Silver hallmark dating

For a variety of reasons this practice was not always adhered to and the resulting anomalies can be seen in the tables of marks.

Specialist publications help explain different makers’ or sponsors’ marks, with Sir Charles Jackson’s , first published in 1905 and revised in 1989, still the most authoritative work on the subject.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.Silver struck with the half leopard’s head and half fleur de lys of York (closed 1856) and the crowned X or a three-turreted castle of Exeter (closed 1883) can be collectable on account of its rarity and sense of place.Below is list of marks applied by provincial assay offices which have now ceased operating: Chester - closed in 1962 Mark: three wheat sheaves and a sword Exeter - closed in 1883 Marks: a crowned X or a three-turreted castle Glasgow - closed in 1964 Mark: combined tree, bird, bell and fish Newcastle upon Tyne - closed in 1884 Mark: three separated turrets Norwich - closed by 1701 Mark: a crowned lion passant and a crowned rosette York - closed in 1856 Mark: half leopard's head, half fleur de lys and later five lions passant on a cross For many reasons town silversmiths in Ireland and Scotland seldom sent their plate to Edinburgh, Glasgow or Dublin to be assayed.

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