Marks on silver spectacles frames

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Hallibag
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Marks on silver spectacles frames

Postby Hallibag » Sun May 19, 2019 7:29 pm

Hi everyone,

This is my first posting on this forum, so please be gentle with me!

I have a pair of antique eyeglasses with confusing marks. The front part that holds the lenses is marked with the date letter "o" on one side of the nose piece, and a duty mark - King George III? - on the other. The front temple pieces on both sides have the initials "IM", a lion sterling mark and, again, a duty mark. The rear temple parts are just stamped with the lion sterling mark.

Now, what I'm wondering is, why are there no assay office marks? And, without an assay office mark, is it possible to determine the year these glasses were made?

I'm beginning to wonder if these frames were made in Canada, where they were found, and that these hallmarks might be psuedo-marks, mimicking British hallmarks. If so, perhaps the maker could be John Munro, from New Brunswick?

Here are a few photos; please let me know what you think:

Image

Image

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Thanks!

silvermakersmarks
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Re: Marks on silver spectacles frames

Postby silvermakersmarks » Mon May 20, 2019 2:43 am

Hi and welcome to the forum.

Your spectacles are English and bear a London hallmark for 1829/30. Although there is no assay office mark (it would have been the uncrowned leopard's head), the other marks point to this location and date. I have not seen enough spectacle frames from this sort of time to know whether the lack of assay office mark is wholly normal, but omitting it on earlier smaller items around the turn of the century certainly is normal.

I think that the maker's mark is actually JM. This is the mark of Joseph Millard who registered the mark, as a spectacle maker, on 7 March 1822 at 24 Coppice Row, Cold Bath Fields, Clerkenwell.

Phil

dognose
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Re: Marks on silver spectacles frames

Postby dognose » Mon May 20, 2019 6:00 am

Hi,

I agree with Phil. However, the London Assay Office mark is there, difficult to make out, but it's the one next to the Lion Passant.

Trev.

Hallibag
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:02 pm

Re: Marks on silver spectacles frames

Postby Hallibag » Mon May 20, 2019 9:22 am

Thank you, Phil and Trev. Mystery solved!

user701
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Re: Marks on silver spectacles frames

Postby user701 » Tue May 21, 2019 4:07 am

I have had a few pairs of Georgian silver spectacles, one with London assay office hallmarks, one London, but no assay office marks, one with Birmingham assay office marks. Nice find, I love the old spectacles, especially folding arms, like you have.

Hallibag
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:02 pm

Re: Marks on silver spectacles frames

Postby Hallibag » Tue May 21, 2019 5:35 pm

user701 wrote:Nice find, I love the old spectacles, especially folding arms, like you have.


Thanks! They’re marked “Pebbles” on the right arm which, I believe, refers to their being magnifying reading glasses. Amazingly, they just happen to be the same strength as the modern reading glasses I wear so, sometimes, I use these 190-year-old spectacles as originally intended. :)

user701
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Re: Marks on silver spectacles frames

Postby user701 » Wed May 22, 2019 2:19 am

Hallibag wrote:
user701 wrote:Nice find, I love the old spectacles, especially folding arms, like you have.


Thanks! They’re marked “Pebbles” on the right arm which, I believe, refers to their being magnifying reading glasses. Amazingly, they just happen to be the same strength as the modern reading glasses I wear so, sometimes, I use these 190-year-old spectacles as originally intended. :)


How wonderful that you can use them :) I think the best one I had was a early Georgian pair with blue tinted lenses.


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