English silver dating marks

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 information for this page was compiled with the assistance of the British Public Record Office, and the British Designs Registry Office. Their help, and permission to use the data, is certainly appreciated.It was Edward I who first passed a statute requiring all silver to be of sterling standard – a purity of 925 parts per thousand – ushering in a testing or assay system that has survived for over 700 years.Generally the letter was changed annually until a complete alphabet had been used and then the cycle would begin again with an alteration to the style of letter or its surrounding shield.For a variety of reasons this practice was not always adhered to and the resulting anomalies can be seen in the tables of marks.Until then, assay offices changed punches at different times of the year, so most letters were in fact used across two years.

Since hallmarking began, the leopard’s head has been used in various forms to denote the London Assay Office.Specialist publications are essential for locating and unstanding the meaning of a huge proliferation of different marks and symbols used on Scottish provincial silver.Although no longer compulsory, British hallmarks typically include a letter to indicate the year when a piece of silver was assayed.Starting in 1842, England has offered registration of it's decorative designs for pottery, china, wood, paper, pottery, china, porcelain, glass and more.By using the information below you can find the date a design was registered. Remember this date is just when the design was registered.

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Since 1999 the inclusion of a date letter has not been compulsory.

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