three wheat-sheaves