French Town & City Marks|
Hallmarking in France began as early as the mid-thirteenth century. Initially only with a town or 'maison commune' mark. The individual maker's mark began its appearance in 14th century Paris and spread to the outlying areas. In 1460, a royal edict called for the use of the variable date letter with crowned top. The 'countermark', the first official type of standard guarantee mark used by French assay masters, was decreed in 1543. In 1672 appeared the 'charge' and 'discharge' marks, both essentially duty marks, but the first also functioned as a further standard guarantee.
Various combinations of the above marks were used at various times and in different areas. Below are illustrated most of the town marks of France listed with the city having jurisdiction over them.