A pair of salts manufactured by the partnership of Robert Cattle and James Barber.
Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.4 cm. Weight: 180 grams (the pair).
This pair were part of a lot of four pairs submitted for assay at the York Assay Office on the 30th January 1814, of this we can be confident, as there was no other submission of salts around this period and by this partnership. These would have been the last salts to be made by the firm of Cattle and Barber.
The use of the incuse punches are not without note, these punches were usually reserved for the marking of gold items, but Michael Baggott in his 'Illustrated Guide to York Hallmarks 1776-1858'
notes the following: "Occasionally an incuse version of the date letter will occur (the letters 'a' and 'b' for 1812-14), which in the past caused some confusion..... The explanation for the use of these incuse marks is a simple one. Small incuse punches were favoured at York for the assay of gold, but on occasion when a small punch was required to be struck (or if no other punch was to hand) then the incuse punch meant for gold would be struck on silver"
Many thanks to members 'dartsil'
and 'antiquum obitens
' for providing information for this post.