Our illustrated guide highlights the subtle ways you can discover the origins of any piece of silver. One of the most common inquiries at antique shows often has to do with authenticity: How do you know whether or not something is made of real silver? Collectors aren't always looking for pure sterling silver , per se, but they should be able to know the value and composition of the pieces they're buying. Most of the time, you can find the information you're looking for by simply taking a closer look at the teaspoon , fish fork, ice cream saw, or cheese scoup that you're eyeing. More often than not, you can find an indented mark or a series of marks that can tell you a lot about the item: what it's made of, where it was made, when, and by whom. You can find many different kinds of silver in the marketplace today. Some of the oldest American silver is "coin," which contains at least
February 22, Thank youit was really helpful and I learned quite a bit about silver marks. February 17, I own a small glass Hip-flask with a Silver lid and a small silver removable cup.
It was found in the rubble when contractors demolished the old Carlton Hotel in Johannesburg S. Please can you assist me. Many thanks. January 23, I" on their base.
Is something that doesn't have a date stamp, totally worthless? Can someone please offer some more information on these goblets?
Who made them? Where they're from? How much they may be worth? They were to be a gift for newly weds tomorrow, but my Mum is now convinced they're worth keeping! Oh dear?!
October 14, I have a very pretty vase with handle that has on bottom a pipe on each side of a shirt stamped in it. I can't find who's mark that is.
Dating wallace silver marks
August 22, I have a delicate-looking set of napkin holders, which I'm sure are sterling, but its extremely hard to decipher what the imprint is. What I've seen though is the following: " mylius Norway NM. I plan to sell it and would definitely need more info on this piece. June 29, I have what I believe to be an antique metal box. It is silver in color but it is not silver based on the lacking of any known mark on silver or silver plate to be what I have.
Silver is not a concern, but a describing word. It is a smallish metal box, one that has not tarnish in 15 or so years since I've found it.
Any references or knowledge would be greatly appreciated. I have a circa [filtered]tail set that looks and sounds like some kind of silver.
The markings on the bottom are Any information on what that means? April 27, Hi, I have to admit I know nothing about silver, but I love collecting all things old. Martin UK. April 13, I have a condiment set stamp with WB then horses head and silver can not find any reference to silver being stamped on pieces is this correct. March 1, I have an old silver tea set with this logo on the bottom, the handles are wooden I could not locate any information. February 10, I have an old silver tea or coffee pot and I would like to know who knows what V B C with a little o inside the C and below that is the letters N S means?
Can not dating wallace silver marks really. And have
Is it the makers mark and if so who was or is it. January 27, Help I have 6 forks from Furstlich decken mit Furst -Bestecken silver in red lined velvet box July 11, I have a little vase. It states nr silver at bottom. I think its nr. Is this plated or real ?
That would dating wallace silver marks mine, someone
Its very decorative. So hard to tell. October 4, I am trying to identify some silver flatware left to me. It is called Versailles I do not know if this is sterling?
Silver plate? Thanks L. I have 6 silver spoons that I bought in Poland in the late 's.
The marking says in the bowl of the spoon. Next to this outside of the oval are the letters S. Can you give me an idea of what that means please? They each weight 16gms. March 2, January 2, Does anyone know what x means stamped on a silver bowl?
July 14, What a great site, I learned so much!
Sterling Silver Markings Worldwide List
The difficulty in detecting such marks is generally related to the skill and knowledge of the forger. The silver marks most widely forged marks are generally those which have the potential for the greatest increase in value.
The Tiffany and Unger Bros.
Clockwise beginning at upper left corner: 1A - figural napkin ring, JM hallmark; 1B - forged Tiffany hallmark; 1C - figural teapot pill box, REO Sterling; 1D - new matchsafe virtually identical to 19th century original by Wallace. Reading marks left to right: maker's mark, DAB; standard mark, lion passant; assay mark, London; date stamp, Any piece with this maker's mark cannot be earlier than the mids.
The scale mark indicates the country of origin has signed the convention. Marks reading left to right: CME, maker's mark, identity unknown; scales, control mark; standard mark, ; unknown mark. Any item with this mark can be sold legally in England, Europe and US. Any piece with the scale control mark cannot be earlier than the mid- to lates.
The complete hallmark in Fig. This qualifies the piece for sale in England. The scales control mark, in Fig. Pieces with the scale control mark cannot be earlier than mid- to lates. The best way to catch these carefully prepared forgeries is a side-by-side comparison. Compare the mark of a suspected piece to genuine marks in reference books or known originals in your own collection. As a general rule, for example, marks on Tiffany silver include an order number and a pattern number.
The forged Tiffany mark in Fig. You can also catch many forgeries by knowing how original marks were applied. Almost all marks on almost all antique and collectible silver and silver plate, were applied with stamps. Unique, individual or custom marks-such as serial numbers, order numbers, artists marks, hallmarks, etc. Larger marks with several lines or large symbols, could be struck by hand or a machine press. Most marks on silver plate, regardless of the size of the mark, were mostly struck by machine presses because the base metal was heavier and stronger than solid silver.
Complex marks, like the Tiffany example previously discussed, may include both standard company marks found on all pieces, as well as unique marks for individual pieces such as an order number, pattern number, date letter and others.
If this sounds like a lot of work, it was. It also involved a great deal of highly specialized equipment. Fortunately, most forgers don't have the time or the money to duplicate original vintage marks so they take shortcuts. The most common shortcut is to cast, or mold, a mark rather than stamp marks. If you make a single mold with an old appearing mark, every piece made in the mold will carry that mark.
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That process saves both the time it would take to stamp a mark on each new piece as well as the expense of the stamps and other necessary equipment. Some of the most common cast forgeries of old marks in the market today are found on figural napkin rings. Cast, or molded, marks almost always lack the detail found in stamped marks.
Dec 11, Most of these silver pieces usually have marks and once you have identified the mark then you can check the date of that mark from the directories. This really helps and you can be sure of knowing when the silverware that you are using was made and how precious it is. Wallace silver platter. A date letter first appeared on English silver plate in the year as a result of legislation. In clause VIII of the Act 8 & 9 William III c.8 which, among other things, deals with the marks that must be applied to assayed plate at Goldsmiths' Hall the following wording is used: " . and a distinct variable mark to be used by the warden of the said mystery, to denote the year in which. These small stamped symbols on the back or underside of silver items can tell you the purity of the silver, the manufacturer of the piece, and sometimes even the date it was made. Understanding how to read hallmarks is an important skill for any antiques enthusiast.
Cast marks tend to be shallow with ragged or blurred edges and uneven in depth of impression. Original stamped marks are just the opposite: clean sharp edges with an almost perfectly uniform depth of impression.
Several examples of new molded marks are shown next to the original stamped marks in Figs. At the current time, faked cast marks are more commonly found on new silver plate than silver.
Pieces of silver with fake marks tend to be found on simply shaped objects easily cast as a single piece. These include thimbles, brooches, tussie-mussies, charms, needle cases and other similar pieces.
The biggest danger in detecting new molded marks is to stop your examination after you have matched a suspected mark to marks in a reference book. Molds made from originals produce copies with original appearing marks. You must examine how marks are made as well as how the mark reads. This is especially important if your original mark is a line drawing and not a photograph. As a practical matter, it is almost impossible to remember all the names, forms and variations of silver marks.
General line dealers and casual collectors can probably avoid most mass produced silver fakes in today's market by following the guidelines on page These short tips highlight the basic differences in how new and old marks are created and applied. On this and following pages are examples of marks frequently seen on new silver.
Most of these marks contain obvious features such as size, lack of detail, a convention mark, or the standard mark, that will help you easily identify pieces as new. Keep in mind genuine marks on 19th and early 20th century silver and silver plate vary considerably in appearance and new marks frequently change.
Many of these marks appear in areas where no logical normal wear would occur. Blurred marks can be a sign of a cast, not stamped, mark. All marks, whether standing alone or combined with other symbols as the above example, are very nearly a guarantee of a reproduction.
R. Wallace & Sons Wallingford, Connecticut Pierced Sterling Tea Strainer, c R. Wallace & Sons Mfg. Co. Wallingford, Connecticut - Present Major manufacturer, full line flatware and holloware. Currently named - Wallace Silversmiths (maker's mark examples) CLOSE. To date your silver from its hallmark first identify the assay office (e.g. anchor for Birmingham, leopard's head for London, etc.). Then click on the appropriate link below to go to the tables of date letters. If you are unable to identify the assay office from one of the town marks below you may have a piece of imported silver. Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks & Makers' Marks Flatware Patterns of R. Wallace & Sons www. com www. com www. com .
The standard mark was very rarely used in vintage American silver. It was not widely used until the European Community EC adopted it in the mids. The standard mark above is smaller than the diameter of the lead in the wooden pencil shown for comparison.
England's system of hallmarks-a variety of official emblems stamped on silver to illustrate its purity -is one of the oldest and most detailed. Laws dating to the 14th century established strict requirements for marking silver; the first emblem was a crowned lion's head to . Marks and information in AMERICAN SILVERPLATE section: WALLACE BROS SILVER COMPANY: further marks and information in AMERICAN SILVERPLATE section: R. WALLACE & SONS MFG CO - Wallingford CT The founder of the firm was Robert Wallace who, after his apprenticeship to Captain William Mix, began in his own manufacture of Britannia (a pewter alloy) spoons. Dating Antique Silver Hallmarks Antique Silver Hallmarks and how to indentify where your silver comes from. Antique silver hallmarks have been used to control the quality of goods made of silver since the 14th century and the organisation that regulates the .
Any mark under one-sixteenth of an inch is suspect. Virtually without exception, authentic marks on vintage silver and silver plate were stamped, not cast. Reproductions, particularly new silver plate, are generally cast in molds. Since new molds are usually made by copying originals, marks on originals are usually transferred to the new molds.
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Cast marks are almost always blurred with impressions of uneven depth. London leopard's head crowned until London leopard's head uncrowned present.
London lion head erased. Birmingham anchor present. Birmingham bicentennial commemorative Sheffield crown Sheffield Tudor rose present.
Chester a sword erect between three wheat-sheaves Exeter a castle with three towers