Dating silver plate letter dates
Between 17 the crown is often incorporated with the date letter struck on small objects.When the Birmingham Assay Office was established in 1773, largely due to the representations of the great Midlands industrialist, Matthew Boulton, the mark of an anchor was adopted as the town mark.Scottish hallmarks have been regulated by statute since 1457 but the earliest known example dates only from 1556 to 1557.The Incorporation of Goldsmiths of the City of Edinburgh was thought to be in the 1490’s and the earliest surviving records date from 1525.The hallmarking of Irish silver began towards the middle of the 17th century.The mark of origin is the Harp Crowned and it appears with a date letter and maker’s mark. Simply learn to recognise those Antique Silver Hallmarks.(1) WHO: the maker is PHILIP ASHBERRY & SONS identified by the Figural trade mark (paw feet with banner) and the initials PA&S(2) WHERE: the firm was active in Sheffield, identified by the "S" (on the right, after the maker's initials) (3) WHAT: the piece is identified by the stock (production) number 1414 and the base metal is Nickel Silver (E. Tighe from New Zealand emigrants in 1876" (the ship's surgeon averted a measles epidemic on board the Rangitiki) This is a page of 'The What is?
On the occasion of the Assay Office’s bicentenary in 1973, Birmingham struck a special anchor with a ‘C’ on either side of the stock, to indicate two hundred years.The date letters below show the background shape for silver.The same letters were used for Gold, which has been marked in Birmingham since 1824, but with a background of a square with cut corners.Because of possible confusion with the Crown mark used after 1798, (as the hallmark for 18ct gold), the Sheffield assay mark was changed on January 1st 1975 for a rose.Which had incidentally, been used as the gold assay mark for Sheffield when the Assay Office was first entitled to test gold, after March 1st 1904.