Dating english silver plate pros and cons of online dating essay
The vast majority of English, Scottish and Irish silver produced in the last 500 years is stamped with either 4 or 5 symbols, known as hallmarks.
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.
Note that dublin is unique in using the same mark for the town mark and the standard mark. However, the crowned harp is often seen with another mark called the Hibernia which is similar to the Brittania Silver Mark of a seated lady.
This mark is sometimes mistook for the standard mark but it was in fact a special duty mark, used only in Dublin.
Again, you don’t need to memorise these marks, just flick through Bradburys to find them.
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.
There are so many different hallmarks found on British silver that to know all of them would be impossible.
When Victoria came to the throne in 1837, the mark was replaced with the Queen's head duty mark which always faces left. Go to the appropriate section in Bradburys for the given town.
Look for a matching date letter with or without the duty mark as needed.
If you can't see any of these 5 marks, the chances are that the item is either not British or is silverplated.
If you can find one of these marks, then you know that the item is British silver and you can move onto stage 2.