Laxey silver

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Laxey silver

Postby kirkbyjohn » Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:18 am

Hi All
Newbie trying to find out about "Laxey silver"
My mother, who is Manx, tells me some years ago she bought a piece of Laxey silver for her sister. Mum believes it was solid silver, not plated. Having looked on the internet I can only find reference to Laxey silver as being a trademark for plated goods.
I know a large quantity of silver was mined at both Laxey and Foxdale and so there is the possibility of Mum being right.
Can anyone shed some light on the subject ? Which assay office would have been used, and what marks would be on Manx silver objects ?
Thank you in advance.

Essexboy Fisher
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Re: Laxey silver

Postby Essexboy Fisher » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:24 pm

Hello Kirbyjohn, although I suspect you have likely lost interest by now (in fact I think you might have after the first year of waiting), here is a reply for some of your questions about “Laxey” silver but there could be stuff for other lookers. First sorry for the photos not being the best quality but below are the marks on a spoon seen on line.



The spoon seems “industrially” made and lacks any silver “guarantee mark”, demanded for a solid silver spoon of that time. It is a silver plated and “Laxey Silver” is a trade mark to give the item a bit of “cachet” to help with sales. As you said the Laxey mine was in the Isle of Man and it was a mine for Lead copper zinc (and a bit silver) but it was important to the mid 19th century British economy. In the composite photo the upper set of marks, notably the “D & A”, are the marks of the electroplating company “Daniel & Arter”. They were prolific in the production of silver plated cutlery and equally prolific in the use of “association” trademarks that no doubt they believed would catch attention and sell product. Below is a quote from another of our website’s threads to give a flavour of 19th century electroplating companies selling strategies.
“Wasn't unusual for late 19th-early 20th century manufacturers of white-metal and/or plated items to mark their goods as some sort of 'Silver' - a few that come to mind are 'Potosi Silver' of Birmingham, England, referencing the Bolivian silver mines at Potosi in both their name and marks, Joseph Gilbert, also of Birmingham, used 'Argentina Silver', and Daniel & Arter used 'Japanese, Indian, Bengal, Brazilian, Laxey and Nevada - Silver' on their production;”.

Illustrations of some “D & A” trademarks can be found on the “” web site but a “Laxey Silver” mark is not shown. The circular mark in front of the “D” in my spoon image is the “terrestrial globe” mark that was one of the company’s pictorial trademarks. D&A produced wares from “Globe^ works in Birmingham.
Kirbyjohn’s post asks were there Manx silversmiths (Isle of Man silversmiths)? If there was silver surely there was a chance that there would be silversmiths. That said a Google search does not throw up many names, actually for me no names. That seems very unlikely to me but it has been suggested that “local” affluence must stimulate a need.
It is possible to speculate that there were early silversmiths active in the Isle of Man working within a system like in the Channel Islands or like many of the Scottish provincial silversmiths and just marking their wares with their initials and suitable for local sale. Perhaps any early Manx Church silver would have “Marks”?
Less speculative is the Journal of the Manx museum in that it does have references relating to 40 plus clock and watchmakers on the Island for the period 1785-1850. We know well that horologists and silversmiths overlapped. There is a reference in the Journal list relating to watchmakers “A&M Lemon”. Some possible relevent extracts are below.

LEMON, A(braham) & M(orris). 1832.
In May, 1832, came to the Island from Liverpool, opening with an ‘assortment of Patent Lever and Verge Watches ‘ (MS. 15 May) ;
and 1846, 12 Duke St. ; a neat skeleton gold lever watch presented to Bro. Ed. Quayle . . manufactured by A. & M. Lemon (MS. 19 Sept.);
and 1857, a massive silver spirit stand manufactured by A. & M. Lemon presented to Prov. C. S. John Watson, Attorney at Law of City of Durham (MS. 3 Oct.) ; MS refers to a newspaper called the “Manx Sun” and Duke Street is likely to be Douglas, Isle of Man.

I think Isle of Man silver, and silversmiths need a bit more research. Do we have any Manx men on the forum to carry on and possibly sort out one or two of those pesky unattributed spoons that are found in numerous collections?
Ps Thank you Kirbyjohn. Your post has been viewed more than 1250 times.

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Re: Laxey silver

Postby Manx_antiquities » Thu Jul 30, 2020 6:40 pm

Hi everyone, I have a pair of 'Laxey Silver' marked sugar tongues with the Sheffield Crown but no Lion passant. The sugar tongues do not have EPNS or EPBM marks. The marks are in the attached photos. Are of the Isle of Man 3 legs (triskelion) in a circle surmounted by a crown, followed by the Sheffield Crown, followed by boldly struck B in a square with cut off corners, followed by an M in a square with cut off corners, followed by a weaker mark of an A and possibly a T in an oval. I inherited these sugar tongues from my gran, who came to live in the Isle of Man in 1918, after marrying a Manxman.

The Laxey Mine whose ore was predominantly Lead and Zinc and a very small amount of silver, closed in 1929. I myself was born and brought up in the Isle of Man. Having read up as much as I can about Sheffield silver marks (note I do not say Hallmarks) as I now believe the sugar tongues to be plated but having a clever set of marks to give the impression of being solid silver. I am in need of help to decipher the marks.

Initially with the three legs surmounted by crown in the marks, I thought maybe we had had our own assay office on the Isle of Man, but having researched locally this was never the case.

I would like to know if anyone can work out who the silver plate manufacturer was and whether they were Sheffield based.

Any help is much appreciated. sincerely Charles




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Re: Laxey silver

Postby dognose » Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:47 am

Hi Charles,

Welcome to the Forum.

Please start a new topic in the Silver Plated section of the forum.

The below should help you:

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