Duty Drawback Mark

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dognose
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Duty Drawback Mark

Postby dognose » Sat May 10, 2008 4:05 pm

Hi,

Just thought I'd post this example of the very rare Duty Drawback mark on a very damaged teaspoon, but with an excellent set of marks.
The mark was used only from 1st December 1784 until 24th July 1785. It was used when a silversmith, in this case George Smith III (Grimwade 906), claimed back the Duty paid when the spoon was assayed as it was to be exported, thus not being liable for British Taxation.

Image

Its use was discontinued because as it was applied after the item was in its finished state (the original assay marks were applied when the item was unfinished) it damaged the final piece causing an outcry from silversmiths, who petitioned Goldsmiths Hall until its use was dropped in July 1785.

Trev.
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fatso

Postby fatso » Tue May 13, 2008 2:24 am

Fantastic. The spoon is worth keeping, just as a curio as the hallmark
was rare and struck so well.
.

buckler
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Postby buckler » Tue May 13, 2008 8:47 am

The mark tends to very rare indeed in the UK, since by definition , pieces bearing it ended up abroad !
It occurs on Hester Bateman pieces as I believe she had a thriving export line to the Channel Islands. Does anyone know anything about this trade ?
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dognose
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Postby dognose » Tue May 13, 2008 3:39 pm

I wonder if Hester Bateman did have a thriving trade with the Channel Islands, or did she possibly discover a tax loop-hole?
As I understand it, items for export were taken to Customs House at the port of departure and here an officer called a Searcher would weigh the items and call for an official from Goldsmiths Hall who would then stamp the items with the Duty Drawback mark. At this point the Duty would be repaid, but a new tax was then applied for the export at I believe 4% (presumably 4% of the official bullion price) for all countries, but with one exception, the Channel Islands where only 1 1/2% was applied, so with the Duty repaid and just a small tax paid the goods were then loaded and shipped, but what happens if they were just brought back to Great Britain? I am not aware of how much import tax was, if anything. Foreign plate was required to be assayed, but this would not be the case here as it had already been assayed and marked.
This of course is only speculation on my part, I am not fully conversant with the facts, but if this was the case, the dropping of the Duty Drawback mark must have been a godsend, so was this the real reason that some silversmiths complained so bitterly about the stamping of this mark, using the excuse of damage to the finished product to vent their anger? I have only seen a couple of examples of this mark and have not noticed any resulting damage, but that is not enough to give a fair opinion.
Does anyone know something more concrete?

Trev.
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buckler
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Postby buckler » Wed May 14, 2008 4:18 am

Trev - Thanks very much for the lucid and very convincing theory . As the Channel Islands were not very prosperous in the 1780's, this explains why Hester or Peter , both of whom were smart cookies , may have been exporting there. Once on board ship the silver may have removed before sailing . It could even be that exporting and re-importing silversmith may have removed the duty drawback mark before re-selling.

Nothing is new- because of EC subsidies in Eire there is (or was twenty years ago) a trade in grain from Sharpness to Ireland - and back - to claim a subsidy which more than paid the freight. costs. I am not sure if the grain was ever offloaded in Ireland. Certainly it came back to the UK and was then sold !
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fatso

Postby fatso » Wed May 14, 2008 6:10 am

he he he hi hi hi
I remember the case of a shed straddling the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. Large doors on each side. The cattle were moved via one door from irish field, duly recorded as exported and shoed away to british side field. After a while made their way back the same way to be exported to Africa. Like in a song: those were the days, my son, when there were more forrestry workers in Sicily then a number of trees.
However, I would not trifle with Her Majesty's Customs Officers. Hangman's noose was their ugly tool of trade, the iron cage to rot alive in, in older times.

While visiting last year fabulous Cassel silver collection in Leeds(Sir Ernest Cassel) I was dumbstruck with mention of a highly regarded local silversmith, maker of the Lord Mayor of Leeds ceremonial maze. One of his objects was on display and it was mentioned, casually, that the poor chap was tried for coin clipping and eventually hanged.
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dognose
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Postby dognose » Thu May 15, 2008 4:18 pm

The most noticeable thing about the mark is its lack of detail, especially when compared with the Duty mark. Both punches would have been supplied by the Commissioner of Stamps, but I suppose whereas it would have been desireable to the counterfeiter to attempt to forge the Duty mark, there would have been no gain in forging the Drawback mark, so no need for extra detail.
The Drawback punch was presumably the work of Lewis Pingo who also engraved the Duty mark, he was the engraver to the Commissioner of Stamps whilst his brother John Pingo was the engraver to the Goldsmiths Company and would have made the Lion Passant, London mark and Date mark.

Trev.
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juantotree
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Re: Duty Drawback Mark

Postby juantotree » Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:11 am

Hi

I know this is an old thread but it seemed more appropriate to add this here rather than start a new topic.

This table spoon has the duty drawback mark on it, interestingly it has no maker's mark and also has the "k" date letter, all other examples I have seen images of have all been stamped with the "i" date letter.

Martin

Image
Image

dognose
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Re: Duty Drawback Mark

Postby dognose » Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:15 am

Hi Martin,

Thanks very much for sharing this with us. There's a lot more detail to the punch than I originally thought, for one thing, you can clearly see a cross on Britannia's shield.

Would it be possible to capture and post a real sharp close-up of the mark? I ask as we may never get the opportunity to see such an example again.

Trev.

juantotree
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Re: Duty Drawback Mark

Postby juantotree » Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:45 am

Hi Trev

This is about as good as I can get with my inexpensive camera.

Martin

Image

dognose
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Re: Duty Drawback Mark

Postby dognose » Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:17 am

Excellent Martin, many thanks!

Not just a cross on the shield, but clearly the Union Jack!

Trev.

juantotree
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Re: Duty Drawback Mark

Postby juantotree » Sat Mar 09, 2019 11:23 am

The level of detail only became apparent after I cropped the image, you couldn't really see it with the naked eye.

Martin

Aguest
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Re: Duty Drawback Mark

Postby Aguest » Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:19 pm

The duty-drawback symbol seems very similar to the British Trade Dollar, the first examples of which were actually stuck in Sterling Silver 925 as compared to the population of the coins which is struck in Coin Silver 900 ::

Image

I am just curious about the history of this image :::


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