Hi, I am in need of help identifying this spoon. It has the hallmark MS in an oval, a lion, a jester face, the letter N, and a man with a wig. I am newer to collecting and if anyone with experience can lend a helping hand; much appreciated!
MS is, as you conjecture, Mary Sumner. The constituent parts of the hallmark are:
- Duty Mark: in the form of the head of George IV; indicates that the relevant tax has been paid on the item - Date Letter: N for the assay year 1808/09 - Crowned leopard's head: symbol of the London Assay Office (replaced in 1821 by an uncrowned leopard's head) - Lion passant: sterling silver standard mark used by English Assay Offices. - MS: maker's mark