help with hallmarks

PHOTOS REQUIRED - marks + item
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help with hallmarks

Postby DiamondDog » Sat Jan 26, 2008 6:55 am


These hallmarks get me crazy now for a couple of weeks...
It is a box of, i think, sollid silver but i can't seem to conect these marks with any country in any of my books.
One looks like a thisle but i'm pretty sure it isn't Scottish.

Can someone please tell me what country this box originates and what the other markings represent?

Thanks in advance

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Harlequin with hood, and star shaped shoulder collar

Postby silverport » Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:34 pm

Hello all

By use of some explained theoretical basics, I like to start here an attempt to find maybe a solution for this now already more then two years lasting »blanc«:

I guess that this silver item is marked in the area of Bregenz, Hall and Innsbruck, Austria.

Let’s look on details (from left to right, for the marks):

First mark I interpret as a portrait of a hooded harlequin with a star shaped shoulder collar = maybe maker’s mark?

Second mark I interpret as a “short”, »Insp« in Gothic »textura-letters« standing for »Innsbruck«, capital of Austrian Tyrol?

Third mark I interpret as the traditionally Tyrol »Eagle« - not double headed, as that from Austria-Hungary?

Fourth mark I interpret as a in that area reused Austria Assay Office-indication of a historic »H1« for little objects?


A hooded harlequin could also stand for the silver mine worker in their protective work habit. In Hall was one of the most import mint offices of the Roman-German Empire — by the way, a very inventive mint as well. From there came also the coins name »Häller«, the latter »Heller«.

Innsbruck was the latter capital of Austrian Tyrol — former capital for entire Tyrol was Brixen. The here shown item could be a kind of souvenir with history. The gothic letters were until yet a kind of letter type for Tyrol national identity. Especially the slim »textura-typus« is in use by lack of space.

In 1938 Austria was occupied by German troops — some had the hope: Tyrol to be reunited.

The »Eagle of Tyrol« was the primary symbol of the Prince Bishop of Brixen bishopric. Traditionally one headed with circularly wide spread wings — but always without other symbol in his feet; not any globe or sceptre! In this case I “see” a shield on his chest — interpretation mistake; result of the low pixel photo quality?

During a long term of history were there also settled the assay; e.g. in the mint of Hall. During the Austro-Hungarian period, Hall Assay Office has got from 1866-1868 the indication letter »H« - this basic indication »H« was 1868 switched over to Bregenz, from 1868-1920; Bregenz has had from 1866-1868 the indication »H1«, as a former dependency of the traditional Hall Assay Office. This »H1« indication was then switched over, for thirty years, to Innsbruck Assay Office, in the time 1869-1898 as a dependency of Bregenz. Then after 1898, Innsbruck Assay has got his independency — and the letter »J« as indication letter until 1922.

Sorry, until yet it was impossible for me, to get a reliable information for use of indication »H1« after 1922.


Between the two World Wars the styles of »Art deco« and »Neue Sachlichkeit« (»bauhaus«) have had their high noon.

Artists of both stylistic »languages« found, that embosses of hand wrought silver items be a kind of testimony for »not machine made mass product«. They observed and discussed in details the pro and contra — e.g. »original hand wrought«, »national stylistic«, »enlargement of output capacity« = »social« and »more affordable«.

These discussions had also socio-political backgrounds from the economy decline around »The Black Friday« of 25 October 1929.

One example there fore is the labour dispute in Bremen, Germany. Especially that dispute of the workmen of »Hanseatische Silberwarenfabrik Bremen«. Result, to punish the hollowware workmen, was a cooperation contract between the two German silver ware factories »Hanseatische Silberwarenfabrik Bremen« and »Wilhelm Binder, Schwäbisch Gmünd«.

These two companies’s divided and concentrated their production from 1 January 1930 on:

»Hanseatische Silberwarenfabrik Bremen« became the whole cutlery production, and signed as

»Wilhelm Binder, Schwäbisch Gmünd« became the whole hollowware production, and signed, as usual »WTB«.

Here with you could see correlations between styles, political and socio-economic circumstances. Because then after the decline came up a kind of »Art brut« in cutlery and hollowware = heavy gauge, often hammered. Plated cutlery e.g. changed from 90 Gram to 100 Gram as usual minimum.


I guess that the item in question is hand wrought in the Austrian Tyrol area, between the two World Wars. I think in a (little) workshop, in the then usual style of »Klarheit und Wahrheit« (»clarity and honestly«).

The item could be also an attempt to be in that period a kind of confession of self-confidence of Tyrol?

Many questions remain — I hope especially on the assistances of the Austrian »925-1000« readers!

Thank you in advance for every contribution and correction — to get for final a well sounded result!

Kind regards silverport

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Re: help with hallmarks

Postby dognose » Mon Dec 02, 2013 2:38 pm


I just came across this old post by chance, and it's a great example of the advantage of leaving your images in place, as you never know when an answer may come up.

The mark in question is that of Industrial Metal Products of Salisbury, Rhodesia, now Harare, Zimbabwe.

See page 4 of: South African and Rhodesian Silversmiths


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