Mystery mark.

What was this used for? - PHOTO REQUIRED
paulh
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Mystery mark.

Postby paulh » Mon Nov 22, 2021 12:53 pm

Not really a mystery object. It is obviously a napkin ring. What is mysterious is the mark. Firstly it is inside the ring, whereas it would more commonly be expected to be on the outside. Secondly it has the Waker & Hall pennant mark, but not a full hallmark, merely a punched “silver” mark.

I have my idea about how this came to be. That being, it was an “in house” piece, made by one of the Walker & Hall workmen and never sent to be assayed. I would welcome any other opinions.

Paul.

Image

Image

dognose
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Re: Mystery mark.

Postby dognose » Mon Nov 22, 2021 1:17 pm

Hi Paul,

How about Walker & Hall New Zealand?

Walker & Hall New Zealand, to whom they sent out semi-manufactured goods for finishing, though entitled to use the trademarks, was completely independent.

Source: Jack Of All Trades - And His Family - Peter Inchbald - 2013

Perhaps these were sent out to NZ in flat strip form and fashioned into shape out there. This would give them the opportunity to apply the mark before it was formed.

Trev.

paulh
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Location: Cheshire, England

Re: Mystery mark.

Postby paulh » Mon Nov 22, 2021 7:11 pm

Hello Trev,

That was my first thought. I have been in touch with W&H NZ. They say that it is nothing to do with them. There were also branches in Australia and South Africa, so it is possible that the partially made theory could apply there. Unfortunately they are all now closed and there is no one left to ask. W&H New Zealand is now just a string of jewellers. They bought the name and the rights to use the W&H pennant, when the British side was sold off to Collingwoods in the 1970s. They did have a silversmith working for them, but he did not use the pennant mark. He made up his own "hallmark". I will post a picture of it in Provincial and Colonial.

Paul.

dognose
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Re: Mystery mark.

Postby dognose » Tue Nov 23, 2021 6:15 am

Hi Paul,

As I know you are already aware, the Australian and South African branches of W & H were just that, colonial retail outlets of the parent company, whereas the New Zealand set-up was a separate firm working under licence from W & H. Thus, the Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Cape Town branches merely displayed and sold products sent out from Sheffield (with no doubt employing capable labour for engraving, re-finishing etc.). The silver products sold from these branches were likely English hallmarked, as they would have met the requirements of the assay office as being presented to them in as near as possible finished state, then re-finished at Sheffield prior to the export.

We know from Peter Inchbald's statement, that W & H sent to NZ goods in a 'semi-manufactured' state and thus these items were unlikely to bear English hallmarks and would perhaps be marked locally.

The New Zealand business must have employed their own team of working silversmiths to finish work, and no doubt these same silversmiths also made items, especially those needed in a hurry, as orders sent to England would take weeks and weeks to arrive. If a replacement simple plain napkin ring was needed, then why would you send for it from the other side of the world?

So many of the big corporate names haven't got a clue of the history of the firm's they own today. Gone are the days of employees with 30+ years standing who had an interest in the company that they had devoted their working lives to. Nowadays they are run by accountants etc, who 18 months ago were working for someone else, and in 18 months time will working again for someone else, to stay longer shows a 'lack of ambition' and thus saving the history of these once great names is left to oddballs like us. :))

Somewhere, I do have piece with W & H New Zealand marking, I'll dig it out and take some images of it.

Trev.

paulh
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Location: Cheshire, England

Re: Mystery mark.

Postby paulh » Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:37 am

Hello Trev,

These are the marks on a paper knife from W&H New Zealand.

Next to the W&H mark is Rangitoto, a landmark island in the harbour of Auckland, and the kiwi. I suspect that the W&H mark is not an original punch.

Paul.

Image

paulh
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Posts: 444
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Location: Cheshire, England

Re: Mystery mark.

Postby paulh » Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:40 am

So true about accountants running businesses about which they know nothing. I left the silver business when the family buisness I worked for brought in a team from the cheaper end of the shoe trade. They could just about tell you that forks were the spikey ones!

dognose
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Re: Mystery mark.

Postby dognose » Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:04 am

Marks taken from a plated swing-handle basket:

Image
W & H - Y (1951) - A1 - WALKER & HALL/(N.Z) Ltd

Trev.


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