Dating english silver from hallmark

After 1883, the diamond shape was discontinued and "Rd.

No.," followed by the number assigned to the ceramic, was used.

As an example, the date letter for 1898 in London is a lowercase ‘c’, in Sheffield it is a lowercase 'f' and in Birmingham it is a lowercase ‘y’. This is why it is important to find the town mark before you try to find the date letter.

The Maker’s mark was initially a picture, but this practice was superseded by using the first two letters of the maker’s surname and later the initials.

Whilst looking for the date letter, you need to bear in mind that the font, it’s capitalisation and the shape of the background, known as the shield, are varied in each cycle of letters.

The duty mark was only struck in certain years and when found, will take the form of either a King or Queen’s head, depending on who was on the throne at the time. To the collector, the main importance of this mark is that it helps you find the date letter.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.There are simply too many maker's marks for a pocket guide to include, and so to find the maker one needs to refer to a variety of large reference books.Most people would need to rely on the dealer or auction room from which the item was bought to identify the maker. with those simple steps, you can quite easily decipher the hallmarks on any piece of British silver made in the last 500 years.

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