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Need help identifying this mark
Posted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:09 pm
I have a silver/silver plate coffee pot that I need help in identifying. The makers name is F&R, followed by what appears to be a beaver, then the letters 'Ste', which I presume stands for 'Sterling'. I think it may be American or Canadian in origin. Can anyone help?http://www3.filehost.to/files/2007-02-2 ... er_011.jpghttp://www2.filehost.to/files/2007-02-2 ... ver_12.JPG
Posted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:51 pm
Checked my Canadian references, but could not find a similar set of marks.
Posted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 12:21 am
That's an Australian mark. This set of marks was used on items produced by W.J. Sanders for Fairfax & Roberts Jewelers (both of Sydney Australia). They started using this mark in 1920.
Posted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:04 am
Thankyou very much for the information. Just one more question. How can I tell whether it is solid sterling silver, or just silver plated?
Posted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:26 pm
I believe that your coffee pot is sterling silver. No consistent, regulated form of marking silver ever was used in Australia. Australian silversmiths did not have access to an Assay office, so, they created their own individual style of marks. Prior to 1978 there was a wide range of sterling silver stamps in use other than .925 (e.g. Sterling, STE, STG, SIL, ST. Silver, Stg Sil, and Stg.Silv).
W.J. Sanders, founded in 1911, was a good company. They produced sterling silver items for such retailers as David Jones, Fairfax & Roberts, Hardy Bros., Pellegrini and Prouds.
Posted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:22 pm
Although I've never seen an official Australian hallmark, they did exsist. The Commonwealth of Australia Hall-Mark Company was opened in 1923 at the Sydney Assay Office, the marks were as follows:
Kookaburra for Gold,
Wren for Silver,
The fineness of each metal was distinguished by numerals, the Kookaburra and Wren were struck in oblong punches with clipped corners as follows:
Mark with corners intact: New South Wales,
Mark with right top corner clipped: Victoria,
Mark with left hand bottom corner clipped: Queensland,
Mark with left hand top corner clipped: South Australia,
Date letters were also stamped starting with A=1923.
In the first nine months New South Wales marked 13,712 articles of Gold and 1,061 articles of Silver, destroying 587 items that did not pass the assay test.
How long the assay office lasted, I do not know, it wouldbe good to know some more information.
Posted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 2:50 pm
Believe the early 20th century hallmarking of gold and silver goods in Australia was done by private enterprises and there were no government standards. Some gold jewelry was marked from 1889 with voluntary stamps with a maker's mark, fineness and symbol, endorsed by the Manufacturing Jewellers Association of Victoria. The Commonwealth of Australia Hall Mark Company (originally the Sydney Hall Mark Co.) was formed in 1916, started hallmarking in 1923, out of business by 1940. According to my information, the actual assaying and marking was done by A.W. Dye in Sydney and E.F. Goode in Melbourne.
An offical silver standard was introduced in 1978 requiring the the makers name, and use of "925" for sterling, was not enforced or adhered to widely and the standard was abandoned in 1998.
Posted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:23 pm
Many thanks for the extra information, I wonder why they were finished by 1940, I could understand suspension during the war years, but having said that, there still was still a lot of silver assayed in Great Britain during the war.
From what I've read, their office was run on the same lines as Goldsmiths Hall in London and was officially opened by the then Acting Premier of Australia.
Lets hope someone comes up with the answer as to why they closed this office.
Posted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 9:18 pm
My understanding is that they shut down due to the combined reasons of economic difficulties from the Depression, the outbreak of WWII and a general lack of interest from the manufacturers.
Since 1988, The Gold and Silversmiths Guild of Australia, formed by a group of jewelry manufacturers, has a registry of members (must be approved) that use marks including a kangaroo head and date letters (same letters as the British), both in diagonal square (diamond) cartouches, the fineness expressed numerically, along with the maker's mark.
In the U.S., the basic requirements of the National Stamping Act of 1906 require only that if an item is stamped with Sterling, 925, or Coin, it must meet the criteria, since 1961 a registered maker's mark is required if a piece is marked (assume that would be to track down any manufacturers marking sub-standard goods). Seems pretty lax compared the U.K., huh?
Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:28 am
Lax is the word, read the act somewhere, i think it is included the appendix to "Silversmithing and Art Metal for Schools, Tradesmen and Craftsmen" by Murray Bovin. The book's author noted that from the law's inception, until the time he was writing (some 70 years) it had not once been enforced.
here's a link to the law http://www.access.gpo.gov/uscode/title15/chapter8_.html
Re: Need help identifying this mark
Posted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 4:13 am
A reference from 1922 (in part) concerning the desire to see National Stamping Act revisions to require maker mark along with Sterling marks...note they point out that .927 was common grade for articles marked for the .925 minimum target: https://books.google.com/books?id=8UEcA ... om&f=false