How unusual is it to have six Hallmarks !?

Do not post mark questions here.
TheShadowSpoon
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:11 pm

How unusual is it to have six Hallmarks !?

Postby TheShadowSpoon » Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:29 pm

Hello all - I am new on here - I am a keen collector of Silver Table Spoons pre 1837 - I have an interesting item at the moment in so far as it has six, rather than the usual four or five, Hallmarks - I note that as well as the three castles for Newcastle, it also displays the Leopards Head for London ! - Could anyone kindly state whether six Hallmarks is a rare occurrence and why the two different Assay marks - Thank-you very much...Stephen...

dognose
Site Admin
Posts: 32387
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:53 pm
Location: England

Re: How unusual is it to have six Hallmarks !?

Postby dognose » Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:11 pm

Hi,

Welcome to the Forum.

It is quite normal to find the Leopard's Head mark on larger items assayed at Newcastle.

The reason the Leopard's Head was struck by some provincial offices, was due to a badly worded Act of Parliament. When the old standard was restored following the passing of the 1719 'Act for Laying a Duty on Wrought Plate' , Parliament seemed almost oblivious to the working of the provincial offices, and worded the Act as if it was only directed at London.

I only have to hand a shortened version of the Act to hand, and it makes no mention of any particular office. The part of the Act that caused the confusion was as follows:

From and after 1st June , 1720, all silver vessels of plate or manufactured of silver shall not be less in fineness than that of 11oz. 10dwt. of fine silver in every pound troy, or of silver less in finess than 11oz. 2dwt. of fine silver in every troy pound; which two different standards of wrought plate shall be severally and respectively marked with distinguishing mark; (that is to say), vessels made of silver plate or manufactured silver, not less in fineness that 11oz. 10dwt. of fine silver in every troy pound, to be marked with the workman's mark, the mark of the wardens of the mystery or craft of the goldsmiths, and with the figure of the lion's head erased and the figure of a woman called the Britannia; and all vessels of silver plate or manufactured silver, not less in fineness than 11oz. 2dwt. of fine silver in every pound troy, and under the degree of 11oz. 2dwt. of fine silver in every pound troy, shall be marked with the workman's mark, the wardens of the mystery or craft of the goldsmiths as aforesaid, and with the the figure of the Lion Passant, and the figure of a Leopard's Head.

Following the passing of the Act, the provincial offices had no choice really but to comply with the badly worded law, and Exeter, York, Chester, and Newcastle added the Leopard's Head to their marks. Exeter dropped that particular mark in 1777, but the others continued. Neither Birmingham or Sheffield used the mark following their establishment in 1773.

Trev.

TheShadowSpoon
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:11 pm

Re: How unusual is it to have six Hallmarks !?

Postby TheShadowSpoon » Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:43 pm

Hello Trev...I am not that used to all this modern way of doing things on computers, but would just wish to thank you for your excellent response to my question, as above - very interesting and certainly helps to explain the six Hallmarks - Thanks again...Regards.....Stephen...


Return to “General Questions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests