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English silver dating marks

Some of these ceased hallmarking as early as the Stuart period (the Norwich assay office identified by a crowned lion passant and a crowned rosette shut in 1701), while others such as Chester (three wheat sheaves and a sword) and Glasgow (a tree, bird, bell and fish) were still operating into the post-war era.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.Instead, they stamped the silver themselves with a maker's mark, a town mark or combinations of these and other marks.Rarity dictates that Scottish/Irish provincial silver is highly collectable, most obviously in the flatware and hollow wares produced in provincial Ireland and Scotland.The statute made it the responsibility of the Wardens of the Goldsmiths' Guild to mark all items of sterling standard with a leopard's head stamp.The first hallmarking was confined to Goldsmiths’ Hall in London but in time other assay offices were opened.The Edinburgh mark is a three-turreted castle (to which a thistle was added from 1759 until 1975 when a lion rampant replace the thistle); the mark for Sheffield was a crown until 1974 when it was replaced by a rosette, while the symbol for silver made in Birmingham is an anchor.

Although no longer compulsory, British hallmarks typically include a letter to indicate the year when a piece of silver was assayed.The Aluminia Faience factory date its history to the year 1862 founded by August Schittt (1834 - 1863).In 1868 Philip Schou took over the factory and moved the production to Frederiksberg.Today there are still offices in Edinburgh, where hallmarking has been regulated since the 15th century, and in Birmingham and Sheffield, where assay offices were established by an Act of Parliament in 1773.Dublin’s assay office has been operating since the middle of the 17th century and silver is still marked there.

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Sequences of historical marks for the following offices can be viewed through the links below (reproduced courtesy of the British Hallmarking Council).

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