Silver purity

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PW333abc
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2020 5:31 am

Silver purity

Postby PW333abc » Fri Dec 25, 2020 5:44 am

Hello!

I would be very grateful for help with some questions, regarding German silver items.

1. Items manufactured before 1886 had city marks. Was it mandatory that objects in real silver must also have a stamp of purity, for example 12 for .750?

2. Objects manufactured after 1886 had the national crown and the crescent. Was it mandatory that objects in real silver must have these stamped? I have a brooch made by Meyle & Mayer around 1900. The brooch only has the purity stamp (835) and their own brand.

Best regards

Per

AG2012
contributor
Posts: 4437
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:47 am

Re: Silver purity

Postby AG2012 » Fri Dec 25, 2020 6:40 am

Hi,
1.It was NOT mandatory to mark silver fineness in Loth numbers. Many, many examples: town mark + maker`s mark.
2. Reichsgesetzblatt (Imperial Law Gazette),dated January 10 1886 in Berlin, published legislation (Bestimmung) of marks on gold and silver within the German empire with the following sentence: Stempelzeichen muss enthalten (marks MUST include).
But crescent and crown mark is often missing in spite of legislation (just look at Hanau silver).
Therefore, the answer is yes, it was obligatory but the regulation was not strictly obeyed. Besides, in the legislation mentioned above there is no additional paragraph of legal consequences (penalties) of disobedience.
Regards

PW333abc
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2020 5:31 am

Re: Silver purity

Postby PW333abc » Fri Dec 25, 2020 8:16 am

AG2012 wrote:Hi,
1.It was NOT mandatory to mark silver fineness in Loth numbers. Many, many examples: town mark + maker`s mark.
2. Reichsgesetzblatt (Imperial Law Gazette),dated January 10 1886 in Berlin, published legislation (Bestimmung) of marks on gold and silver within the German empire with the following sentence: Stempelzeichen muss enthalten (marks MUST include).
But crescent and crown mark is often missing in spite of legislation (just look at Hanau silver).
Therefore, the answer is yes, it was obligatory but the regulation was not strictly obeyed. Besides, in the legislation mentioned above there is no additional paragraph of legal consequences (penalties) of disobedience.
Regards


Hello!

Thank you very much for the answer, I am very grateful.

Best regards

Per

Bahner
contributor
Posts: 1277
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2005 11:34 am
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: Silver purity

Postby Bahner » Mon Dec 28, 2020 4:20 am

Hello, in many cases the city mark guaranteed a certain minimal fineness, most often 12 Lot. So it simply was not necessary to punch the fineness. It would have been legal, but it was superfluous and so it usually was not done. Mostly it was done if the fineness actually used was higher than necessary. Take Berlin: the bear would guarantee 12 Lot, but sometimes for higher nobility or for the imperial court a higher fineness was used, up to 15 Lot. In those cases the makers also punched the higher fineness.

Ad point 2: it is a common misunderstanding that current German hallmarking regulations are mandatory. They are NOT, they are what lawyers call facultative (optional). It was legal to sell gold or silver objects in Germany with an incomplete set of marks or without any marks at all. But this would create a kind of credibility problem for the seller: would a client believe that this really was gold or silver a stated ? So it was simply smarter to follow the regulations and punch the piece correctly. And IF the piece was marked, THEN regulations would have to be followd. As to the loopholes of the regulations and the relevance for dealing with Hanau pseudo marks see here
https://www.925-1000.com/Fgerman_hanau.html
Regards Bahner


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