Lion's head anomaly

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riggy
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Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2020 3:55 am

Lion's head anomaly

Postby riggy » Mon Dec 07, 2020 3:34 am

Hi, I haven't been here in a while as not usually flummoxed.
A silver spoon bearing the London marks but 1837 or 1839? The lion's head in this instance appears unique to only one year, that of 1837 the year of death or King George and accession to the throne of Victoria. The Gothic upper case B or D is not all that clear in the stamp.If this is indeed D why no change of assay mark? If I am interpreting correctly the lion has an expression of sorrow(at the passing of the king?) which I wouldn't expect to have been seen two years later. I know there were anomalies in hallmarks in the early days , wrong cartouche shape even an occasional wrong date letter etc but I can't pin this down. The other anomaly which possibly precludes 1837 is that William Theobalds & Robert Atkinson aren't recorded as being registered until 1838. Given the inaccuracy of record keeping at times, could their date of registration be incorrect? Could they have made this prior to registration?

Thanks in advance.

Image

AG2012
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Re: Lion's head anomaly

Postby AG2012 » Mon Dec 07, 2020 4:22 am

Hi,
I think it is 1839. Leopard`s head uncrowned and Queen Victoria.
Regards

silvermakersmarks
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Re: Lion's head anomaly

Postby silvermakersmarks » Mon Dec 07, 2020 4:45 am

I agree - It's the "D" of 1839 so no anomaly with the duty mark. Variations in the "constant" components of a hallmark are to be expected as the punches were hand-made and would have been re-made fairly frequently to avoid having to use worn punches.

Phil

spobby
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Re: Lion's head anomaly

Postby spobby » Mon Dec 07, 2020 6:12 am

I think I answered this correctly for you in another forum ;)
Regards
John

riggy
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Re: Lion's head anomaly

Postby riggy » Mon Dec 07, 2020 9:11 am

spobby wrote:I think I answered this correctly for you in another forum ;)
Regards
John

Thank you John, appreciated, but it didn't fully answer my question of the 'anomaly' of the 1837 leopard head (different from all other years) used in 1839 which in all later stamps used 1838 onwards is distinctly different.However, belatedly, Pearl Rule Brewer has cited examples of the anomally as not being unique to 1837.

dognose
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Re: Lion's head anomaly

Postby dognose » Mon Dec 07, 2020 10:27 am

Hi,

Welcome to the Forum.

I think the answer as to the difference noted in the Leopards' head punches is down to the fact that the Company's engraver at this time, John Smith, was struggling with failing eyesight and it was noted that the wardens were dissatisfied with his work. This was the fact that led to the appointment of William Wyon, who was the engraver at the Mint, as Smith's successor. New, greatly improved punches were in use as from 1840.

I think it also worth noting, is the huge amount of punches that were supplied to the LAO by the engraver, in 1820 John Smith was recorded as supplying nearly 500 punches annually to the Company.

Trev.

AG2012
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Re: Lion's head anomaly

Postby AG2012 » Mon Dec 07, 2020 10:41 am

That`s extremely valuable information (I mean 500 punches delivered annually to the Company).
I have mentioned on several occasions in regard of marks and punches in various countries; we often exaggerate assaying silver as if it was meant to conform with our perception of supposedly immaculate marking system serving for collectors` taste. In reality, assaying was meant to collect taxes (duty) and as such, prone to all sorts of irregularities, fraud and even criminal behavior (the same today with universal tax evasion).
Regards

legrandmogol
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Re: Lion's head anomaly

Postby legrandmogol » Mon Dec 07, 2020 10:41 am

And not to be that guy but it was the death of William IV, not George IV in 1837 the preceded Queen Victoria. He only had 7 years as King so I always try to give him credit whenever possible.


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