1882 bangles no duty marks

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stevejones
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Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:24 pm

1882 bangles no duty marks

Postby stevejones » Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:36 pm

Hello,
I'm new to collecting silver and I'm enjoying it and learning a lot. I do have a question on 'duty marks', or lack of them...

I purchased a lovely quality bangle stamped up for Birmingham 1882, but there is no duty mark. I looked online before I purchased it and all the other images of 1882 were the same 'h' date letter... without the queen's head. I figured it was usual so bought the piece and it is splendid.

Can anyone confirm similar items pre 1890 without duty mark? Any experience and knowledge you can share is appreciated.

Many thanks,
Steve.

dognose
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Re: 1882 bangles no duty marks

Postby dognose » Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:59 pm

Hi Steve,

Welcome to the Forum.

Your question cannot be answered without the required images. The below should help you:

How to Add Images

Posting Requirements

http://www.tinypic.com is recommended. Embedded images get a far greater response than just posting links.

Remember to use the 'Preview' button before submitting your post.

Trev.

stevejones
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Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:24 pm

Re: 1882 bangles no duty marks

Postby stevejones » Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:50 pm

Sorry first time posting. Thanks for the instructions...

Image

stevejones
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Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:24 pm

Re: 1882 bangles no duty marks

Postby stevejones » Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:52 pm

Here is the whole thing...

Image

dognose
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Re: 1882 bangles no duty marks

Postby dognose » Sat Nov 15, 2014 12:37 pm

Hi Steve,

The question is a good one, the answer is however a little cloudy. In essence, yes, the bangle, providing it is above the minimum weight for compulsory hallmarking, or below, for voluntary hallmarking, should be struck with the duty mark. However, for some reason at Birmingham at this time period, the duty mark does not appear to have been struck on all jewellery. The only reason I can think of is that the marking was minimised to prevent further damage caused by the striking of the marks.

This question arose back in 2008, and I'm sure will be of interest to you: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=11832&p=26597#p26597

Enjoy your new field of collecting and don't be a stranger to the forum. We look forward to seeing more of your finds.

Trev.

dognose
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Re: 1882 bangles no duty marks

Postby dognose » Sat Nov 15, 2014 1:52 pm

Forgot to mention, if you were not already aware, the maker was Minshull & Latimer of 102, Vyse Street, Birmingham. This is likely to be an earlier mark to the one shown here: http://www.925-1000.com/dlBirmingham5.html#M

Trev.

stevejones
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Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:24 pm

Re: 1882 bangles no duty marks

Postby stevejones » Sat Nov 15, 2014 3:13 pm

Thanks Trev.
I was really pleased with this find as to the crispness of the pattern. I appreciate your comments. Can't wait until Christmas to see my wife's face :-)
Cheers!

Roelsama
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:29 pm

Re: 1882 bangles no duty marks

Postby Roelsama » Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:06 pm

Trev, the information you posted has been helpful to me, as well. I have a similar bangle that seems to be from the year 1883, however the maker is still unknown to me. Thank you for posting the link to the other discussion!

If you have a moment, please take a look at my post about my Victorian bracelet and let me know if you have any suggestions regarding where I might find out about a maker with the initials R&K or possibly RLK.

Thanks!

Cuznerfan
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Re: 1882 bangles no duty marks

Postby Cuznerfan » Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:26 am

Hello Steve,
Just to put to rest any thoughts anyone has about Birmingham Assay Office not stamping and collecting duty on precious metals in this period (they would have until duty was abolished in May 1890) The bangles in question (similar to the large oval lockets of the period) were exempt from hallmarking and any item which was exempt from hallmarking was exempt from duty. This is the reason why duty marks are rarely, if ever found on this type of item of jewellery from any Assay Office at this period. For a full list of exemptions of the period see p. 218 and 219 of Thomas B. Wigley's book 'The Art of The Goldsmith and Jeweller' 1898 where he includes the list provided by William Westwood (Birmingham Assay Master) from June 1885. The salient points being under 'silver exemptions'- 'Lockets and Bracelets' and at the end of the letter 'Gold and silver wares not required to be Assayed and Marked may nevertheless be Assayed and Marked, and are not thereby liable to the duty.' The date letter is most definately 'i' for 1883-4! I hope this helps.
Kind regards
Craig

dognose
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Re: 1882 bangles no duty marks

Postby dognose » Fri Nov 21, 2014 8:04 pm

Hi Craig,

Thanks for your input into this grey area, I say grey, as to me it still remains so. William Westwood's list is that of the exempted items that were listed in the Plate Offences Act of 1738, this part of the Act was never repealed in Victorian times and to my knowledge was current at the time of his letter that was published in Thomas B. Wigley's book. The Act uses the term 'bracelets', something that, again to my knowledge, referred to fairly lightweight chains or thin bands at this period.

This was the closest reference I came across as to how articles of jewellery had changed over the years, taken from a Parliamentary Committee in 1878 when James Garrard was questioned:

Q. You are aware that there are many articles of gold which are not compelled to be hallmarked? Take, for instance, a gold watch chain?

A. At the date of the Act (1738) at which those exemptions were made, the class of chain made was a light chain that would collapse under the punch, and such as could not have been marked. If you have a chain that your grandfather wore, you will see it is a chain unlike those of the present day.

I wonder if exempting the much heavier-weight bangles was ever in the spirit of the Act. It would be interesting to see if any of the other offices adopted the same interpretation of the Act, or was Westwood looking after the interests of the Birmingham jewellery trade?

As a side note, one thing I did learn about bangles (and other hollow work) that I often wondered about, was how the marks were stuck without the article collapsing under the pressure of the punch, apparently the manufacturer would supply the assay office with a correctly sized and shaped tool to insert into the item whilst the marking is taking place, simple.

I guess that was a typo, the date letter 'h' - 1882

Trev.

Cuznerfan
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Re: 1882 bangles no duty marks

Postby Cuznerfan » Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:37 pm

Thank you Trev for correcting my date this one is indeed 'h' for 1882-3, it was the bangle in the other thread I was confusing it with!
Of course William Westwood would have been on the side of the Birmingham trade he was at this time presiding over the largest Assay Office in the World but it is a case of how the Acts are read- you have taken 'bracelet' in the exemption to mean 'fairly lightweight chains or thin bands' Mr Westwood has taken it as including bangles (which are afterall a class of bracelet!). One of the reasons he listed the exemptions in the aforementioned book was to aid the trade so that they may be aware of what items were required to be hallmarked and as you can see it still causes confusion today!
As for the reduction of damage whilst the items were marked this is done by choosing the 'bed' which supports the item best, 'beds' are the shaped, metal supports onto which the piece to be marked is placed when struck. The Birmingham Assay Office has an entire room of 'beds' although to the best of my knowledge it has never been called the bedroom!
Kind regards
Craig

dognose
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Re: 1882 bangles no duty marks

Postby dognose » Sat Nov 22, 2014 2:07 pm

Hi Craig,

Many thanks for the added information. Regarding the 'beds', were these supplied by the BAO, or are they an accumulation of pieces supplied by past manufacturers? Or is that information lost in the mists of time?

Of course the easiest way to get the exemption is for the Birmingham trade to describe them as bracelets in the first place!

Image
P. Vaughton & Sons - Birmingham - 1881

Trev.

stevejones
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Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:24 pm

Re: 1882 bangles no duty marks

Postby stevejones » Sun Nov 30, 2014 6:27 pm

Thanks very much Gents for the interesting comments. I would have never expected to have gained so much insight into the history of this little bracelet.

can anyone suggest how the flowery pattern is made? It doesn't look engraved.. is it rolled to imprint the central pattern or could it be acid etched?

I'm intreagued how it would have been made and I'm sure I wont find it on Youtube.. ha.

Cheers, Steve.


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