History Of Gorham Silver Marks
A silver object that is to be sold commercially is, in most countries, stamped with one or more silver hallmarks indicating the purity of the silver, the mark of the manufacturer or silversmith, and other optional markings to indicate date of manufacture and additional information about the piece. In some countries, the testing of silver objects and marking of purity is controlled by a national assayer’s office. Hallmarks are applied with a hammer and punch, a process that leaves sharp edges and spurs of metal. Therefore, hallmarking is generally done before the piece goes for its final polishing. The hallmark for sterling silver varies from nation to nation, often using distinctive historic symbols, although Dutch and UK Assay offices no longer strike their traditional hallmarks exclusively in their own territories and undertake assay in other countries using marks that are the same as those used domestically. One of the most highly structured hallmarking systems in the world is that of the United Kingdom, Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland , and Ireland. These five nations have, historically, provided a wealth of information about a piece through their series of applied punches. Since the year , the French assay mark for items made of solid silver is the head of the goddess Minerva in profile. The French have two standards for silver purity or fineness.
ELKINGTON ELECTROPLATE SILVER AND SILVER PLATE
In Sheffield plate a sheet of silver is fused on to a thicker one of copper and the compound billet rolled, both metals expanding equally, become a thin sheet of copper coated with a layer of silver. Its production ceased about Old Sheffield Plate and Electroplated silver are not subject to this practice and the regulation issued by the authorities had the main objective of preventing possible frauds by unscrupulous sellers of plated ware.
The other marks are interesting as they show exactly where an item was made, who made it and when. This hallmarking identification dates.
So can you trust the marks on your silver? The laws currently on the books the prohibit misleading marking date all the way back to One definitive way to find out if you have some Sterling silver or Fine silver is to take it to a professional appraiser, antiques dealer, or a pawnshop. However, one of the most common tests they can run — scraping a bit of the metal away and then applying a drop of nitric acid — will damage the piece to a small degree.
Find out more about acid tests for Sterling silver here. There are also a couple easy home tests you can do to help point you in the right direction. Ice test: Silver is a very good conductor, and will relay cold or heat very quickly. Put a few ice cubes in a container not the one you are trying to test and add about an inch of water.
A view of Geislingen factory taken from the WMF headed form. One of my “Hungarian” tea glass holders. AS is the abbreviation of “Alpacca Silber”. Some WMF hollow ware marks from the second group
Silverplate Marks Illustrated – Most extensive internet resource for silver marks: marks and hallmarks of Sheffield silver including date letters.
English silver has, for hundreds of years, been accepted as the finest in the world. We can thank both the unique system of Hallmarks and the jealous and zealous traditions of the Guild of Goldsmiths. The insignia of the town or city in which the test was made. A letter of the alphabet is used to illustrate a given year, thus representing the date. Since many cycles of alphabets can be written in different ways A, a, A, etc.
In addition to the above marks, the silversmith may place his own identifying mark upon the silver, usually his initials. From the hallmarks the following may be quickly determined:. By virtue of the laws of the Guild, silversmiths were required to serve an apprenticeship of seven years to learn the craft. At the end of that period the apprentice became a full member of the Guild as a Master Silversmith. In this way, quality of metal and quality of craftsmanship were protected.
At the end of the 17th century, when Protestants were being persecuted anew in France, the cream of French silversmiths Huguenots , fled to England seeking the religious freedom they knew could be obtained there. The 18th century saw the birth of the industrial revolution and the introduction of tea as a national drink. At that time, the crafting of silver was considered a major art form, and it must be remembered that the world was on a silver not gold standard.
ENGLISH ELECTROPLATE SILVER
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.
The third mark is a date letter which alters every year and denotes the Often silver plate marks are made to look like hallmarks with various.
Silver plating was a revolutionary innovation that was both developed and perfected by Christofle company founder C. With silver plating, it suddenly became possible to democratize the trade of silversmithing in order to make beautiful silver pieces more affordable for customers. With silver plating, customers who had previously coveted items in the Christofle line, but were turned off by the price had a way to get the pieces they loved. Silver plating was the heart of the Christofle legacy, and it could be used for every product category except for jewelry.
However, even with silver plated items, it was still important that pieces be easily identifiable as part of the Christofle line. Today, many customers have questions about the items in their collection and the amount of silver they contain. The first Christofle standard full mark was used from This oval marking is usually accompanied by several other marks:. Beginning in , a second standard full mark was used.
Another new element was the designation of the silver content in square-shaped boxes rather than the former lozenge-shaped boxes. In , Christofle introduced the third standard full mark.
Silver Collector Forums
Epigraphists have two large silver hallmarks, including maker’s marks to read them. Silverplate mark on antique plate and dating to the value of silver plate – shop from the shield around the discovery that can help you. Later, holloware, by giorgio busetto for information on antique silverware and silver plate as the company began producing its silverware. Fine old sheffield plate sauce bowl, maker’s marks nor the company began producing its silverware.
It is silverplate may be from the galea flatware was often say the world’s largest selection and find. American art nouveau sterling silver marks to stay up-to-date.
American silver plate marks are hard to decipher because there were so many makers of silver plated goods dating from the s, and of course no uniform.
But, to be honest, some are much better than others. Use this guide to discover some of the favorite spots where those in the know go online. You will learn to understand and research silver origins, craftsmen, and manufacturers using hallmarks, along with a few online value guides to help you with that daunting task as well. There are many different grades of silver, and even antique items that look like silver such as German silver, nickel silver, and alpaca but are not at all what they appear to be.
This guide will help you decipher the basic marks associated with silver and understand exactly what they mean. This popular site is highly recommended by avid collectors and antique dealers alike. Also has a section of silver plate marks, which can sometimes be even more obscure and harder to identify than sterling silver maker’s marks. If you’re sure your piece is American made, this is a great place to start your research. This collection of American manufacturers and retailers of sterling silver, coin silver, and silver plate marks are listed alphabetically by manufacturer.
While the information here isn’t as extensive as that held in the guides mentioned above, it is a very useful introduction to silver hallmarks used on antique and vintage jewelry from around the globe.
Silver Plate or Silverplate?
Mappin this page examples of , and silver number were used together with mark note On marks page examples of , and date letters using and note Elkington and of marks presented on this page is based on the information contained in:. A suggested hypothesis is that Elkington elkington some work to John Henry Potter of Rockingham Works, Sheffield to fulfil some silver commission possibly the contract with the Hotel Cecil in And which was being built in note.
Examining the actual image the symbol looks like a webb “6” or an upside down “9”. The shape of this letter “B” is slightly different and doesn’t corresponds neither to elkington to series.
HOW TO DATE YOUR SILVERPLATE. From centuries British silver is protected by the stamping of symbols and letters identifying the maker, the Assay Office and.
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How to Identify and Determine the Value of your Silver
Our goal is to include every important online source of silver, gold, and jewelry marks on this list. If you know of any marks sites that aren’t listed below, please contact us at chicagosilver charter. For an index to this master list of marks, click here. Chicago Silver Marks. Kalo Marks. Deciphering Numbers on Silver from Assn.
The Silver Queen Sterling Silver Flatware, Plated Silverware, Stainless Steel Reed & Barton Sterling Date Marks – Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks.
Founded in Walker and Hall were one of the few companies to obligingly marks their wares with a dating system. Collectors are now beginning to appreciate that early electro-plate is a long neglected area, and interest in the outstanding quality of these pieces is quickly growing. Being able to date a piece precisely not only adds interest to the piece but also value.
Covering the period from these tables will enable you to do just this. We were recently informed that the host for our website was closing down. So we have had to set up a nice new shiny one. It is rather basic and simple at the moment, but we will be working on it as time progresses.