Dating english silver from hallmark
Dating english silver from hallmark - norwegiandating net
You can read more about this on my page about British assay and hallmarking, or in my article published in the November/December 2014 NAWCC Watch & Clock Bulletin as shown here.Articles in the NAWCC Bulletin are copyright and usually only available to NAWCC members.
A system of variable letters, changed each year when new wardens were elected, was introduced to identify when, and therefore by whom, an item had been assayed.
Hallmarking is carried out by an organisation independent of the manufacturer of the item.
In addition to the fineness, hallmarks can show where and when an item was hallmarked, and who submitted it.
The new town marks shown below were used from 1 June 1907 on imported watch cases to distinguish them from watch cases made in Britain.
If it is a silver watch case another clear indication is that the silver standard is given as .925 in an oval shield rather than by the traditional mark for sterling silver made in Britain of the lion passant, a walking lion with raised right forepaw.
At first this was called the "assayer's mark" but is now commonly known as the date letter.
Gold and silver watch cases submitted for hallmarking at a British assay office had first to be stamped with a mark identifying the person submitting the work, using a punch that had been previously registered at the assay office.
American watch cases usually carry the maker's name and trade mark whereas British and Swiss made gold and silver cases are often anonymous apart from the hallmarks.
Many American watches were imported into Britain as bare movements and cased with British made watch cases which, if they are gold or silver, carry British hallmarks.
In Europe the hallmarking of precious metal objects was, and still is, a legally required process.
It involves testing and the fineness of the metal and then stamping it with control marks that show the results.
If you want to get a book about English hallmarking, Bradbury's Book of Hallmarks published by the Sheffield Assay Office is a long established reference.