Silver - Some Guidelines For The Collector.
Buying a piece of antique silver
can be quite a daunting exercise, especially if it is
an expensive piece. However if the guidelines in this
article are followed then the buyer will have a sound
base from which to act. Never be frightened to ask the
dealer questions, as all reputable dealers are more
than willing to help. There are many good books on the
market that give details of hallmarks. Amongst them
are Bradbury’s; Jacksons’s Hallmarks and
Miller’s Guide to Buying Silver. All are available
in good bookshops and are an excellent source of information..
The above example shows 'grouping' of hallmarks on a silver punchbowl. The hallmarks will not always be in the same position but should all support each other.
1 - Maker's Mark -
Richard Martin & Ebenezer Hall.
2 - Lion Passant - Sterling Silver Mark.
3 - Assay Office Mark - London Post 1821.
4 - Date Letter -‘E’ for 1880.
5 -Monarch’s Head -(Victoria) showing
NB Monarch’s Head no longer stamped after 2nd
A further example (shown below) shows:
1 - Maker's Mark - Mackay & Chisholm.
2 - Monarch's Head(Victoria) showing duty
paid. Discontinued after 1890.
3 - Assay Office Mark -
Edinburgh Assay Office
4 - Thistle indicating
sterling silver. This is the Assay Master’s Mark
and is equivalent to the lion passant in England
5 -Date Letter - 1861 (Different shape
E from first example).
When Buying Antique Silver Use The
1. Is the piece fully marked?
2. Are all the hallmarks consistent with the purported
date of the piece?
3. Are any of the hallmarks distorted, over-struck or
in an unusual position?
4. If there are several pieces in the set do they all
carry the same hallmarks?
5. Are there any signs of repair or damage to the piece?
6. Will the dealer give you a receipt giving full details
of the piece, its date and details of the hallmarks?
–IF NOT RE-CONSIDER BUYING IT
7. Do you like the piece?
8. Buy the very best that you can afford but always
look for value for money
9. Do not rely on the piece to rise in value and bring
a large profit
10. ABOVE ALL ENSURE THAT YOU ARE DEALING WITH A REPUTABLE
We hope that you found this information of assistance or interest.
Whilst you are on the Wheathills site why not visit our beautiful Marquetry Memory Box section, they are like no other in the world.
Further features on hallmark identification can be found on our blog.