Find Out How To Identify A Beautiful Georgian Sterling Silver Piece From Their Hallmarks.
It is easy to identify a beautiful Georgian piece, we discussed Georgian jewellery and how to take care of it in a previous blog. Georgian silver pieces are often hallmarked, this was a constant practice by all silversmiths and manufacturers to assure the quality of the fabrication, guaranteeing that the sterling grade was 92.5% silver. Sterling silver is a popular gift item for any occasion, check out our collection of sterling silver items, sterling silver flatware, and sterling silver flatware online.
There are five types of marks which are present on English sterling silver:
A Date Mark
A date mark depicts the year a piece was tested. A letter of the alphabet is used, this letter is assigned to a year – acute attention should be paid as letters were used in both lowercase and capital form as well as in different shapes of punches, fonts and backgrounds. (a) in the zoomed photo of the Sterling Silver Salver shows the datemark.
Georgian Sterling Silver Salver, London, 1777, Robert James & John Schofield, mark registered 1776
A Makers Mark
The silversmith has a mark that was derived from the creator’s initials, this is the maker’s mark.
Georgian Silver Goblet, London 1811, Samuel Hennell, mark registered 1811
A Duty Mark
The duty mark is related to tax, George the third applied a silver tax in 1784 during the time of the American War of Independence. A duty mark can be found on pieces from 1784-1890. The duty mark displays the mark of the ruling sovereign and insured the buyer that there was tax paid on the piece.
Antique Georgian sterling silver wine funnel. Hallmarked London 1819, made by Charles Fox, of 139 Old Street, Goswell Street, London UK. 183.4 g
6 1/2" long by 4 1/8" diameter at the base.
The town mark sometimes referred to as the assay office shows the location where the silver was tested for its quality.
In the Georgian era silver was assayed at London, Birmingham, Chester, Dublin, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, New Castle, Sheffield, Tory. Today offices are still operating from London, Birmingham, Dublin, Edinburgh, and Sheffield.
The assay mark, a “lion passant”, confirms that the item has met the qualifications of sterling silver standard.
(Items not online, below is the description. Please contact us for more info.)
Pristine Georgian Sterling Silver 5 piece table garniture set. English hallmarks stamped for London in 1812. Created by Silversmith John Houle.
Priced at $29000
Please browse our site and our shop for Cynthia Findlay Antique’s great selection of Georgian silver jewellery and items.