How identify worn Austro-Hungary Assay-office marks?

For information you'd like to share - Post it here - not for questions

How identify worn Austro-Hungary Assay-office marks?

Postby silverport » Tue May 11, 2010 8:30 pm

Hello all

Preliminaries:

Almost struck marks are marks in a cartouche; it doesn’t matter if these were Assay-office, or town marks, or alloy-indicators, or date marks, or maker’s marks.

Before you start your observations, you must always hold in mind the whole: Object, objects appearance, and marks – to could find a clue. It doesn’t matter, if the object is antique or made recently – it’s a kind of »document«, which maybe now you’ve just start to “read”, to find out his "author", or “editor”, year of “print” (production, or assaying) ...

How could you find out the fineness of an object, if the Austro-Hungary Assay-office marks are bad struck or worn? Well, by the accuracy of the Assay-offices that has happen seldom, and then most times only on difficult area, like e.g. knife’s ferrules.

Well, the systematic I will explain, is only of value for assay-office marks »Diana« for Silver, as well for »Apollo« marks for Gold, from 1867 until 1922. Additional marks, like e.g. export or import marks aren’t covered in this systematic!

The Austro-Hungary Assay-office had made an attempt, to invent and use a simple system of cartouches; which elementary details of cartouche were of special indication, like the following.

Primarily here explained by words:

One concave segment of a circle = 140-1,000 fineness of gold, or silver.

One part of a straight line = 150-1,000 fineness of gold, or silver.

One convex segment of a circle = 160-1,000 fineness of gold, or silver.

Now in details for Silver = »Diana« 1, or 2, or 3, or 4:

1 - 950-1,000 fineness = 5 convex segments + 1 straight line base = 5 x 160 + 1 x 150 = 950

2 - 900-1,000 fineness = 6 straight lines = 6 x 150 = 900

3 - 800-1,000 fineness = 5 convex segments = 5 x 160 = 800

4 - 750-1,000 fineness = 5 straight lines = 5 x 150 = 750

Now in details for Gold = »Apollo« 1, or 2, or 3, or 4:

1 - 920-1,000 fineness = 2 convex segments + 4 straight lines = 2 x 160 + 4 x 150 = 920

2 - 840-1,000 fineness = 6 concave segments = 6 x 140 = 840

3 - 750-1,000 fineness = 5 straight lines = 5 x 150 = 750

4 - 580-1,000 fineness = 2 straight lines + 2 concave segments = 2 x 150 + 2 x 140 = 580

Here are the »Diana« marks for Silver:

ImageImageImage ImageImage
1 or 950-1,000 fineness

Image ImageImage
ImageImage
2 or 900-1,000 fineness

ImageImageImage
ImageImage
3 or 800-1,000 fineness

ImageImage ImageImage
4 or 750-1,000 fineness

Here are the »Apollo« marks for Gold:

ImageImageImage
ImageImage
1 or 920-1,000 fineness

ImageImageImage
ImageImage
2 or 840-1,000 fineness

ImageImageImage
ImageImage
3 or 750-1,000 fineness

ImageImageImage
ImageImage
4 or 580-1,000 fineness

If you remember this systematic, then you could make a clue of fineness without seeing a whole mark.

Don’t forget that this is of value for the marks only from 1867 until 1922. In 1867 until 1872 were the Assay-Office indication letter struck separately! From 1872 until 1922 were these indication letters integrated in the cartouches!

If you don’t see in a bad struck cartouche the Assay-Office indication letter on their indicated place, that object is assayed in the time period from 1867 until 1872.

The fineness indication numerals remained on their usual place during whole period from 1867 until 1922!

Be attending: The »Apollo« 3 = pentagonal cartouche for 750-1,000 fineness of gold has 1872 switched clockwise a little bit their geometrical position of about 15º.

Final remark: Faces appearances may not always be equal as these pictures – face-liftings has happen too.

Now I hope to have helped, to understand this Austro-Hungary Assay-Office marks system a little bit better as before.

Kind regards silverport
.
silverport
contributor
 
Posts: 870
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:18 pm
Location: Portugal

Postby dognose » Wed May 12, 2010 4:10 am

Hi Silverport,

This is very useful. Many thanks for sharing this information with us.

Regards Trev.
.
dognose
Site Admin
 
Posts: 13302
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:53 pm
Location: England


Return to Contributors' Notes

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests