Matthew Walker Another member of the famous Walker family, Matthew Walker had a very long career, and was an excellent silversmith. He was a Freeman from until , and was elected Warden of the Company of Goldsmiths from , and served a term as master warden in In he was elected to the Common Council of the City of Dublin. His work is scarce, but generally of very high quality. His mark was a very distinctive MW intertwined. Although it is a slightly rubbed mark, the intertwining is clearly visible. If I come across a clearer example I will replace this! Maurice Fitzgerald Fitzgerald worked from until Michael Homer Michael Homer was a silversmith working in Dublin in the second half of the 18th century.
Silver Identification Guide
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Compendium of Scottish Silver II is the most comprehensive catalog of Scottish silver and gold published to date and is an essential reference for readers of art, antiques and history. More than 6, descriptions of pieces from the 14thst centuries are organized chronologically by category (e.g. bowls, mugs, flatware, teapots, etc.) with
The mark used was a profile portrait of the reigning monarch’s head. The use of this mark was abolished in Its purpose was to establish when a piece was presented for assay or testing of the silver content. The mark letter changed annually in May, the cycles of date letters were usually in strings of 20 and each cycle was differentiated by a changing of the font, letter case and shield shape. Originally, makers’ marks were pictograms, but by the beginning of the 17th Century it had become common practice to use the maker’s initials.
A letter “F” in an oval cartouche was stamped alongside the regular hallmarks, the maker’s mark being that of the British importing firm sponsor’s mark. Beginning in and new system was instituted in which each assay office stamped its own symbol as the import mark, this replaced the town mark. The lion passant mark was replaced by a numerical standard mark.
Unchanged were the required date letter and sponsor’s mark. Items bearing British Import marks will sometimes have additional marks from the country of origin, sometimes not.
How to read UK sterling silver marks
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.
Georgian sterling bearing Scottish hallmarks is fervently sought by collectors. In large part, due to its rarity. Compared to London sterling, Scottish “wares” were produced on a .
Sheffield Plate is a cheaper substitute for sterling, produced by fusing sheets of silver to the top and bottom of a sheet of copper or base metal. This ‘silver sandwich’ was then worked into finished pieces. At first it was only put on one side and later was on top and bottom. Modern electroplating was invented by Italian chemist Luigi V.
Brugnatelli used his colleague Alessandro Volta’s invention of five years earlier, the voltaic pile, to facilitate the first electrodeposition. Unfortunately, Brugnatelli’s inventions were repressed by the French Academy of Sciences and did not become used in general industry for the following thirty years. Silver plate or electroplate is formed when a thin layer of pure or sterling silver is deposited electrolytically on the surface of a base metal.
By , scientists in Britain and Russia had independently devised metal deposition processes similar to Brugnatelli’s for the copper electroplating of printing press plates. Soon after, John Wright of Birmingham, England, discovered that potassium cyanide was a suitable electrolyte for gold and silver electroplating. Wright’s associates, George Elkington and Henry Elkington were awarded the first patents for electroplating in These two then founded the electroplating industry in Birmingham England from where it spread around the world.
Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver
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Your guide to antique pottery marks, porcelain marks and china marks Dating Antique Silver Hallmarks Antique Silver Hallmarks and how to indentify where your silver comes from. 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. Every item made of silver must be sent to an Assay Office for testing.
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.
A false silver hallmark has always been treated with the utmost severity by the law and in the past a silversmith was pilloried for their first offence, where they would be pelted with rotten fruit and vegetables. There was a simple reason for this seemingly Draconian behaviour in that the manufacture of silver and gold was allied to the minting of currency.
Therefore, by debasing silver or gold, the offender was undermining the coin of the realm. A treasonable offence in times when treason was punished by death. Identifying Antique Silver Hallmarks From to the standard of silver was raised from It was denoted by the figure of Britannia and the lions head erased.
Edinburgh Date Letters
We have two aims: The association carries out its activity on the internet within this website http: Its objectives are to host articles supplied by members on matters of common interest, to report links to websites related to silver and its hallmarks and to devote some pages to illustrate the most interesting pieces owned by our members Photos and a brief description will be sufficient.
A typical set of antique British silver hallmarks showing (left to right); rd Mark, Mark, Letter, Mark and ‘s Mark This set of marks tells us that this piece was made of Sterling, in the city of London, in the year , during the .
Pseudo-hallmarks Pseudo-hallmarks When brand new and highly polished, pewter looks very much like silver, and many pewterers stamped pseudo-hallmarks on their wares to mimic the officially-approved hallmarks on silver. It is more likely that the customers wanted the hallmarks so they their visitors would think they were wealthy enough to afford silver! Whilst hallmarks on pewter have no official significance, they can help identify the pewterer.
There are normally four hallmarks, but pewterers from Wigan often used five, whilst very occasionally other pewterers used two, three or six. Sometimes all the hallmarks are the same. Hallmarks were not used prior to about With plates, dishes and chargers the position of the hallmarks can help with dating. They were normally on the front of the rim up to about , and thereafter on the back of the well. Dutch and American pewterers also used pseudo-hallmarks, so the presence of hallmarks is not conclusive evidence that the piece is British.
Help from the Pewter Society The Society is willing to help members of the public identify individual items of pewter if we can.
Edinburgh Hallmarks on Sterling
Dasan Antony The date letters below show the background shape for silver. The same letters were used for Gold, which has been marked in Birmingham since , but with a. Hallmarking in Switzerland originated in Geneva in the 15th century. The hallmarks are seen on the vast majority of Swiss watches with silver or gold cases. A series or system of five marks has been found on Byzantine silver dating from this expanded the use of hallmarks to gold to the Swiss hallmark.
Silver has always held an exalted position within the decorative arts. The fact that it is a precious metal distinguishes it from other media such as porcelain, wood, and glass, which do not have inherent value. The monetary value of silver usually meant that objects made in silver had more than.
Cylindrical in shape and often lidded and with enamel decoration. Used in furniture making for heavy trimming and shaping. Windsor chair seats are shaped with an adze. Results in soft edged, slightly granular images and was often use to dress cheap porcelain. Overlapped with the arts and crafts movement and was just before the art nouveau period. A set of porcelain monkey musicians introduced by meissen in the mid thC.
Copied and reproduced by other European factories in the 19thC. Displays as variegated tones of browns and oranges or greys or greens, usually with milky bands, when polished. Produced by wedgwood and whieldon in two types. Solid agate; by kneeding two or more types of clay to produce a marbling effect throughout the body and surface agate; using a coloured liquid clay slip over a plain earthenware body. The cases were usually decorated in gold, silver, ivory, enamelling or tortoiseshell.
Fashionable in the 17thC. The molten glass is pricked with a metal point and glass drawn over the point. The tear shape is formed as the glass is drawn into shape.