The same applies to silver. To do otherwise is disrespectful of the American workers that made those pieces of silver so many years ago. The dating is done by close examination of the type of silver and small changes to the hallmarks. The marks are mostly the same on flatware and hollow ware, with an exception noted below. A common error is seeing the S. A very popular on-line silver mark identification site leaves out this valuable information and there is a lot of incorrectly dated Kirk silver on ebay and elsewhere because of it.
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By Kate Miller-Wilson Antique Collector Whether you’ve picked up an interesting object at a flea market or you’d like to know a bit about the history of an item you inherited, there are lots of great free resources that can help. There’s no need to pay a fortune in appraisals simply to satisfy your curiosity. Identifying Antiques for Free If you’re interested in learning more about an object, the first thing you’ll need to do is identify its category. Examine it carefully, and choose one of the following categories to describe it: Manufacturers often reproduce pieces from other eras, and some styles, like Shaker wood furniture, never really go out of fashion.
According to TLC Home , it’s better to look at the construction and finish of the piece instead. Examine all sides of the piece. If it’s a table, turn it over and look for marks or labels. If it’s a sofa, remove the cushions to look for a tag or label. Most factory-made items will include some sort of identifier.
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These five nations have, historically, provided a wealth of information about a piece through their series of applied punches. London assay office hallmarks on the back of a waiter, or small square salver. Marks indicate it is Britannia gauge silver made by or for Paul de Lamerie taken to or in London and dated it could have been made a year or two earlier than A stamp indicating the purity of the silver is called the assayer’s mark.
The mark for silver meeting the sterling standard of purity is the Lion Passant , but there have been other variations over the years, most notably the mark indicating Britannia purity.
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A silver object that is to be sold commercially is, in most countries, stamped with one or more silver hallmarks indicating the purity of the silver, the mark of the manufacturer or silversmith, and other (optional) markings to indicate date of manufacture and additional information about the piece.
Thanks to the “date letter” any piece of British sterling silver can be exactly dated. Old Sheffield Plate and Electroplated silver are not subject to this practice and the regulation issued by the authorities had the main objective of preventing possible frauds by unscrupulous sellers of plated ware. The best-known initiative is the prohibition effective from c. Elkington was forced to change its mark in of stamping plated wares with the “crown”, to avoid misunderstanding with the symbol identifying the Sheffield Assay Office.
The absence of an official dating system makes it difficult to date silver plated wares. An approximate date can be determined by examining: Elkington deleted the “crown” from its mark in In this case, being known the date letters of Elkington, we can date exactly the two marks. That in the left with the crown is That on the right without the crown is The “LD” indicates that the piece was made after that date.
The “LTD” indicates that the piece was made after that date. In this case the date is July 26, This is not the date of manufacture of the piece popular model continued to be manufactured for many years but signifies that it was made after this date.